Travel Style: Carlos Peñalba

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.

Carlos Peñalba

Carlos Peñalba

Name: Carlos Peñalba

Occupation: Author of “The Year I Became a Nomad” and freelance photographer

Hometown: San Sebastian (Spain)

Residence: La Coruña (Spain)

College: Basque Country University

College major: Business

Website: carlospenalba.com 

Twitter: @cpenalbaphoto

Facebook: Carlos Peñalba

Instagram: carlospenalba

Google+: Carlos Peñalba Photography

Short bio: Carlos Peñalba is a Spain-based writer and photographer. He lived in London and New York for 16 years before quitting his job at a financial software firm to travel through Asia for 18 months. He’s just published a travel memoir about his adventure: “The Year I Became a Nomad.”

How often do you fly? Not so often now that I have a six-month baby boy.

How many countries have you been to? 35

How many continents have you been to? 5

Earliest travel memory: Going by car with all the family to my dad’s village.

Favorite American city: New York City.

Favorite international city: This one is tough…Paris & Tokyo.

Least favorite country: All countries have something interesting (at least the ones I’ve been to).

I have no desire to go to: Places in conflict.

Friendliest people in the world: I have great memories of Burmese people.

Country with the meanest immigration officers: India, I had so many problems with their visa application.

Favorite World Heritage Site: In the Americas, Machu Picchu; in Europe, Siena; in Asia, Kyoto and Ellora Caves (India).

Favorite airline: Virgin Atlantic.

Aisle or window: Window for both the views and sleeping.

Favorite airport lounge: Virgin.

Favorite international airport: Hong Kong.

Favorite hotel: Ryokan Sawanoya in Tokyo.

Favorite island: Formentera in Spain.

Favorite beach: Ngwesaung in Myanmar.

Favorite fancy restaurant: Arzak in San Sebastian (Spain).

Favorite hole-in-the-wall: McSorley’s Old Ale House in NYC.

Favorite bar: The Boom Boom Bar in NYC.

Favorite fruit: Mango.

Favorite food: Asian.

Least favorite food: I’ll eat almost anything but organ meats and insects.

Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): Wine.

Favorite travel movie(s): The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.

Favorite travel book(s): “Vagabonding” by Rolf Potts, and “Amongst Insurgents: Walking through Burma” by Shelby Tucker.

Right now I am reading: A Death in Summer” by Benjamin Black.

Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: The Expert Vagabond, Legal Nomads and Don’t Forget to Move.

Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! Travel Independent.info.

5 things you bring on a plane: Phone, camera gear, laptop, book, and notebook.

What do you always seem to forget? I always list in advance all I need to take with me.

What do you like least about travel? Flight delays and missed connections.

What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? Wine.

Favorite travel app(s): Google Maps.

Most embarrassing travel moment: During Ramadan in Indonesia, despite knowing that it’s impolite to eat outdoors during the day, I walked around eating an apple. It took me a while to understand why the locals looked at me with disapproving faces.

I’m embarrassed I haven’t been to: Rome, for instance, but I could name a few other places like Prague, San Francisco, Granada…

Worst travel moment: Spending two weeks in a hospital in Kathmandu.

What’s your dream destination? Too many to mention (Namibia, Mongolia, Borneo…).

Best travel tip: Slow down & smile.

Johnny Jet

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About the Author

Johnny Jet

I used to be afraid to fly and at times even leave the house! I conquered my fear (long story) and now I travel to 20+ countries a year sharing my firsthand knowledge, tips and deals with friends, family and readers. Please sign up to our free newsletters and tell your friends!

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