Fathom Questionnaire

Meet Anne Le Gal, Co-Founder of Indie Guides

by Anne Le Gal

Anne in Malta.

Hometown: Paris.

Occupation: Journalist, musician, and co-founder of Indie Guides.

Favorite destinations: Freezy ones like Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Canada in wintertime.

Dying to visit: Asian cities like Bangkok and Phnom Penh to discover the alternative cultural scene. And also the Lofoten Islands. I've actually already spent hours visiting them on Google Street View, but it only made my desire to visit them worse!

Bizarre travel rituals: L'apéro (having an aperitif before having dinner) is a very strong tradition in France. I love road trips with friends, and, no matter where we're heading, we ALWAYS have to stop to have a drink to celebrate being together and enjoying the view. Usually we just have a drink roadside, not even trying to escape the hustle and bustle of the road, and the drivers are always very surprised to see us having a drink in such an unusual place.

In-flight relaxation regime: A glass of cheap in-flight wine, headphones with a playlist especially curated for the trip, and a big blanket to try to sleep most of the trip and beat jet lag before arriving.

Always in carry-on: My laptop. I love working in transportation.

Concierge or DIY? Definitely DIY! Preparing a trip is half the pleasure of the trip!

See it all or take it easy? See it all, but I'm trying to cure myself because it's very painful for the people traveling with me.

Drive or be driven? Drive!

Travel hero: Antoine de Maximy. He has a famous TV show in France called J'irai dormir chez vous (I'll come and sleep at your place). He travels alone and asks people if he can sleep at their place. Sometimes, it's very touching; other times, scary. And he is definitely ready to try everything: He tried illegal drugs at Burning Man (quite a bad experience for him if you consider the video he shot there!).

Weirdest thing seen on travels: It's a bit gross, but I would say the toilets at the rock 'n' roll/metal live place Maxim Rock in La Havana in Cuba. The walls between the toilets were only one meter high, so it's a very social place!

My favorite hotel is the home of a friend (or a friend of a friend) because the best way to discover a city or a country is to do it with a local.

I dream about my meal at Fjorubordid, a restaurant 45 minutes south of Reykjavik where I ate an incredible grilled in garlic butter "lobster." (They call it lobster but it's actually large crayfish.)

Best hotel amenity: A private hot pot with a view on the mountains. Did I mention I love freezy destinations?

Favorite childhood travel memory: My parents separated when I was a kid and my dad was always trying to be the fun dad. One day, he took me and my brother out of school. We were supposed to spend some holidays with him. He hadn't really thought about it and just asked us, "Where do you want to go?" When you are a kid, you don't have crazy dreams, so I just answered "To the French Riviera." And so did we! The next day, we were on a train to the French Riviera.

Everywhere I go, I check out the record stores! I'm a vinyl maniac, plus it's a good place to start to learn more about the alternative culture of a city. Record sellers are always the best guides to the musical scene (when they aren't musicians themselves).

When I arrive in a new place, I learn the lay of the land by checking the record stores (see above).

I always bring home the weirdest food I can find in supermarkets. And I just love kitschy "I love NY," "I love Montreal" tourist mugs.

If I never return to __________, it'll be too soon because ___________. Well, it feels like I still have a lot of places to discover because I haven't discovered a place I don't want to go back yet!

I travel for the excitement of discovering new places and new people.


Website: www.indie-guides.com
Twitter: @indie_guides or @anne_diplo
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