Irreverent responses from our favourite travel ninjas.
Name: Johnny Jet
Title/bio: Travel writer | Editor-in-Chief, JohnnyJet.com, a website for travel deals, reviews and tips
Born in: South Norwalk, Connecticut
living in: Manhattan Beach, California, and
would you rather be right now?
One of the problems of travel addiction is that
you are always planning your next trip even when you’ve just landed in a new
destination. But I wouldn’t mind being in southern Italy, Rowayton, Connecticut,
Nantucket, the South Pacific, Australia or Hong Kong right now.
person (dead or alive, real or fictional) you’d most like to go on a trip with:
The President of the United States. I’ve always
wanted to take a spin in Air Force One.
must-see you think is actually a “must skip”:
Madame Tussauds. I just don’t understand why
people would pay to see dummies.
most stranded, “oh-my-[deity]” travel moment:
I was scheduled to check into the Taj Palace in
Mumbai, just 36 hours after the 2008 terror attacks. When the tragedy occurred,
I was in a remote part of India on a tiger safari. When I read the breaking
news email alert, my eyes opened wide and my heart started to pound. The emails
started pouring in from concerned friends and family. Scared and outraged, I was
forced to spend an extra night in the jungle before making the trek to Nagpur
and then on to Mumbai. My family thought I was crazy for flying into the madness and not returning home
the way I had arrived (via Europe). But I wasn't going to let cowardly
terrorists deter me from continuing on with my round-the-world trip.
(or worst) person/people you’ve had to sit next to while travelling:
By far the best was my mom. Just when I was
starting out as Johnny Jet she was diagnosed with cancer. When she recovered
from her first nine-hour operation I said, "Mom when you get better we’re
going to Denmark." She said "No, I can't I'm in chemo." I pressured
her and pressured her, and finally she asked the doctor to give her a week off.
He did, and she began to pack (a month early). I cashed in some miles and
treated us to our dream trip. First class tickets to places we only
imagined about going. London (to shop and see theatre), Paris (to see where she
would’ve studied if she took that scholarship from Parsons), and the most
important place: the island of Fyn in Denmark. When we were landing in
Copenhagen, I looked over at my Mom staring out the window; she had tears
rolling down her face. She finally got to tour the house my grandfather grew up
in and meet long lost relatives. She was so cute and appreciative. The full
story is here.
Eating freshly picked huhu grubs (worm larva)
in New Zealand or foal (yes, horse meat) and puffin on the same plate in
someone was visiting your town, what’s the one thing you’d show them?
The beach at sunrise -- it’s completely
different than it is during the day. A close second would be a game of beach
volleyball as that’s a great introduction to SoCal [Southern California].
invention you wish existed:
A trap door where I could pull the lever on all
the rude people.
most embarrassing travel faux pas:
I was at Club Med Opio in the south of France
and signed up for a massage. I arrived for my appointment and the pretty
receptionists handed me a robe and showed me to the men's locker room. I put my
clothes in a locker, donned the robe and went out to the waiting room. The masseuse
then escorted me to the room and she said something in French, which I didn't
understand, and then she said, "Voila". Usually, after being led into
the therapy room, the masseuse steps out so you can get your naked body on the
table and under a towel so no one has to witness what's beneath the robe. But
when she said, "Voila!" again and motioned for me to get on the
table, I gathered she was telling me to drop the towel and hoist my naked arse
up onto the table. I didn't want to look like a dumb American so I did as I was
told and just… well, dropped the towel. Whoa
Nelly! You should've seen this scene. I don't know who was more surprised
-- the masseuse or my reaction to her reaction! After I let it all hang out,
she let out a little scream and quickly turned around. I instantly grabbed the
towel from the table and covered you-know-who. With her back to me and one hand
over her eyes, she handed me some paper underwear. It turned out that the women
at the front desk had “forgotten” to give me the disposable underwear. I think
they were playing a little joke since I remembered them giggling when I checked
Coolest mode of transport you’ve taken:
The coolest is when I went on a hot air balloon
safari in South Africa. We just hovered above the trees at dawn watching all
the wild animals run from us. (Here are some
pics and video.)
was a "bili-bili"
in Fiju. To get to one of the world's most incredible beaches (Nuku Balavu)
you need to take these little bamboo rafts that hold up to two adults. They are
operated by incredibly balanced kids who steer it with a long bamboo reed in
the warm, shallow water.
film or book that inspires you to pack your bags:
Lost in Translation and Bill Bryson’s book, In
a Sunburned Country
travel story you’ll never stop bragging about:
I was on the inaugural of the longest commercial
flight in the world -- Singapore to Newark (18.5 hours) -- and I used to be
afraid to fly!
13. Lay on
us a priceless bit of travel advice or wisdom:
1. Always be nice to everyone. 2. Bring a
box of chocolates for the gate agent and/or flight attendants. They can make or
break your trip.