Dr. Jess P. Shatkin (Credit: Jeremy Folmer)
Dr. Jess P. Shatkin (Credit: Jeremy Folmer)

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: Dr. Jess P. Shatkin, MD, MPH

Occupation: Physician (child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist)

Hometown: San Rafael, California

Residence: Manhattan, NYC

College: UC Berkeley

College major: History

Website: drjesspshatkin.com

Twitter: @DrJessPShatkin

Facebook: Dr. Jess P. Shatkin

YouTube: Jess Shatkin

Short bio: Dr. Jess P. Shatkin, MD, MPH, leads the educational efforts of the NYU Child Study Center, where he is Vice Chair for Education and Professor of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry and Pediatrics at the NYU School of Medicine. In addition to directing one of the largest training programs in the country in child and adolescent psychiatry at the NYU School of Medicine & Bellevue Hospital Center, Dr. Shatkin is the founder and director of nation’s largest undergraduate child development program, Child and Adolescent Mental Health Studies (CAMS) at NYU. His major clinical interests are mood and anxiety disorders, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder, disruptive behavior disorders, and sleep. His new book is “Born to be Wild: Why Teens Take Risks, and How We Can Help Keep Them Safe.”

How often do you fly? About once every two months.

How many countries have you been to? Hmmm, probably about 15-20.

How many continents have you been to? 4

Earliest travel memory: I didn’t take my first flight until I was 16, when I bought myself a ticket to fly to Germany for a summer exchange program with my school. My parents didn’t want me to go, but they allowed it. They refused to pay for it, however, since they didn’t like the idea of me traveling. I was driven to explore, and I’ve done the best I can ever since. I don’t run around checking countries off of my list, however. Rather, I like to go somewhere and roost a bit, and get to know the local scene, the cafes where people hang out, the trails they hike, and the grocery stores they shop in. For me, it’s most fun not to bounce around, but rather to go and sit in some city or spot in the country for weeks and get to know the way people live there.

Favorite American city: San Francisco and LA will always have my heart, but if I don’t say New York City, my wife will be upset.

Favorite international city: Such a tough choice! Here are some favorites: Barcelona, Rome, Dublin, and Shanghai.

Least favorite country: Every place has been interesting, and when I haven’t had a great time, it’s usually more about where I’m at than where the country is at.

I have no desire to go to: Countries in the midst of war.

Friendliest people in the world: I’ve never met friendlier people than the Irish.

Favorite airline: Aer Lingus.

Favorite aircraft type: The safe kind.

Aisle or window: Aisle.

Favorite airport lounge: I’m not that fancy.

Favorite U.S. airport: The one with the least traffic.

Favorite cruise line: I’ve never been on a cruise.

Favorite island: Manhattan.

Favorite beach: Stinson in Marin County.

Favorite National Park: Glacier.

Favorite fancy restaurant: I told you—I’m not that fancy.

Favorite hole-in-the-wall: Saigon Shack on MacDougal Street.

Favorite bar: GMT on Bleecker and LaGuardia.

Favorite fruit: Every fruit.

Favorite food: Japanese.

Least favorite food: Tripe.

Favorite travel movie(s): Comedies.

Favorite travel book(s): Thrillers.

Right now I am reading: “The Maltese Falcon.”

5 things you bring on a plane: Sweatshirt, wallet, phone, book/magazine, reading glasses.

What do you always seem to forget? To drink enough water.

What do you like least about travel? Delays.

What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport Duty Free store? A nice bottle of bourbon or scotch.

Most embarrassing travel moment: Flying on a plane in the Caribbean with fewer than a dozen passengers on a commercial jet in the worst turbulence I’ve ever experienced. I was in my 20s, traveling alone in central America, while this middle-aged man from Texas, puffing on a cigar, was so cool and relaxed and laughing the entire time as I was holding on for dear life. I really thought we were going down.

I’m embarrassed I haven’t been to: Israel.

Worst travel moment: Being stuck in Fort Wayne in a snow storm overnight…and again at O’Hare overnight and trying to sleep on those chairs with the arms. After two such Thanksgiving layovers, I pledged never to travel by plane on Thanksgiving again.

Best travel tip: Be open to new experiences.


Leave a Reply

Required fields are marked *