Blogger Laurel Miller

Introducing another new blogger at Gadling, Laurel Miller…

Where was your photo taken? I was in Cusco, Peru, preparing to walk the Inca Trail.

Where do you live now?
I just moved to Seattle, after two years of couchsurfing between San Francisco and Telluride. Some people think marriage is the ultimate commitment; I find signing a lease terrifying.

Most remote corner of the you’ve globe visited?
It would be a tie between Cape Leveque, on Western Australia’s Dampier Peninsula, or the Haourani community of Quehuiri’ono, in the Ecuadorean Amazon Basin.

Scariest airline flown?
This is an interesting one…I have severe aviophobia, so even thinking about flying a commerical airliner freaks me out. I have to take Xanax to fly, unless I’m in a bush plane, in which case I absolutely love it! That said, I was in a near Cessna runway crash a year ago.

Have you ever had an unexpected layover, and if so, what did you do? I was stranded in the Hanoi airport for five hours, because our plane had mechanical problems (hello, Xanax!). This would have been fine if the airport didn’t resemble a gulag, and I’d known there are no ATM’s or credit cards accepted there. I had nothing to read, I was out of dong, and the only thing I’d eaten that day were a few mouthfuls of dog soup (basically, I was really, really hungry). I tried to nap on a chair in the “restaurant lounge,” and discovered about a decade’s worth of rat droppings on the floor. I ended up begging a German tourist for a handful of cashews in between weeping. I had a rare, really bottomed-out travel day, after a string of mishaps. The Hanoi airport broke me.

What type of traveler are you? I’m a classic dirtbag packpacker, even when covering high-end properties. I find it’s more convienient, and suits my style. I’m pretty low maintenence, but I definitely appreciate occupational perks like five-star hotels, showers, and funky resorts. It’s also great to get a break from from roughing it. Yet I always find myself anxious to get back on the road, having adventures.

Worst place to catch a stomach bug? Well, I can tell you the worst place to begin experiencing a stomach bug: I’d just flown in to a wine festival in New Zealand after a hill-tribe trek in northern Thailand. I was on-stage, assisting a famous chef with a cooking demo. Let’s just say I didn’t stick around for curtain call.

Who would you most like to interview for Gadling? God, it’s such a cliche for a food and travel writer, but Anthony Bourdain. I have so much respect for him as a culinary authority, writer, and traveler, and I think getting shitfaced with him on local hooch, in some foreign backwater, would be a career highlight.

What’s your favorite foreign dish? What about restaurant? I crave Peruvian choclo con queso (boiled indigenous corn with queso fresco), and I’d kill for a bite of calzone from the Porta Nolana market in Naples. My favorite restaurant? High end, The Barn at Blackberry Farm in Tennessee. Cheap eats: a bowl of green chile at El Farolito in New Mexico, or the pork-noodle combo at Chinese Noodle Restaurant in Sydney’s Chinatown.

What’s your favorite trip? I’d have to say the greatest experiences were trying mountaineering for the first time on an active Ecuadorean volcano, and running the Futaleufu River in Chilean Patagonia. Like my favorite place to eat, there’s no way I can choose!