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: Bryony Holland
Occupation: Freelance travel writer, website builder and infographic creator
Hometown: Eastbourne, East Sussex, UK
Residence: Wherever I lay my backpack. Currently in Granada, Spain.
Short bio: Bryony is a digital nomad with a panic disorder, travelling the globe in search of her happy place. Until her mid-twenties, Bryony was crippled with severe anxiety and often housebound for several months at a time. Finally, embracing a “kill or cure” mentality, she set off on a solo backpacking trip to Southeast Asia back in 2005. This changed everything. She has now been working in the travel industry for over eight years and, after running an adventure tour operator until 2013, she quite her job to become fully nomadic. Now, she freelances and writes candidly about her mental health on the go.
How often do you fly? Around once a month at the moment.
How many countries have you been to? 30+
How many continents have you been to? 6
Favorite American city: Seattle and Chicago
Favorite international city: Brighton, UK
Least favorite country: Hmm. I think it would have to be Australia. It’s very beautiful but I came up against some very fixed mindsets. Intolerance is the opposite of what I’m all about.
Favorite World Heritage Site: Hampi, India.
Favorite airline: Tough one. I would have said Emirates, but they recently refused to employ a stewardess based on a mental health blip in her GP records. To be honest, I would go for Air Asia. Cheap, cheerful and always gets the job done.
Favorite aircraft: Whichever aircraft gets me from A to B in one small-person-sized piece.
Aisle or window: Aisle.
Favorite US airport: Philadelphia.
Favorite international airport: Schiphol, Amsterdam, based solely on the fact you can you sit INSIDE a giant teacup with a cup of tea. Brilliant.
Favorite hotel: Sossusvlei Desert Camp, Namibia. Epic doesn’t even begin to cover it.
Favorite cruise line: I’ve only been on two cruises—one with Celebrity and one with Norwegian Cruise Lines. The Celebrity trip was a million times better.
Favorite island: I’ve just spent a month living in Bali, and—for me—it really is paradise.
Favorite fancy restaurant: I don’t go upmarket often, but I remember an incredible Indonesian meal at Indrapura on the Rembrandtplein in Amsterdam.
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: Restaurant Kapitan, Penang, Malaysia.
Favorite fruit: Watermelon and crispy apples straight from the fridge.
Favorite food: Raisins. Buttery toast. Even better, toasted buttery teacakes with raisins. Mmm.
Least favorite food: Refried beans. Oh, and pate—I just can’t get my head around the concept of spreadable meat.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): Gin and tonic. Well, I am British…
Favorite travel movie: Up!
Favorite travel shows: I don’t catch up with TV shows all that often, but I loved Stephen Fry’s Out There, a documentary about attitudes to homosexuality around the globe. I also can’t help but love Karl Pilkington’s oh-so English grumpiness in An Idiot Abroad.
Favorite travel book: “Shantaram” by Gregory David Roberts. It whisked me through many an overnight train journey in India and I remember, at times, sobbing into the sand in Goa. Such strong memories attached to that book!
Right now I am reading: “Sea of Poppies,” by Amitav Ghosh. And loving it.
What do you always seem to forget? Crikey. Pretty much everything. I recently forget my anxiety medication—not ideal. I always forget my toothbrush and usually my hairbrush. I seem to have a brush-shaped blind spot.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? Lego. Always lego. Or a giant Toblerone.
Favorite travel iPhone app: I’m pretty obsessive about Instagram, so that would have to take the top spot. I love being able to look back over my travels and follow my footsteps in photos.
Most embarrassing/worst travel moment: So many. I once had to beat a man with my flip-flops on an Indian train, as he was attempting to force himself on me. I lost my passport on a boat and spent a whole day trying to get an emergency replacement in Costa Rica. I fell off a bar (that I was dancing on) in Florence and dented the speaker system with my head. Trouble always seems to be just a tiny step away…
What’s your dream destination? Bhutan.
Best travel tip: Don’t travel with your guard up—it places a huge barrier between you and the local people. Definitely use your common sense to stay safe, but try not to be a suspicious traveller. If you open up to the world, the world will open right back up to you.
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