Hometown: Peoria, Illinois.
Occupation: Co-founder, Of a Kind.
Favorite destinations: If I could go to Palm Springs every March — when NYC winter feels like it's never going to end — and New Orleans every May (Jazz Fest!), I'd be one happy girl.
Dying to visit: Japan! Portugal! Big Sur! And there are all of these amazing pre-fab houses in the middle of nowhere (West Virginia, Oregon, Minnesota) that I'm itching to rent for a week or three.
Bizarre travel rituals: My boyfriend and I rate the travelers in the security line as though they're skiers — bunny hill, green circle, etc. — based on how good they are at the whole TSA process. We're double black diamonds, if you're wondering.
In-flight relaxation regime: Basically become as much of a hermit as I can while sitting inches away from someone else: Don't talk to anyone and drink as little as possible to avoid going to the teeny, tiny bathroom. Don't I sound like so much fun?
Always in carry-on: I have finally gotten into the habit of bringing cozy socks onto the plane, and I always have a supply of Ziploc bags at the ready — yes, it feels like such a kooky old-lady thing to do, but they come in handy. Those little conditioner bottles explode.
Concierge or DIY? DIY. I spend a lot of time pre-travel typing destination names into food-mag sites like Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, and Saveur for restaurant recs.
See it all or take it easy? Try to take it easy — at least avoid alarm clocks!
Drive or be driven? Oooh, I'm a terrible driver. But I'm a pretty decent navigator — and by that I mean I have the attention span to follow along with Google Maps at least most of the time.
Travel hero: My co-founder Claire's mom. She's like George Clooney's character in Up in the Air. But even better-dressed.
Weirdest thing seen on travels: When I was in college, I spent five weeks driving across the country in an RV with two friends through a sort of career-discovery program called Roadtrip Nation. We saw a lot of weird things, but one of the strangest things other people saw was probably the three of us shaving our legs at beachside showers in Fort Lauderdale. We didn't have running water in the RV and took advantage of bathing opportunities wherever we could get 'em.
My favorite hotel is Soniat House in New Orleans because eating breakfast (um, homemade biscuits and strawberry jam?!) in that courtyard is pure magic.
I dream about my meal at Sugarfish in L.A. If I've ever had better sushi, I don't remember it. You order one of the prix fixe menus, and then they course things out so that the rice is always warm. Make sure to get a blue crab hand roll. And, okay, add a scallop roll, too.
Best hotel amenity: Heated towel racks, like the ones at Mama Shelter in Paris. Mmm cozy.
Favorite childhood travel memory: There were a lot of escapades involving ski-in, ski-out hotels that were really more like ski-in OR ski-out.
Everywhere I go, I check out the public transportation. Hong Kong has it figured out.
When I arrive in a new place, I learn the lay of the land by putting together Google Maps to-do lists before I go. If I don't start eye-balling a map well before a trip begins, there's no way I'll ever get a handle of what's where.
I always bring home mini shampoo bottles. My eyes really light up at the sight of some Molton Brown or Kiehl's in a hotel bathroom.
If I never return to San José, Costa Rica, it'll be too soon because, man, there is nothing to see in the capital city. If you're going to CR, head straight to the coasts.
I travel for the perspective.
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