Forms of identification: Geraldine DeRuiter
Travel blogger Geraldine DeRuiter impersonating a huge gummy bear in Madrid, Spain.
Irreverent responses from our favourite travel ninjas.
Name: Geraldine DeRuiter
Title/bio: Creator of The Everywhereist, a love letter to her jet setting husband and travel blog for the accidentally adventurous
Twitter/website: @Everywhereist| The Everywhereist
Born in: Seattle, Washington
Currently living in: Seattle, Washington
1. Where would you rather be right now?
For the first time in weeks, I'm home. I can't think of a better place to be right now, except perhaps my bed.
2. Famous person (dead or alive, real or fictional) you’d most like to go on a trip with?
Dracula. Mostly because I want to see if the undead have to go through the same airport security measures as the rest of us. Would they allow him to take his fangs onto the plane?
3. Tourist must-see you think is actually a “must skip”:
The Clink Museum in London – I thought it was going to be an actual museum, but it's sort of a strange, cheesy haunted house. When I visited there was a little girl clutching her mother, whispering to herself, "I have to be brave. I have to be brave". That part was absolutely delightful.
4. Everyone asks what’s #1 on your list of places you want to go before you die. But what’s your #3?
I had surgery this summer to remove a brain tumour, and prior to it my husband and I talked about all the places we would visit if my tumour was, in fact, cancerous. I realised that I had seen a lot of the places that I had wanted to, including Venice and Sydney – it seems I love cities on water. Number three on my list would have to be Angkor Wat in Cambodia. I get a kick out of just saying the name. It sounds like a conversation: "Angkor... wat?"
5. You’d be mortified if people knew you did what when you travelled?
I overpack, especially when it comes to lingerie. I once brought 12 pairs of underwear for a week-long trip. I still don't quite know what I was planning.
6. Your most stranded, “oh-my-[deity]” travel moment:
My husband and I were once staying in a "green" hotel in Manhattan. Everything about it was eco-friendly, right down to the low-flow toilet. At some point, the toilet clogged. And then it started to back up. Slowly, the bowl began to fill. I have never been more terrified. I actually had a moment when the putrid water began rising that I thought, “we should just run. Leave all our things in the room, change our identities, and flee to some far off land.” I'll skip over some of the ghastlier details, but needless to say, I stayed and fought the battle.
7. Best (or worst) person/people you’ve had to sit next to while travelling:
I've been lucky – I tend to sit next to rather lovely people. Often times, it's my husband. That said, I once sat in front of a woman who decided to use my arm rest to prop up her bare feet. I stared at them blankly for a few seconds – they were somewhat neglected, hygienically speaking – trying to figure out what to do. Tickling them was out of the question, as that would involve physical contact. So, instead, I just took a bunch of photos and wrote about them on my blog.
8. Strangest meal abroad:
I grew up in an Italian household, so I'm not terribly afraid of organ meat, snouts, tails or massive amounts of garlic. This means that most of the meals I encounter abroad – even those that tend to horrify my travel companions – don't really faze me all that much. Still, I would have to say that the guinea pig that we ate in Peru was one of the high points of my gastronomic adventures. It was quite delicious.
9. If someone was visiting your town, what’s the one thing you’d show them?
I would have to go with the Pike Place Market. It's an absolutely iconic part of Seattle, it's open every day, and the water views are stunning. If you can only see one thing in Seattle, see the market.
10. Travel-related invention you wish existed:
On a near daily basis, I lament the fact that teleporters have yet to be invented. Isn't the future supposed to be now?
11. Material thing you miss the most when away from home:
My bedroom slippers. There isn't ever room in my suitcase to pack them, so they have to remain at home while I tread across frigid hotel bathroom floors.
12. Most unique souvenir:
Do the 10lb I gained from eating copious amounts of schnitzel in Munich count as a souvenir? If so, that.
13. Best celebrity encounter while travelling:
Once, while walking in Manhattan, I saw Patrick Breen. He’s done a lot of work on and off Broadway, but I recognised him from when he played an alien in the film Galaxy Quest (the one who idolised Alan Rickman’s character). I desperately wanted to scream, “By Grabthar’s hammer, you will be avenged”, but sadly, I lost my nerve.
14. Most unusual item you have travelled with:
I once had a large stick of salami in my refrigerator and since I was going to visit family in California that evening, I decided I should take it down with me. So I flew down to San Diego with salami in my purse. That sounds like a euphemism for something rather untoward, but I swear it was very innocent.
15. Coolest mode of transport you’ve taken:
I would have to say the Roosevelt Island Tramway, which travels between Roosevelt Island and Manhattan. It takes you high up over the water, and the views of the city are unparalleled. Except for the occasional King Kong attack, it’s a great trip.
16. The place you don’t want anyone to know about but are willing to divulge here:
It would have to be the small town of Ashland. It's located in southern Oregon, near the California border, and is positively picturesque. It's covered in vineyards and rolling hills, and home to a rather amazing theatre scene and some excellent restaurants.
17. Travel-related film or book that inspires you to pack your bags:
Absolutely anything by Bill Bryson. The man is brilliant and so darn funny.
18. Lay on us a priceless bit of travel advice or wisdom:
Over tip everyone, wear a cross-body bag and take more photos than you could reasonably justify.