Fathom Questionnaire

Dannielle Kyrillos: In-Flight Regimes and Travel Rituals

by Dannielle Kyrillos

Hometown: New York, NY via Harrisburg, PA and Chapel Hill, NC.

Occupation: Food and style editor; TV commentator; dessert judge.

Favorite destinations: Aspen, Beirut, Bali, Paris, St. Croix.

Bizarre travel rituals: Airplanes and trains are the only places I allow myself to let the delicious idiocy of tabloid magazines wash over me, so I get as many as I can carry and devour them. I am also the one obsessively holding my nose and blowing, to try to un-pop my ears.

In-flight relaxation regime: Remove contacts, affix glasses and fuzzy socks, sip a white wine, watch not-great movie starring the likes of Tara Reid, laugh and cry like it's Jean-Luc Godard, pass out drooling, arrive refreshed.

Always in carry-on: Bose noise-cancelling headphones, a Ziploc of almonds, hand sanitizer, moisturizer, an Evian spritzer, toothbrush and toothpaste, and tweezers (airplane bathroom lighting shows eyebrows that don't even know they need to be plucked yet).

Concierge or DIY? I love making friends with the concierge so he or she takes extra-special-super-duper care of us and gives us real insider stuff, but I also love exploring and trying to find friends' recommendations that involve vague directions like, "look for the monkey who plays guitar.  Just to the right is the best Mongolian barbecue in all of Moscow."

See it all or take it easy? If by "see it all," you mean eat and drink my way through the place, yes, that.  I do sometimes get nervous I may never get to return to some place I've fallen in love with and try to cram as much in as possible, but I try to allow time for doing nothing but being somewhere new, too.

Drive or be driven? Usually be driven, after such hits as "honeymoon near-divorce in an Australian stick-shift" and "American jeep on left side of road in St. Croix blinding."

Travel hero: The publisher of Travel + Leisure magazine. He's hot!

Weirdest thing seen on travels: A friend's wife is a telenovela star in Mexico City and we got to join her when she judged a singing contest on a Saturday-afternoon variety show. It was a Shakira-look-alike contest involving only fat ladies and cages, hunchbacks with cream pies, and a confetti cannon.

Best hotel amenity: Oxygen at The Little Nell in Aspen; the theft-worthy, entirely organic shampoo, conditioner, and lotion at the Como Shambhala Begawan Giri in Bali; the bandanas at The Ranch at Rock Creek in Montana.

Dying to visit: Kenya and South Africa.

I always bring home: Crafty presents for my kid-friends, local candy, Bulgari lotion if the hotel has it.

Everywhere I go, I check out the cemeteries.

I dream about my meal at Dani Garcia's restaurant, Calima, in Marbella.

When I arrive in a new place, I learn the lay of the land by walking until I get lost.

If I never return to the Pennsylvania Turnpike, it'll be too soon because it never ends and it's impossible not to get pulled over.

I travel for the outdoor showers.