Favorite travel destination: This is always a tough question to answer as I think it depends on what you feel you “need” from a trip. Right now, for me, it’s Nepal. I really miss the mountains, the food and the people when I leave. I still love going to Barbados, particularly The Coral Reef Club, with my family. There’s something magical about horseback riding in the English countryside, although honestly, I love horseback riding in any country with incredible or dramatic scenery: New Zealand, India, Poland. And I do so love cities, too, from Mexico City to Paris, Mumbai to Melbourne, and, of course, my native London.
What’s next on your travel bucket list? There are so many countries and regions that I would love to visit, but I would say my top five right now are Antarctica, Japan, Peru, Kauai and Israel.
What’s the one item you don’t leave home without when you’re traveling? A Design for Life scarf, no matter what the destination or climate.
Most exotic dish/cuisine you have tried while traveling: I love food. Growing up in a hotel with two highly acclaimed restaurants, we were exposed to lots of different produce from a young age. Our parents would never allow us to say we didn’t like anything until we had tried it, which means I have eaten “delicacies” from all over the world. I would say crickets, ants, periwinkles and brains are definitely on the acquired taste and textures list.
Brenda Neilson Hansen
Favorite travel destination: I am a huge fan of the great outdoors and enjoy horseback riding, hiking, skiing and walking. I took a trip with family to Arizona and Utah that included Zion National Park and I would love to further explore this wonderful expanse of nature.
What’s next on your travel bucket list? With so many wonderful places that exist in our world, it’s hard to pick! Our immediate family is spread throughout the United States, Denmark and Germany. It would be wonderful to coordinate a visit with our family in New Zealand and see this beautiful country, including the South Island of which I’ve seen so many beautiful photos.
What’s the one item you don’t leave home without when you’re traveling? I always seem to be on the go, trying to take in as many experiences as I can while I’m traveling. I learned long ago to pack lightly and carry whatever I absolutely “have to have” with me in a waist pack. This way I only need to keep track of the pack, my hands are free and everything I need is right there.
Most exotic dish/cuisine you have tried while traveling: I have to say I’m not very daring in the exotic foods department although I do very much enjoy dishes from many different cultures. I’ve enjoyed several dishes that included buffalo and venison together with lots of local vegetables and fresh gluten-free bread.
Sales, New Business Development & Client Management
Favorite travel destination: It’s a tie between Africa and Antarctica.
What’s next on your travel bucket list? The Maldives, for the romance of the destination, the marine life, the opportunity to stay in some of the world’s most luxurious hotels and the possibility of combining it with a trip to southern India.
What’s the one item you don’t leave home without when you’re traveling? My passport case. I received it when I was 15 years old for my first trip to Europe. It’s now worn and a bit tattered from years of use, but I never go on a trip with it – a little superstition!
Most exotic dish/cuisine you have tried while traveling: My very favorite cuisine is Indian and I relish the chance to try all the country’s regional specialties when I’m traveling there.
Favorite travel destination: Perhaps my favorite destination is Kauai, where I spent three weeks during my honeymoon and experienced the Napali coastline three ways – by helicopter, by zodiac boat and by foot. I loved the diversity of the island’s landscape and its natural beauty.
What’s next on your travel bucket list? Next up for me is Sri Lanka. I am obsessed with it and hope that this next year will be the year! Of course, our partners, the Resplendent Ceylon properties, would be first on my list of reasons for wanting to travel there, but I’m just as smitten with the unspoiled beauty of the island, the verdant hillsides and gardens for walking, the aquamarine waters for kayaking and the opportunities to experience pilgrimage sites like Adam’s Peak and the Temple of the Tooth Relic. And soon a leopard camp? You’ve got to be kidding – sign me up!
What’s the one item you don’t leave home without when you’re traveling? Other than my phone, the one item I never leave home without when traveling is a small journal with a folder for tickets, menus, business cards, notes and small found objects that hold meaning for me that can take me back to a place quicker than any photograph.
Most exotic dish/cuisine you have tried while traveling: The most exotic dish I’ve tried while traveling is probably turtle soup or perhaps blood sausage – and I didn’t care for either one!
Favorite travel destination: The UK, and staying at our partner, The Goring. The staff is so warm and welcoming and I always feel right at home. I long to visit again!
What’s next on your travel bucket list? Switzerland, for the mountains and alpine landscape.
What’s the one item you don’t leave home without when you’re traveling? A camera to capture the sights and wildlife of the region.
Most exotic dish/cuisine you have tried while traveling: I’m a fairly tame eater, so I’m still on the search for this one!
Director of Marketing
Favorite travel destination: I spend a lot of my leisure time at a very traditional Tibetan Buddhist monastery, led by a 93-year-old abbot who was born in Tibet. There are long stretches of fluttering prayer flags running from tree to tree; a shrine room overseen by a twenty-foot, gold-leaf Shakyamuni Buddha; and the piercing gaze of Guru Rinpoche, who brought the Buddhist teachings to Tibet in the eighth century and subdued the local spirits. The teachings are part of an unbroken lineage that goes back 1,000 years. Whenever I go there, even though it’s just an hour and ten minutes from my house, I feel like I am traveling vast distances in time and space to old Tibet.
What’s next on your travel bucket list? Top on my travel bucket list is Nepal, where many of the teachers who left Tibet in 1959 founded monasteries, and Kham, the Eastern region of Tibet. Local nomads and monks seem to carry on much as in the past, and since I have several teachers from that region, it calls to me. I have a dream of going on pilgrimage to the holy Buddhist sites in India, in particular visiting Bodh Gaya during the annual Kagyu prayer festival and attending teachings at Varanasi.
What’s the one item you don’t leave home without when you’re traveling? My mala (prayer beads).
Most exotic dish/cuisine you have tried while traveling: My most memorable “exotic” meal came while on a trip to Kenya and Rwanda some years ago. In the wild, we had seen many waterbuck, an impressively large antelope. The male has a magnificent set of spiraling two-foot horns that grow back from its head before pointing back forward. One night, waterbuck was on the hotel menu and I couldn’t resist. (My traveling companions were horrified and ordered steak.) The waterbuck was so fresh, clean and delicious, beyond anything I had ever tasted. It was grown by the savannah, and tasted of it.
Favorite travel destination: I love to holiday on islands where you have many terrains in one parcel. A perfect holiday has a little something for everyone: mountains, countryside, beach – even better if you can sail around the island, getting the most fabulous views.
What’s next on your bucket list? I’m looking forward to travels to Japan, and also closer to home, the Nordic countries of Norway, Sweden and Finland.
What’s the one item you don’t leave home without when you’re traveling? I always pack a pair of trainers so that wherever I land, I can walk and get to know a place a little better.
Most exotic dish/cuisine you have tried while traveling: Food … this is trick. I certainly remember the worst, but exotic? I did love the food in Cambodia, Rajasthan, Nepal and Kerala. I ate some weird items in Laos and Burma and couldn’t actually even tell you what it was! My favorite meals are those that occur when I’m invited into someone’s home to eat in the destination – very special.