Demet Güzey
Demet Güzey

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: Demet Güzey

Occupation: Food writer, lecturer and culinary event organizer

Hometown: Istanbul, Turkey

Residence: Verona, Italy

College: University of Massachusetts, University of Tennessee, and Istanbul Technical University

College major: Food Science

Website: demetguzey.com

Twitter: @demetguzey

Instagram: demetguzey

Short bio: I am a writer and lecturer in food and culture with a big passion for traveling and mountaineering. I authored the book “Food on Foot: A History of Eating on Trails and in the Wild” published in the U.S. by Rowman & Littlefield. I teach and organize culinary workshops in Verona, Italy. Before moving here, I have lived in the U.S., the Netherlands, and France. I love exploring a country through its food.

How often do you fly? Not often enough! Actually I fly somewhere at least once a month.

How many countries have you been to? 40

How many continents have you been to? 5

Earliest travel memory: Taking a seven-hour-long ferry to the Marmara Island from Istanbul for our summer holiday with my parents at the age of seven. I had a multiplication chart in my hand during this whole trip. Memorizing it was my summer homework.

Favorite American city: Monterey, CA.

Favorite international city: Paris.

Least favorite country: Morocco.

I have no desire to go to: Nowhere! I would go anywhere at least once.

Friendliest people in the world: Nepalese, Thai and Japanese.

Country with the meanest immigration officers: None were too mean. But I remember my first ever flight, which was to Berlin. The immigration officers took away the cheese I was carrying in my luggage and told me that they would destroy it. That’s when I learned the word vernichten in German.

Favorite World Heritage Site: Ancient Roman city of Ephesus.

Favorite airline: I don’t have an all-around favorite airline, but I like Turkish Airlines for their good food onboard. Air Dolomiti serves prosecco to economy class. KLM has a nice magazine.

Favorite aircraft type: The ones with screens behind each seat.

Aisle or window: Window. There is always a chance to see some breathtaking views, especially if I could check the flight on seatguru.com to find out where the best view seats are.

Favorite international airport: Amsterdam airport.

Favorite hotel: Shangri La in Manila, in the Philippines.

Favorite cruise line: I refuse to go on a cruise.

Favorite travel credit card: AMEX.

Favorite island: Burgazada, one of the Prince Islands in Istanbul.

Favorite beach: Beaches on Ko Phi Phi Island in Thailand.

Favorite National Park: Yosemite National Park.

Favorite fancy restaurant: Fäviken Magasinet, in Sweden, a very difficult-to-reach restaurant where foraged food and game is served in a theatrical setting. It’s well worth the cost and time it takes to get there.

Favorite hole-in-the-wall: Dudh Sagar, a South Indian restaurant in Kathmandu, where you will not find any other tourist.

Favorite bar: NuTeras in Istanbul with the most amazing views.

Favorite fruit: Watermelon.

Favorite food: My mom’s meatballs.

Least favorite food: My mom’s okra.

Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): A fine brut Champagne.

Favorite travel movie(s): Into the Wild, Touching the Void, Encounters at the End of the World, North, Everest (1998), Into Thin Air, Lost in Translation, Walkabout, Lawrence of Arabia.

Favorite travel show(s): Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.

Favorite travel book(s): Lonely Planet’s guidebooks and culinary travel books.

Right now I am reading: The Futurist Cookbook” by Filippo Marinetti and “Anything that Moves” by Dana Goodyear.

Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: Huffington Post, Condé Nast Traveler, and Roads & Kingdoms for culinary travel stories.

5 things you bring on a plane: A book, headphones, a notebook, a pencil, and a shawl.

What do you always seem to forget? Earplugs. Maybe I don’t really need them so much in the end.

What do you like least about travel? The dry air in airplanes. They can easily fix it with humidifiers on board. Hopefully one airline will start with it and the others will feel the competition and follow.

Favorite travel app(s): Skyscanner and Google maps.

Most embarrassing travel moment: When I arrived at the Amsterdam airport with an expired passport with holes punched in it. My friend and I had to rebook our flight to the Canary Islands.

I’m embarrassed I haven’t been to: Any museums in New York.

Worst travel moment: Missing a connecting flight in the US because of the immigration clearance, which took so long.

What’s your dream destination? Mongolia.

Best travel tip: Pack only a few favorite clothing and multipurpose shoes. Then you will have space to buy some local food to bring back home.

Johnny Jet
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