Fathom Questionnaire: Erica Firpo
by Erica Firpo
Hometown: Rome via Philadelphia and Los Angeles.
Occupation: Freelance writer.
Favorite destinations: Aix-en-Provence, Palermo, Hanoi, and Tunisia.
Dying to visit: Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Russia.
Bizarre travel rituals: I call it the Die Hard meditation: Whenever I get where I am going, I have to walk around barefoot. Or maybe I just don't like shoes.
In-flight relaxation regime: Solving the day's crossword or sudoku before take-off.
Always in carry-on: Red lipstick, moisturizer, notepad, thin-point Sharpie, and my severely myopic glasses.
Concierge or DIY? DIY until I have no more patience.
See it all or take it easy? Attempt to see it all and then take the afternoon off to test cocktails.
Drive or be driven? Be driven. I'm an excellent back seat driver.
Travel hero: My younger sister. She meanders aimlessly but always finds her way.
Weirdest thing seen on travels: A roasted hamster in a cage at midnight in Hanoi for our snacking pleasure, and a man with seven toes on each foot.
Best hotel amenity: A thick, fluffy robe.
I dream about my meal at what may or may not have been known as Ricotta in Palermo. The most amazing fresh fish of my life, including neonati and a barely steamed, just-caught octopus.
Everywhere I go, I check out the fish markets, pastry shops, and red pants.
When I arrive in a new place, I learn the lay of the land by scouring a bunch of maps. I am kind of obsessive about topography.
I always bring home snowglobes, shoes, and bubble gum.
If I never return to Porto Cervo, it'll be too soon because I really don't need another vain, overly tanned boyfriend.
I travel for the brand new headspace.