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: Bridget Crocker
Occupation: Outdoor Travel Writer/Adventure Specialist
Hometown: Jackson, Wyoming
Residence: Malibu, California
College: University of Montana, Montana State University
College major: English Literature
Facebook: Bridget Crocker
Short bio: Mission and purpose: to connect people, cultures and nature through outdoor travel and the sharing of stories. Work featured in Travelers’ Tales’ The Best Women’s Travel Writing Vol. 7 & 8, Lonely Planet Guidebooks and national magazines including National Geographic Adventure, Outside, Trail Runner and Paddler. Creator and author of The Adventures of Little Mama, an outdoor travel mommy blog.
How many countries have you been to? 20 and counting.
How many continents have you been to? 5 so far.
Earliest travel memory: Age 6: Eating oatmeal with blueberries fireside while camping in New Mexico.
Favorite World Heritage Site: I was raised near a World Heritage Site, Yellowstone, and have worked as an adventure guide at several: Mosi-oa-Tunya (Victoria Falls), the Grand Canyon, Argentina’s Los Glaciares National Park, Rice Terraces of the Philippine Cordilleras and Machu Picchu. If I had to pick my favorite so far, it would be Stone Town Zanzibar, because I am absolutely fascinated by cultural mash-ups, and Zanzibar has the most intricate mash-up I’ve experienced, perfumed with cloves. It’s magnificent.
Favorite international airport: SFO—yoga room, children’s play structure and BART. So very civilized.
Favorite hotel: I prefer a tent to a hotel, especially if it’s snuggled up next to a river.
Favorite island: Bonaire, for its mind-blowing diving.
Favorite beach: As a beach devotee, there’s no way I can choose just one, but a beach that stands out is Boracay; its powdery sand feels like satin underfoot.
Favorite fruit: I fell in love with mangoes in Malawi—I ate nothing but mangoes (breakfast, lunch and dinner) for seven days. I was so obsessed, I ended up poisoning myself; my skin turned orange and I was confined to my room, violently sick for days. That was twenty-three years ago, and I still can’t tolerate smelling or watching someone eat a mango. Another manifestation of my all-or-nothing nature.
Favorite food: Korma! Let’s hope it doesn’t go the way of the mango.
Least favorite food: Filipino baluut or Zimbabwean caterpillars? No—surprisingly, they were both quite tasty. The roasted taari beetles graciously served to me in Arunachal Pradesh, though, had a fermented almond flavor that was difficult for me to smile through.
Favorite travel movie(s): The Talented Mr. Ripley, The River Wild, The Motorcycle Diaries, Into the Wild.
Favorite travel book(s): “Wild,” Cheryl Strayed. “The Kindness of Strangers,” edited by Don George. “The Source of All Things,” Tracy Ross. “River Gods,” Richard Bangs. Anything by Pico Iyer.
Right now I am reading: “East of the Sun,” by Julia Gregson. Gorgeous portrait of 1929 Bombay, loaded with cultural mash-up and extraordinary emotional insights.
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: Afar Magazine, LA Times Travel section, laviniaspalding.com/blog.
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! BBC Travel, Take Your Big Trip, Amy Gigi Alexander’s website.
What do you always seem to forget? A pen!
What do you like least about travel? Transitioning.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? I’d rather have a rock or shell from a meaningful spot, or special trinket from a local market.
Favorite travel app(s): Tales to Go.
Worst travel moment: Having my river gear bag stolen in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe while en route to guide a 14-day trip on Ethiopia’s Omo River. I was unable to report the crime because I did not have anyone to speak for me—that is, no husband, father or brother present to speak on my behalf.
What’s your dream destination? I am dying to go underground cave rafting in Belize.
Favorite travel charity: International Rivers. As an avid river traveler, I’m so grateful for the work International Rivers is doing to advocate for watersheds and the local people who depend on them for survival.
Best travel tip: Be teachable, and if nothing else, know how to say “thank you” in the local language.