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: Neil Dankoff
Occupation: Fine Art Photographer
College/university: McGill University
Major: Film and Communications
Short bio: Neil was born and raised in Montreal where he studied Film & Communications at McGill University before heading west to Toronto in 1998. It was at this time that the first digital cameras began to emerge and Neil was instantly hooked. $1,400 got him a 1.3-megapixel Olympus. Having three young children, Neil’s wife discovered his true talent…waking up early. Along with his photography skills and great love for the outdoors, landscape photography quickly became his passion.
Neil was fortunate to have the opportunity to travel the world and develop his own style of panoramic, landscape photography. Using a Phase One, medium-format camera, Neil’s unique approach and technique result in a distinct look that is easily recognizable. Each final piece consists of multiple images captured with varying exposures and focal points, all seamlessly put together in an effort to transport the viewer to a specific time and place. Neil became a staple in the Toronto art scene and was represented by the prestigious Lonsdale Gallery. Over the next four years, the gallery featured Neil’s work in several solo exhibits.
In 2013, Derek and Kirsty Stern accompanied Neil on a photography trip to Africa. The trip was picture perfect and many more adventures were booked…Bora Bora, Hawaii, Iceland, China, Japan, France, Bolivia, etc….In 2015, Neil, Derek and Kirsty opened Kandy Gallery in Montreal. Shortly after, Neil was commissioned by Hotel X Toronto in what would turn out to be the largest fine art photography transaction in Canadian history. He spent close to three years traveling the globe to capture over 800 landscape images for the one-of-a-kind luxury resort hotel. In early 2018, Neil opened Kandy Gallery Toronto in the lobby of Hotel X Toronto and has plans to open another Kandy Gallery in Dallas by the end of the year.
How often do you fly? Approximately four large photo trips a year. List of locations: Israel, Italy, Bolivia, Croatia, Japan, China, Belgium, Amsterdam, South Africa, Namibia, Provence, Paris, Iceland, plus various locations across Canada and the U.S.
Favorite American city: San Diego.
Favorite international city: Amsterdam.
Favorite airline: Air Canada.
Aisle or window: Window.
Favorite U.S. airport: Palouse Washington.
Favorite international airport: Amsterdam.
Favorite hotel: Hotel X Toronto.
Favorite travel credit card: Capitol One Aspire.
Favorite island: Bora Bora.
Favorite beach: Black Sand Beach in Maui.
Favorite National Park: Grand Teton.
Favorite fancy restaurant: Palm Beach Grill.
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: Lafleur in Montreal.
Favorite food: Baby back ribs.
Least favorite food: Cucumber.
Drink of choice: Regular old beer.
Favorite travel movies: The Beach.
Right now I am reading: “The Sisters Brothers.”
4 things you bring on a plane: Noise-cancelling headphones, laptop, book on the location I am visiting, and Nibs licorice.
What do you like least about traveling? Delayed planes.
Favorite travel app: Trip Case.
Most embarrassing travel moment: I was sitting in the lounge about to get on a plane for one of my trips. I had previously put my razor in one of the pockets of my knapsack before leaving. As I was boarding, I dug my hand into my bag to get my Nexus card. I ended up cutting my finger open on the razor and started bleeding profusely while boarding the plane. It would not stop.
Best travel tip: Bring plenty of entertainment, whether it’s books, podcasts, movies, etc. Don’t ever leave yourself staring at the seat in front of you.