Irreverent responses from our favourite travel ninjas.
Name: Grant Martin
Title/bio: Editor in Chief, Gadling
Twitter/website: Gadling.com, @Gadling
Born in: Kalamazoo, Michigan
Currently living in: Chicago, Illinois
1. Where would you rather be right\nnow?
There’s\na small lodge in Rotorua, New Zealand that I visited a few years back that’s\nseveral miles off of the main highway and completely secluded from the\nworld. I promised myself that I’d return\nthere someday, and in comparison to the train that I’m currently riding through\nthe Midwest, it sounds like heaven.
2. Famous person (dead or alive,\nreal or fictional) you’d most like to go on a trip with:
Herodotus,\nthe first documented travel writer. So much of our modern archaeology and\nhistory is based on his writings, and I have always wondered about the filter\nthrough which he told his stories. I also heard that he was quite the travel\nprankster.
3. Your\nmost stranded, “oh-my-[deity]” travel moment:
In\nmy early days of adventure when I travelled on a shorter shoestring, I once\nleft my passport hidden under a mattress in a two-star Malaysian hotel. I\nsubsequently missed my flight to Bangkok and was rebooked on another, but I was\nout of cash and had no way to get back into the city -- and my credit card was\nat its absolute maximum. Luckily I found a $20 bill hidden in my bag which I\nconverted to Malaysian currency and used to get back to the hotel. Though the\nroom had already been turned down, my passport was still there.
4. Travel-related\ninvention you wish existed:
Anti-jetlag serum. Not some hacked, miracle solution\nsold on late night television either. The only cure for jetlag is time, fluids\nand sleep, so this serum would have to somehow put the entire world on hold,\nlet me sleep and watch television for a week and then resume time where we left\noff. It would make those weekend trips to Istanbul so much easier.
5. Material thing you miss the\nmost when away from home:
I miss my friends. The people in my life are some of the best, most\ngenerous people on the planet and I miss every one of them dearly when we part\nways. Now, with contacts in cities around the world I can’t help but feel\nheartbreak every time I leave a new destination with old friends.
6. Best celebrity encounter while\ntravelling:
I run into Richard Branson every now and then when I’m covering the\nVirgin circuit (I’m pretty sure that he thinks I’m nutty,) but the most\ninteresting encounter was probably in sharing a row with Kato Kaelin, the\nbiggest witness from the OJ Simpson trial, on a flight from Chicago to Los\nAngeles.
7. Most unusual item you have\ntravelled with:
Once in a while I swap my usual messenger bag or duffel with a paper\nshopping bag when I’m making short haul flights. It’s a great way to fit right\ninto a populous as soon as you touch the ground and enter the city, and it also\nconfuses the other passengers in business class with fancy luggage and large\negos.
8. The travel story you’ll never\nstop bragging about:
Bragging isn’t the correct term, but I once was able to get\nbehind-the-scenes access to V. Australia’s 777 flight simulator, an instrument\nthat few commoners get to see, let alone operate. My friend and chief pilot Ken\nPascoe was about to sit down and show me how to fly when I bumped the emergency\nstop and pulled the plug straight out of the entire system, crashing a\nmulti-million dollar, critically valuable training machine. I’m not allowed at\nthe V. Australia headquarters any more.