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: Barbara Woolsey
Occupation: TV Presenter and Journalist
Hometown: Regina, SK, Canada
Residence: Berlin, Germany
College: University of Regina
College major: Journalism with a minor in political science
Facebook: Barbara Woolsey
Google+: Barbara Woolsey
Short bio: Barbara Woolsey is a TV presenter, journalist and writer. She may be only 25-years-old, but has worked as a journalist across three countries on three different continents—in her home country of Canada, and Bangkok, Thailand and Berlin, Germany where she now splits her time. She’s a former reporter for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and is well known in Bangkok as a television presenter for In Channel and Coconuts TV. She’s also the woman behind Night Prowl, a popular investigative column about nightlife in the Thai capital.
How often do you fly? At least once or twice a month.
How many countries have you been to? 22
How many continents have you been to? 4 (and I’ve lived on three of them!)
Earliest travel memory: Hanging out in the amusement park at the West Edmonton Mall with my parents, aunt and uncle.
Favorite American city: Las Vegas. It’s just so showy and over-the-top, it’s impossible not to have a hilarious time there.
Favorite international city: Berlin, in the summertime—when the sun is shining, there is seriously no better place in the world.
Friendliest people in the world: I was recently in Prague, Czech Republic and it was such a pleasure how helpful and kind the locals were. Aside from that, Asian countries like Laos and Cambodia always stand out in my mind as the places where people have the biggest hearts and brightest smiles.
Country with the meanest immigration officers: Definitely America!
Favorite World Heritage Site: Angkor Wat.
Aisle or window: The window seat is absolutely crucial to catching a few Zz’s for me.
Favorite international airport: I was just in Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport and thought it was pretty cool…easy to navigate and just so much to offer—tons of neat little shops, a casino, even a library. They also have these stationary bicycles where when you pedal, it can charges your electronics!
Favorite hotel: The W Samui, only because the sunset view from Woo Bar is so to die for.
Favorite island: Koh Phangan, Thailand because it’s just the right balance of mellow and action for me. There are good restaurants and cool jungle parties, but it’s also possible to escape from reality and focus on health living by doing a detox, yoga, etc. So it really has the best of both worlds in my opinion, depending on what you’re looking for.
Favorite beach: A little secluded beach nearby Hua Hin, Thailand called Sa Noi Beach. It’s around a 15-minute motorbike ride from town, with lots of beautiful pathways and blossoming flowers on the way. The beach always feels empty and private, far-off from the tourist traffic. There’s a nice little restaurant that serves home-cooked Thai food, with a couple resident cats that always seem to work their way onto my lap!
Favorite fancy restaurant: There are many, but one I like to recommend (because it’s not so well known) is YTSB or Yellow Tail Sushi Bar in the Vie Hotel in Bangkok. The Japanese décor is really cool, you even pick your own chopstick design, and the chef is a sushi master from Japan who really knows his stuff. Impeccable taste and presentation!
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: In comparison, my favourite sushi place in Berlin is a bit of a dive. Musashi only has about 10 stools, packed tightly into a little room, but the sushi is just so amazing—everything is fresh, fast and delicious. The staff is also really lovely, and always find the time to joke around and giggle with the customers.
Favorite bar: Bar 23 in Bangkok is low-key, laid-back and I love the music that the owner Go spins night to night—nothing gets me in the mood for a Sangsom and Coke like a little Blind Melon, Radiohead and The Specials!
Favorite fruit: Mango.
Favorite food: Cheesecake. Lately, I’m thinking a lot about a poppy seed-quark cheesecake I gobbled up in Munich.
Least favorite food: Raisins.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): Caesar (only the Canadians out there will know this one!).
Favorite travel movie(s): The Bucket List, The Darjeeling Limited, Seven Years in Tibet.
Favorite travel show(s): Planet Earth, Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, anything from VICE.
Favorite travel book(s): “Shantaram,” “Nine Lives.”
Right now I am reading: “Buddha” by Karen Armstrong.
5 things you bring on a plane: Sleeping mask, proper headphones, a big sweater, fuzzy socks and a good book.
What do you always seem to forget? I always forget something, but it’s always something different.
What do you like least about travel? Sitting in airports, stress of catching flights.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? A bottle of Bailey’s.
Favorite travel app(s): Foursquare.
Most embarrassing travel moment: Missing a flight to Athens…twice.
Worst travel moment: Losing my passport on an airplane in London, right before I was supposed to fly to Canada the next week…so much paperwork ensued!
What’s your dream destination? Getting really excited about going to Morocco and motorbiking through the desert this year…
Best travel tip: Searching for flights using Incognito mode in Google Chrome (that way, airline websites don’t save your data and jack up the prices).
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