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: Paul Marshman
Occupation: Travel writer, retired journalist
Hometown: Toronto, Canada
Residence: Toronto, Canada
College: McMaster University
College major: Anthropology, which is a good background for travelling the earth
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Short bio: Paul Marshman spent 30 years as a writer and editor on Canadian newspapers, while travelling to the ends of the Earth in his spare time. Now retired, he continues to travel while passing on his experiences to other mature travellers (and younger ones too) through his website, The Travelling Boomer.
How often do you fly? 8-10 times a year, or whenever I get the chance to travel.
How many countries have you been to? 55
How many continents have you been to? 6: Africa is still on my bucket list – have to see the migration on the Serengeti
Earliest travel memory: Staying home with my grandparents when my family went to Rochester, NY, because I was afraid they couldn’t find their way home.
Favorite American city: New Orleans—it’s like another country, with its own culture, music and food.
Favorite international city: Paris, the city built by artists. I’m also partial to Copenhagen, Vienna and Budapest.
Least favorite country: Jamaica—they need to lose that aggressive tourist hustle.
I have no desire to go to: Iraq, for obvious reasons.
Friendliest people in the world: Bali, beautiful people with a beautiful culture. New Zealand comes a close second—I have to go back.
Country with the meanest immigration officers: Australia—one asked me if I had anything concealed on my body, then drove his finger into my chest.
Favorite World Heritage site: Machu Picchu, Peru—one of the few iconic places that truly lives up to its billing.
Favorite airline: Air New Zealand, Malaysia Air—though both were long ago.
Favorite aircraft type: Ones with leg room.
Aisle or window: Aisle—don’t like that “trapped in” feeling.
Favorite airport lounge: Air Canada, since it’s the only one I’ve been privileged to visit in recent memory (and not that recent).
Favorite U.S. airport: I avoid them at all costs.
Favorite international airport: Schiphol—it’s like a demonstration of what today’s airports should be like.
Favorite hotel: The Eloisa, Puerto Vallarta, a friendly, Mexican-style hotel near Los Muertos Beach in the old hotel district.
Favorite cruise line: Viking River Cruises—such a pleasure to see Europe from the comfort of those ships. For an ocean cruise line, I like Norwegian’s “freestyle” cruising.
Favorite island: Borneo. Sarawak is the second home of my heart, with its wild places and native cultures.
Favorite beach: Moorea, Tahiti, even though they stole my rented bicycle.
Favorite fancy restaurant: Café Landtmann, Vienna, where Freud used to stop for coffee.
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: Nacho Daddy’s, Puerto Vallarta—Mexican food with a side of R&B music.
Favorite bar: Les Deux Magots, Paris, where the city’s writers and intelligentsia used to drink in the shadow of the venerable Church of Saint-Germain-des-Près.
Favorite fruit: Mango.
Favorite food: Ribs, Cuban roast pork with rice and beans—I could eat that every night.
Least favorite food: Durians—one whiff and you’ll know why.
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): Good red wine—or white if I feel like it.
Favorite travel movie(s): Around the World in 80 Days—both the original David Niven movie and the Michael Palin TV series. Also Midnight in Paris, by Woody Allen.
Favorite travel show(s): The Amazing Race, Spice Island Saga (see below).
Favorite travel book(s): “Ring of Fire” by Lawrence Blair (brought to life as the Spice Island Saga series on PBS).
Right now I am reading: “Waging Heavy Peace” by Neil Young.
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! Cruise Critic, IntoHistory.com, Heilbron.com.
5 things you bring on a plane: Chewing gum, heat pads for my ears (I’ve blown an eardrum in the past), earbuds, reading material, a sweater (it gets cold on planes).
What do you always seem to forget? It’s always something different—once I went on a five-day trip and didn’t bring any underwear.
What do you like least about travel? Paying for it—travel is expensive!
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? One of those $3,000 bottles of Chateau Lafite in the Brussels airport.
Most embarrassing travel moment: Getting soaked in my bunk when I neglected to secure the porthole on a tramp steamer in the Cook Islands.
I’m embarrassed I haven’t been to: Ireland—I’m half Irish, but I just never seem to get there. One of these years…
Worst travel moment: Getting stranded in a tiny Indian town after I abandoned the steamy, overcrowded bus; I got back to the border after a scary ride in the back of a jeep.
What’s your dream destination? Cruising the Greek islands in a sailboat; I read an old National Geographic article decades ago and it’s stayed with me all these years.
Best travel tip: If you have a passport and a credit card, you can go almost anywhere on Earth these days—so go!
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