Fathom Questionnaire: 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.
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.