Forms of identification: Matt Long
Travel blogger Matt Long at the summit of Haleakala volcano on Maui in Hawaii.
Irreverent responses from our favourite travel ninjas.
1. Where would you rather be right now?
I’m actually writing this on a plane to my next destination, but I’d almost always rather be in Paris. I’ve long had an intense love affair with the city and it’s one of my favourite places in the world to spend time.
2. Tourist must-see you think is actually a “must skip”:
Athens, the entire city. I’m sure there are a few people out there who love it, but I’ve never met one and I’m certainly no fan. It’s worth the trip to go, briefly, to see the major sights -- but that’s it. There are many other great destinations in Greece, though, where I love spending time, especially in the islands.
3. Everyone asks what’s #1 on your list of places you want to go before you die. But what’s your #3?
Nauru. It’s a very small island in the South Pacific and I’ve had an intense fascination with it every since a college professor I once had used it in every case study.
4. Strangest meal abroad:
Fried crickets in Mexico and yes, they tasted as disgusting as they sound.
5. If someone was visiting your town, what’s the one thing you’d show them?
Since I live in Washington DC, that’s a really hard question. But one of my favourite spots in town is the Newseum, which is dedicated to the history of the media and news. It’s a beautiful and endlessly fascinating museum.
6. Travel-related invention you wish existed:
Teleportation, because unless you’re in first class, getting there is not half the fun.
7. Material thing you miss the most when away from home:
My dogs. We have three rescued huskies at home and they are truly the apples of my eye. It’s hard leaving them behind when I travel but they make coming home that much sweeter.
8. Most unique souvenir:
A festival mask from Puerto Rico that’s only made in one small town, principally by one family, out of coconuts. I love it, but it tends to scare everyone who visits my house.
9. Best celebrity encounter while travelling:
I was once on a week-long, small ship cruise of the Galapagos with Alex Trebek of TV show Jeopardy fame. Since it was such a small ship we actually got to know Alex and his wife well.
10. The place you don’t want anyone to know about but are willing to divulge here:
Albi in southwest France: the city and surrounding area offer a great mix of natural beauty, history and of course fantastic food and wine.