Forms of identification: Linda Lauren
Linda Lauren at the Eagle Rock Reservation 9/11 Memorial in West Orange, New Jersey.
Irreverent responses from our favourite travel ninjas.
1. Where would you rather be right now?
Hawaii would be nice. I have never been there and I am attracted to the beaches and water as places to meditate and open up to the energy of the islands.
2. Famous person (dead or alive, real or fictional) you’d most like to go on a trip with:
George Clooney on a trip to Italy
3. Tourist must-see you think is actually a “must skip”:
The Grand Canyon; it's just too big and there isn't enough time.
4. Everyone asks what’s #1 on your list of places you want to go before you die. But what’s your #3?
Ellis Island. It is located in Upper New York Bay and is presently being restored after Hurricane Sandy. It has been the proud gateway for millions of immigrants into the United States. I would like to step where my ancestors stepped when they came here from Italy.
5. Your most stranded, “oh-my-[deity]” travel moment:
Reaching for my luggage as it came around baggage claim only to have it take me along with it on a ride around the carousel. I had no choice but to sit on the case, wave to the people that I passed and enjoy the ride!
6. Best (or worst) person/people you’ve had to sit next to while traveling:
The best and the worst was when a mob enforcer sat next to me on a plane during a stopover in Cleveland, Ohio. Unfortunately, I can't talk about it or I'd have to kill you.
7. Strangest meal abroad:
Shepherd’s pie in England. I was under the mistaken impression that it was a dessert because of the reference to “pie”.
8. Travel-related invention you wish existed:
A time machine, of course!
9. Material thing you miss the most when away from home:
My bed and my pillow
10. Most unique souvenir:
Something I fondly refer to as the Jesus stone because the cracks and fissures on the rock reminded me of an image of Jesus’ head and shoulders, with hands in prayer. I found the stone among the array of sandstone formations that make up the trail of the Red Rocks of Sedona. I didn't take the rock, but I have a photo of it.
11. Best celebrity encounter while traveling:
Hearing Liberace play his piano in a private audience the day my uncle purchased one of Liberace's beach houses in Malibu, California. The only other people in the room were my uncle and grandmother.
12. Most unusual item you have travelled with:
My small homemade altar. It helps to balance the energy in a room and includes a scarf or mat small enough to fit on an end table or the corner of a dresser. Add to that a candle and an icon of your belief system, which can be an angel or saint of your preference. I set one up in my hotel room the moment I arrive.
13. Coolest mode of transport you’ve taken:
My friends took me on a four-seat plane ride over Manhattan for my 21st birthday.
14. Travel-related film or book that inspires you to pack your bags:
Eat, Pray Love makes me want to get up and go. Of course the trip would be great if it included Italy and George Clooney.
15. The travel story you’ll never stop bragging about:
The weeks I stayed as the guest of a family who owned a haunted, historic monk’s priory called Cheswick Farm in Surrey, England. I experienced the ghost of the monk and other spirits while visiting the property and have written about it in my upcoming book, Medium Rare, The Memoir of a Fourth Generation Psychic Medium.
16. Lay on us a priceless bit of travel advice or wisdom:
When you don't look at your watch you actually arrive quicker or on time.