Gentedimontagna Questionnaire

Meet the Writer: Petra Dokken

by Petra Dokken

Hometown: Gothenburg, Sweden.

Occupation: Entrepreneur and writer working with trends and travels. Storytelling and big ideas.

Favorite destinations: Choice that changed my life: Mongolia, Bhutan, Namibia. Places I return to very often: big cities like London and Paris. My hideaways: Greek and Balearic Mediterranean islands. So easy — no malaria, no poisonous snakes, no war zones.

Dying to visit: California. I have a feeling I will stay there, which might be the reason why I have not yet visited.

Bizarre travel rituals: I change my plans often, so I lose tickets and end up in places I had not planned. Fun, exhausting, and very expensive.

In-flight relaxation regime: Shoes off, big bottle of still water, and pillow. Music, music, music, and good books (a few to choose from, according to mood).

Always in carry-on: A device to get connected with. It's amazing how far you can go with a few apps.

Concierge or DIY? I sometimes try to be polite and not carry my own bags, but it is easier (and more fun) to DIY.

See it all or take it easy? Twenty years ago, see it all. Nowadays, very selective and taking it more easy, but certainly curious.

Drive or be driven? Drive. I always pick up a car by the airport. Freedom.

Travel hero: Travellers know that travelling is bloody hard as well as a great way to gain insight. Life distilled. But maybe Jane Goodall, today an old, very handsome lady still doing her mileage to raise awareness.

Weirdest thing seen on travels: Weird can be funny, but weird as in sad or very difficult to grasp is all the animal injustice you see when travelling all over the globe. For example, watching ignorant tourists take photos with kidnapped monkeys that have heavy chains around their necks, screaming in fear at the Jemaa el Fna Square in Marrakech. If I ever pass by again, I will not silently cry and run away like I did last time. More and more, I have decided not to turn a blind eye. Enough is enough.

My favorite hotel is Mama Shelter in Paris because it brings to life an idea of what a traveller needs. When it opened in 2008, it challenged the old-fashioned way of categorizing hotels (five star or budget) as well as what counts as a good address is in a city like Paris. (And, yes, I have a great, great, great memory of a steaming hot weekend in bed there. I was not alone.)

I dream about my meal at simple, organic, healthy bistros without a "name" with good company. I loathe fancy dining at the moment. Too much fuss kills my appetite.

Best hotel amenity: Staff that likes their job. Authentic is the future.

Favorite childhood travel memory: The joy of flying for the first time when I was six. I have always wanted to spread my wings — my first word was the sound for the word "bird" — so breaking through the clouds for the first time — wow. I still feel like that.

Everywhere I go, I check out the sunset. I have to be connected to the west or I feel disorientated.

When I arrive in a new place, I learn the lay of the land by getting a printed map or letting go and getting lost a little bit.

I always bring home info for new acquaintances and friends.

If I never return to Moscow, it'll be too soon because it is such an inhumane place.

I travel for the beauty of change: Stillness and movement fit perfectly together.

MORE PETRA

Blog: petradokken..com
Twitter: @petradokken
Stories on Gentedimontagna

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