Name: Kym Allison Backer
Occupation: Senior Editor, Upscale magazine
Hometown: Georgetown, Guyana
Residence: Atlanta, Georgia
Short Bio: Born in Guyana, bred in the US, citizen of the world. I’ve been traveling nonstop since I was a month old, and I just can’t seem to stop. Somehow, I’ve parlayed my love for travel into a significant part of my journo career—still not quite sure how I’ve pulled that off.
How often do you fly: Every few weeks, usually.
How many countries have you been to: 31 and counting…
How many continents have you been to: 6. Antartica has been a holdout.
Favorite American city: New Yawwwk City!
Favorite international city: Paris
Least favorite country: Any land where the citizens are oppressed.
Favorite World Heritage Site: Great Barrier Reef is breathtaking.
Favorite airline: Delta (hometown shoutout; they’re hubbed in Atl!)
Favorite aircraft type: A380
Aisle or window: Window. There will be slumping.
Favorite airport lounge: Any British Airways lounge: There are always massages and unlimited treats.
Favorite U.S. airport: ATL Hartsfield-Jackson. Know it like the back of my hand, and it has a few great restaurants, like One Flew South.
Favorite international airport: Changi Airport, Singapore. There’s a butterfly garden and a gigantic indoor slide.
Favorite hotel: Shangri-La Paris
Favorite island: Jamaica. I know it’s been sooo done, but Negril’s gorgeous beach, reggae, jerk chicken and escoveitch fish!
Favorite fancy restaurant: I’ll take an innovative taste from a food truck or unexpected flavor from street food over fancy-schmancy.
Favorite hole in the wall: Tassa Roti Shop, Atlanta. Best Indo/Afro-based Trinidadian food ever.
Favorite fruit: Guineps (fleshy fruit found in the Caribbean) or tangerines.
Favorite food: Anything curried.
Least favorite food: Anything gelatinous that isn’t jello.
Drink of choice (In the air and on the ground): Rum and Coke. Double, with slice of lime.
Favorite travel movie(s): Lost in Translation, Monsoon Wedding. Ok, MW isn’t really a travel movie, but it gives a glimpse into a rich, colorful culture that I want to visit. Immediately.
Favorite travel show(s): Anything hosted by Anthony Bourdain keeps me entertained.
Favorite travel book(s): Again, not traditional, but No. Ladies Detective Agency series. Author Alexander McCall Smith brings Botswana to life with vivid descriptions of the people, the culture and the land. Every time I read one, I want to book a flight and find the (fictional) characters.
Right now I am reading: Furious Love, the engrossing story of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton’s crazy relationship. Engrossing to me, obviously.
Five things you bring on a plane: Pashmina, Fanny Wang 3000 headphones, Kindle, iPod and thick socks.
What do you always seem to forget: Thick socks. Dammit!
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport duty free store? Local liquor…rum would be nice.
Favorite travel iPhone app(s): Gate Guru lets me find whatever I need—stat. Tripit maps my entire trip for me and helps me keep track of all the steps.
Most embarrassing/worst travel moment: That one time that I settled down for a 5-hr flight, took cold meds w/ a rum and coke to get rid of a lingering sore throat, went into comatose mode and then it was announced that due to mechanical difficulties, flight was canceled. Slight coordination issues during disembarkation resulted.
What’s your dream destination: Bora Bora or Kenya’s Maasai Mara
Favorite travel website(s) – besides JohnnyJet.com, of course!: Afar.com is always fun!
Best travel tip: Be open! Don’t let uncontrollable glitches throw you. Savor every moment—you’ll never have this precise experience again.