Fathom Questionnaire: Jeralyn Gerba
Hometown: New York City
Occupation: Editorial director and co-creator of FATHOM.
Favorite destinations: Swiss Alps, Belize jungle, Italian seaside, California Redwoods, New Orleans.
Dying to visit: Yap, Himalayas, Ethiopia, thermal ryokans of Japan, Buenos Aires, Petra (ever since I saw that Annie Leibovitz photo of Susan Sontag), somewhere with 23 hours of daylight, anywhere via luxury train.
Bizarre travel rituals: Extensively cleaning apartment, clearing all mail from inbox.
In-flight relaxation regime: Watching take-off from a window seat. Then, wrapping a huge scarf around my face so that no one can see me in the vulnerable position of sleeping with my mouth open.
Always in carry-on: Books, maps, mini flashlight, deck of cards, paper fan, tiny notebooks, wrapping paper, Japanese candy, colored pencils.
Concierge or DIY? I like to play concierge.
See it all or take it easy? See it all, with lots of snack breaks.
Drive or be driven? Be driven. But I hold the atlas.
Travel hero: Ernest Hemingway. That man drank his way from Cuba to Hong Kong, was an ambulance driver in Italy, almost got killed in a plane crash in Africa, watched the burning of Smyrna, and managed to have the best bar in Paris named after him.
Weirdest thing seen on travels: A casino and amusement park next to the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, South Africa. After the emotionally taxing exhibition, you step outside and hear bloodcurdling screams from roller coaster riders.
Best hotel amenity: Complimentary super-fast wifi. Robes. A conch shell phone with a direct line to the front desk (it exists).
I dream about eating hand-dived Orkney scallops and oysters in Scotland; fresh tomatoes with sea salt on the Amalfi Coast; potato pancakes outside of a particular Bavarian mountain lodge; fresh empanadas on the beach near Yelapa.
Everywhere I go, I check out the local street style.
When I arrive in a new place, I learn the lay of the land by plotting points on a map while my husband takes a nap.
I always bring home paper goods, spices, and everyday objects (condiments, toothpaste) with funky packaging.
If I never return to the New Jersey Turnpike it'll be too soon because it's the Bermuda triangle of the tri-state area.
I travel for the perspective.