Want to know how to travel in style, just like the pros? We check in with frequent fliers to find out how often they fly, their favorite destinations and what they never leave home without.
Name: Akshay Nanavati
Occupation: Explorer, speaker, ultramarathoner and lifestyle design coach
Hometown: Mumbai, India
Residence: Basking Ridge, New Jersey
College: Syracuse University
College major: Masters in Journalism
Short bio: After recovering from a life of drugs that killed two of my friends in high school, I enlisted in the United States Marine Corps despite two doctors telling me that boot camp would kill me because of a blood condition I have called Thallasemia. But I survived and since then I have served 7 months in Iraq, broken 4 bones in 3 months from skydiving and rock climbing, almost been killed from a falling boulder while glacier caving in the Himalayas, been mountaineering all over the world, cave diving, ice diving, skydiving, rock climbing with and without the safety of a rope, and in 2012 I quit a corporate job to spend one month dragging a 190-pound sled 350 miles across the second-largest icecap in the world in temperatures as low as -40 degrees. I returned from the icecap after spending 15,000 dollars and building up my company Human Potential Development LLC from the ground up. Using neuroscience and psychology I now help people get out of their own way mentally to live a limitless lifestyle.
Additionally, three years after coming home from Iraq, the VA diagnosed me with PTSD. I chose not to abide by that label. So I am now on a journey to run from border to border across every country in the world in order to promote global unity between our human family. The purpose of this mission is to connect the people on this planet with each other and consequently put an end to conflict by creating a space for peace and community in this world.
How often do you fly? 2-3 times a month.
How many countries have you been to? 52
How many continents have you been to? 6
Earliest travel memory: Bungee Jumping in New Zealand.
Favorite American city: Austin, Texas.
Favorite international city: Christchurch, New Zealand.
Least favorite country: Don’t have one. Not to be cliche, but every country has had something of beauty to offer.
Favorite airline: Emirates.
Aisle or window: Window.
Favorite travel credit card: Chase Sapphire Preferred.
Favorite island: New Zealand.
Favorite beach: Borocay, Philippines.
Favorite fancy restaurant: Bukhara restaurant in Delhi.
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: Bademiya in Mumbai.
Favorite bar: The Rum Doodle in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Favorite fruit: Banana.
Favorite food: Anything spicy. I especially love asian noodle soups.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): Bloody Mary.
Favorite travel movie(s): Running the Sahara.
Favorite travel show(s): Not necessarily a travel show in the traditional sense, but one that I love is Human Planet.
Favorite travel book(s): “This Game of Ghosts” by Joe Simpson.
Right now I am reading: “Dead Men Walking” by Torry Larsen and Rune Gjeldnes.
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: Extra Pack of Peanuts, Outside magazine, ChrisGuillebeau.com.
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! National Geographic.
5 things you bring on a plane: iPod, laptop, headphones, e-reader of some kind, a notebook and pen.
What do you always seem to forget? Travel locks.
What do you like least about travel? The process itself. The hours you spend in airports and flights. I love seeing the world, but the process to do so gets tedious and tiring.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? Fridge magnet from the place she is visiting.
Favorite travel app(s): Kayak and Priority Pass. Lounge access makes travel so much more pleasant.
Most embarrassing travel moment: Hitting on a girl in Israel and because I didn’t have my own cell phone number, I accidentally told her to let me give her my mom’s number. She in turn asked me “Can I get your grandma’s as well?” That didn’t go too well to say the least :)
Worst travel moment: Severe dysentery after a mountaineering trip in India. I accidentally ate something I shouldn’t have on a street corner and was out of commission for three days. It was miserable.
What’s your dream destination? Patagonia.
Favorite travel charity: Not sure if this counts as a travel charity, but it is about uniting and healing the world: Create Global Healing.
Best travel tip: Embrace the unknown and go local as much as possible. Traveling can lead to growth and amazing life experiences if you are willing to make yourself uncomfortable, at least somewhat so. Welcome that discomfort and don’t try and replicate every comfort you have at home when you travel, otherwise what’s the point of leaving your home? And if you ever hire guides, go local, you get to experience much more of the culture than if you hire someone from your own country.
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