Gentedimontagna Questionnaire

Meet the Traveler: Marguerite Richards

by Marguerite Richards

Hometown: Los Angeles, California.

Occupation: Writer, editor, marketer, slave to France.

Favorite destinations: The strip of coast between Dubrovnik and Montenegro by scooter. Rome by night. On the road to Porto where a friendly farmer shared his oranges. Cartegena, peeking over the fort walls onto the "wrong" side. My father's lawn any time of the year.

Dying to visit: Greece.

Bizarre travel rituals: Permanently wearing sunglasses to maximize staring opportunities.

In-flight relaxation regime: Off with the shoes, on with the fuzzy wool socks. To sleep, I repeat my economy seat mantra: The only comfortable way to sit is up straight. Just relax, and do not move. Do not move.

Always in carry-on: Earplugs and eye mask.

Concierge or DIY? Neither. Follow a local friend.

See it all or take it easy? Depends on the local friend.

Drive or be driven? Be driven!

Travel hero: I'm still looking for her. I'll keep you posted.

Goats in a tree

Best friends

Weirdest thing seen on travels: A zebra and sheep hanging like best friends in a South African zoo. A bunch of goats balancing on tree branches in the Moroccan desert.

Best hotel amenity: The big white fluffy bed.

I dream about any home-cooked meal in a foreign place.

Everywhere I go, I check out the fresh-air markets. I love strange and interesting produce.

When I arrive in a new place, I learn the lay of the land by walking around alone and memorizing landmarks. If I'm led around, I'm useless with geography.

I always bring home booze or local cooking oils. Avocado oil from South Africa was a favorite.

If I never return to Florence it'll be too soon, because it was overrun by Americans. I might as well have been at Disneyland!

I travel to understand cultural differences and the nuances that separate us, with the resolve to render it palpable.

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