Forms of identification: Andrew McCarthy
Andrew McCarthy in Canoa Quebrada, Brazil. (Chris Sanders)
Irreverent responses from our favourite travel ninjas.
1. Where would you rather be right now?
I spent some time in Patagonia early this year and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. I gotta get back there.
2. Famous person (dead or alive, real or fictional) you’d most like to go on a trip with:
I travel to get away from people – dead and alive.
3. Everyone asks what’s #1 on your list of places you want to go before you die. But what’s your #3?
I’ve been seeing a lot of pictures of the Northern Lights lately. Every time I do, I tell myself I have to get up to see them (after swimming with whales in Tonga and one secret trip).
4. Your most stranded, “oh-my-[deity]” travel moment:
A flat tire with no spare on a remote road in Mozambique… and the sound of some not-so-distant drumming
5. Best (or worst) person/people you’ve had to sit next to while travelling:
I was on an overnight train from Saigon to Hanoi in a compartment with three Vietnamese business men who chain smoked and killed a bottle of whisky. One threw up on the floor and then they all went to sleep.
6. Strangest meal abroad:
At the Belen market in Iquitos, in the Peruvian Amazon. Grilled slug – full of protein!
7. If someone was visiting your town, what’s the one thing you’d show them?
I really like the Famine Memorial tucked away in lower Manhattan. Somehow they’ve managed to make it really evocative of Ireland and very moving. “A well fed man has many problems, a hungry man has only one.”
8. Travel-related invention you wish existed:
A brain implant to allow me to speak any language I want, whenever I want.
9.Your most embarrassing travel faux pas:
Eating with my left hand at a communal Muslim meal.
10. Material thing you miss the most when away from home:
New York pizza
11. Most unique souvenir:
I was in Berlin when the wall fell in ’89. Everyone was drunk and dancing in subzero weather, no one noticed the cold. I got a nice piece of the wall and still have it.
12. Best celebrity encounter while travelling:
I ran into Seamus Heaney in a pub in the west of Ireland, eating oysters and drinking Guinness. Nice guy.
13. Coolest mode of transport you’ve taken:
14. The place you don’t want anyone to know about but are willing to divulge here:
Lander, Wyoming. Shh…
15. Travel-related film or book that inspires you to pack your bags:
Casablanca or Paul Theroux’s Tao of Travel
16. The travel story you’ll never stop bragging about:
Walking across Spain on the Camino de Santiago. It was a life changer.
17. Lay on us a priceless bit of travel advice or wisdom:
Ask for help, often. Say please and thank you – works wonders off the road as well.