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Fathom Questionnaire

Meet Tiny Atlas Quarterly Founder: Emily Nathan

by Emily Nathan

Meet Tiny Atlas Quarterly Founder: Emily Nathan

Hanging on a boat in the Sea of Cortez. Photo by Justin Ruhl.

Hometown: Oakland, California.

Occupation: Publisher, editor, and photographer at Tiny Atlas Quarterly, and mom.

Favorite destinations: The north shore of Kauai.

Dying to visit: The west coast of Sweden, Russia's far east coast, Iran, and Morocco.

Bizarre travel rituals: I usually write post-its and leave them on the front door of my house with lists of things I need to remember to take.

In-flight relaxation regime: I have a 4-year-old boy, so if I'm traveling for work and not with him I relax instantly.

Always in carry-on: Phone, iPad, wallet, Advil, and steel water bottle. I get a nasty dehydration headache on planes if I'm not careful.

Concierge or DIY? Both. I do a fair amount of research if I'm working on a production, but a big part of my research also extends to asking locals (or concierge) about the best this or that when I'm traveling. Locals always know best.

See it all or take it easy? Take it easy, but go somewhere really good/ hard to get to.

Drive or be driven? Depends on where I am in the world. For Dominica I would use a driver. The Southwest: drive. Drive dune buggies in Fernando de Noronha, although, truth be told, I usually prefer an assistant to drive so I can look around and take pictures.

Travel hero: David Prior. The editor, writer, and all around creative has contributed to Tiny Atlas Quarterly and is now on the masthead at Conde Nast Traveler. He's pursued a life of work that is as ridiculously well-travelled and all over the place as he is, but always with a focus on the things he loves, with a strong emphasis on food.

Weirdest thing seen on travels: Sad version? Dancing chained bear at the flea market in Moscow.

My favorite hotel is Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountainbecause I stayed there for work recently and had a really nice moment. After working really hard for a few days (sunrise to bedtime) I had the most incredible swim in the infinity pool overlooking a bunch of saguaro cactuses early in the morning with my crew. Warm pool, cool air, breakfast in towels. It was great.

I dream about my meal at chef Efisio Faris' mom's house in Oresei, Sardinia, for the feast of the seven fishes. It was insane and so special to be with three generations of his family and eat all that amazing local food. Also: the sweet lobsters in Anguilla at CuisinArt Resort and Spa.

Best hotel amenity: Sarongs in-room at a hotel in Honolulu (which now has a different management company).

Favorite childhood travel memory: I grew up going to Grand Cayman with my parents so they could dive. I was always a little fish. I would wake up before my family and go outside to the pool beside Seven Mile Beach and just swim back and forth underwater until everyone woke up and I could go in the ocean.

Everywhere I go, I check out the vintage shops, flea markets, farmers' markets, and bookstores. My son recently became obsessed with records, so now we look for them everywhere. We found an awesome bookstore on the south shore of Kauai in a great little artist town called Hanapepe. The shop is named Talk Story and they carry a big selection of vintage Hawaiiana vinyl, as well as a larger section of vintage records. They had a record player and let my son listen to tons of records before we bought a few.

When I arrive in a new place, I learn the lay of the land by driving around and wandering on foot.

I always bring home jewelry and usually a few shells if I'm at the beach (I like the beach). I'm the biggest sucker for jewelry. Also, I get a fair amount of my clothes when I travel. Sometimes I bring home crazy stuff. I brought home vines from Sardinia (planted with table grapes in my backyard), an amazing vintage soviet poster triptych (in my living room in three crazy awesome frames) from Moscow, chairs (that I brought on the airplane in boxes) from Buenos Aires. Now that I'm older it's mostly pictures. More and more, I can be satisfied with just having images.

If I never return to Vegas, it'll be too soon because there are way too many people. Vegas is actually interesting and entertaining but only for 12-24 hours. Then I want to get the hell out of there.

I travel for the obsession. It's just in my blood. I like to be home (in my house, in my neighborhood). But if I'm home for more than three or four weeks it's time to go.

Emily Nathan is the founder and editor in chief of Tiny Atlas Quarterly. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram at @tinyatlasquarterly and @ernathan. She travels for the shells.

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