Irreverent responses from our favourite travel ninjas.
Name: David G Allan
Title: Editorial Director, BBC Travel
Twitter handle: @davidgallan
Born in: Annapolis, Maryland
Currently living in: Brooklyn, New York
Where would you rather be right now?
Skiing in Utah or in the Alps
Famous person (dead or alive, real or fictional) you'd most like to go on a trip with:
Indiana Jones, seeking rare antiquities
Everyone asks what's #1 on your list of places you want to go before you die. But what's your #3?
Your most stranded, "oh-my-[deity]" travel moment:
My wife and I bought a car in London to travel around Europe but it was totalled in an accident in Poland. We weren't seriously hurt, but without our car we had to get rid of half our belongings and keep travelling by rail.
Strangest meal abroad:
Monkey brains. No wait, that was Indiana Jones. In Mongolia I drank a fair amount of airig, fermented mare's milk offered when you visit a stranger's yurt. Tastes like just-spoiled skim milk.
Your most embarrassing travel faux pas:
My Spanish isn't great and late one night in San Sebastian, Spain, I was negotiating a room for my wife and me and mixed up the words for "milk" and "bed". "You have two small milks", I slowly explained to the puzzled pension owner, "But we only need one milk. So I will push the milks together, ok?"
Most unique souvenir:
I really like these mugs I got in the Christmas markets of Austria. They serve steaming gluwien in them, but you can keep them if you forgo your mug deposit. I love having my morning coffee in them.
Best celebrity encounter while travelling:
Peter Jennings was once behind me getting on a plane and he was talking to someone so it sounded like the nightly news, but just for me, and just about the place he was going to.
Most unusual item you have travelled with:
On one of my US cross-country trips, my brother and I took a cardboard cut-out of President Bill Clinton (I was a White House intern during his administration and a big fan) and we took pictures with it as we went: Bill Clinton and us at the Grand Canyon; the three of us in his home town of Hope, Arkansas; at the Piggly Wiggly supermarket, etc.
Coolest mode of transport you've taken:
When I lived in Bangkok I thought it was cool that I regularly hopped on motorcycle taxis to take us down our street.
The place you don't want anyone to know about but are willing to divulge here:
The Tourist Club, a German beer hall/chalet you hike to on Mt. Tamalpias just north of San Francisco. It's my favourite place in the world.
The travel story you'll never stop bragging about:
Nearly a year spent travelling around the world with my girlfriend, now wife (we got engaged in Paris on the trip).
Lay on us a priceless bit of travel advice or wisdom:
Always take the window seat.