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Fathom Questionnaire: Julia Cosgrove

by Julia Cosgrove

Julia in Iceland.

Hometown: Raised in Berkeley, CA, and New York, NY. Live in Oakland, CA.

Occupation: Editor-in-chief, AFAR.

Favorite destinations: Tulum, Mexico; Sea Ranch, California; Paris; Barcelona.

Dying to visit: Buenos Aires, Argentina; everywhere in India.

Bizarre travel rituals: I have this weird tapping ritual I do every time an airplane takes off and lands. It's my version of clutching rosary beads.

In-flight relaxation regime: Pilates breathing combined with old Modest Mouse and Pavement songs on my BOSE headphones.

Always in carry-on: Magazines! And lots of them.

Concierge or DIY? DIY, with recommendations from other experiential travelers on AFAR.com.

See it all or take it easy? Do what I can to get a true sense of a place, without overwhelming myself ticking things off a list.

Drive or be driven? Drive. I guess I'm a bit of a control freak.

Travel hero: My mom. When she was in her early twenties, she was a folk singer who traveled all over North Africa and Europe. Her stories are amazing. She is outgoing and relatively fearless, and I am so grateful for the lessons she taught me about experiencing the world.

Weirdest thing seen on travels: A car wash by day, strip club by night in Negril, Jamaica.

Best hotel amenity: When I was in Vancouver to give the keynote at the Travel Classics Conference, the pastry chef at the Fairmont Pacific Rim in Vancouver prepared a dessert plate that came with an edible, picture-perfect mini version of AFAR magazine.

I dream about my meal at La Rotisserie d'en Face on rue Christine in Paris. I was probably about 12, and my mom and I had roast chicken with the most perfectly cut — and stacked — French fries. It has stuck with me ever since. Also, the molten chocolate cake at Jojo in New York in the late '90s is another really vivid memory.

Everywhere I go, I check out the street art.

When I arrive in a new place, I learn the lay of the land by studying the hotel map.

I always bring home textiles and ceramics.

If I never return to Mazatlan, it'll be too soon because just because.

I travel for the for the feeling that comes from challenging myself. And for the sheer fun.

Julia is a Berkeley native and editor-in-chief of AFAR magazine. Follow her on Twitter. She travels for the feeling that comes from challenging herself. And for the sheer fun.

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