Forms of identification: Grant Martin
Grant Martin, the Editor in Chief of Gadling.com.
Irreverent responses from our favourite travel ninjas.
1. Where would you rather be right now?
There’s a small lodge in Rotorua, New Zealand that I visited a few years back that’s several miles off of the main highway and completely secluded from the world. I promised myself that I’d return there someday, and in comparison to the train that I’m currently riding through the Midwest, it sounds like heaven.
2. Famous person (dead or alive, real or fictional) you’d most like to go on a trip with:
Herodotus, the first documented travel writer. So much of our modern archaeology and history is based on his writings, and I have always wondered about the filter through which he told his stories. I also heard that he was quite the travel prankster.
3. Your most stranded, “oh-my-[deity]” travel moment:
In my early days of adventure when I travelled on a shorter shoestring, I once left my passport hidden under a mattress in a two-star Malaysian hotel. I subsequently missed my flight to Bangkok and was rebooked on another, but I was out of cash and had no way to get back into the city -- and my credit card was at its absolute maximum. Luckily I found a $20 bill hidden in my bag which I converted to Malaysian currency and used to get back to the hotel. Though the room had already been turned down, my passport was still there.
4. Travel-related invention you wish existed:
Anti-jetlag serum. Not some hacked, miracle solution sold on late night television either. The only cure for jetlag is time, fluids and sleep, so this serum would have to somehow put the entire world on hold, let me sleep and watch television for a week and then resume time where we left off. It would make those weekend trips to Istanbul so much easier.
5. Material thing you miss the most when away from home:
I miss my friends. The people in my life are some of the best, most generous people on the planet and I miss every one of them dearly when we part ways. Now, with contacts in cities around the world I can’t help but feel heartbreak every time I leave a new destination with old friends.
6. Best celebrity encounter while travelling:
I run into Richard Branson every now and then when I’m covering the Virgin circuit (I’m pretty sure that he thinks I’m nutty,) but the most interesting encounter was probably in sharing a row with Kato Kaelin, the biggest witness from the OJ Simpson trial, on a flight from Chicago to Los Angeles.
7. Most unusual item you have travelled with:
Once in a while I swap my usual messenger bag or duffel with a paper shopping bag when I’m making short haul flights. It’s a great way to fit right into a populous as soon as you touch the ground and enter the city, and it also confuses the other passengers in business class with fancy luggage and large egos.
8. The travel story you’ll never stop bragging about:
Bragging isn’t the correct term, but I once was able to get behind-the-scenes access to V. Australia’s 777 flight simulator, an instrument that few commoners get to see, let alone operate. My friend and chief pilot Ken Pascoe was about to sit down and show me how to fly when I bumped the emergency stop and pulled the plug straight out of the entire system, crashing a multi-million dollar, critically valuable training machine. I’m not allowed at the V. Australia headquarters any more.