Favorite destinations: Hoi An, Puglia, Popham Beach, and favorite repeat city, Paris.
Dying to visit: New Mexico, Uruguay, Iceland.
Bizarre travel rituals: Obsessive airplane knitting, note-taking, and historic house museum-touring. I also look forward to breakfast with strangers at small inns and B&Bs.
In-flight relaxation regime: Sans children: knitting, reading, sleeping. Otherwise there's no such thing as in-flight relaxation when you have toddlers. Precious tiny bottles of wine with dinner?
Always in carry-on: A tin of Rosebud salve, a book of poetry, Postalco notepad, and knitting needles.
Concierge or DIY? DIY, because most of the places I stay don't have a concierge.
See it all or take it easy? See it all in a city, take it easy in the country. I prefer the latter.
Drive or be driven? Be driven, but only because fellow travelers won't ride in a car with me behind the wheel.
Travel hero: My five-year-old son Cass. We got lost on a six-hour hike in the jungle and he was a rockstar. No complaining. Never begged to be carried. Didn't ask when we'd get there. Kids will surprise you when you need it most.
Weirdest thing seen on travels: A ghost.
Best hotel amenity: Longman & Eagle in Chicago gives guests two complimentary wooden coins for a whiskey at the bar downstairs.
I dream about the white rose (banh bao vac) in Hoi An. Some kind of genius origami shrimp dumpling folded to look like a rose. It's improbably delicious. And a greasy cone of pomme frites from the most ridiculous-looking stand on the Grand Place in Brussels.
Everywhere I go, I check out the flea markets and farmer's markets. I have an unfortunate weakness for oversized antique furniture that I can't live without or get home.
When I arrive in a new place, I learn the lay of the land with a cheap, old-school, fold-up map from a tobacco shop or gas station.
I always bring home ceramics and food products — vanilla from Mexico, confitures from Paris, olive oil from Italy, along with the occasional illegal hunk of cured meat double-wrapped in my suitcase (and animal skull if we're being totally honest).
If I never return to a cruise ship, it'll be too soon because it's like being held hostage on a giant floating strip mall.
I travel for the all-day walking, naps on trains, and little old ladies blowing kisses out second-story windows to the toddler strapped to my back.