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: Patrick Dykstra
Occupation: Photography Expedition Leader
Hometown: Denver, Colorado
Residence: Dubai, UAE
College: Florida State University (undergrad); New York University Law School
College major: Communications
Facebook: Picture Adventure
YouTube: Patrick Dykstra
Short bio: Patrick Dykstra has led intrepid explorers and film crews on expeditions to view and document natural wonders above and below the water on all seven continents. He is an accomplished photographer and videographer, and his clients include Emirates Airlines, the government of Djibouti, the government of Sri Lanka, Borderlands, and a host of other private individuals and companies. Patrick was at the forefront of the exploration and documentation of the blue whales of Sri Lanka and the killer whale migration to Iceland. Known for his willingness to take his camera into areas where others would prefer not to go, Patrick has captured fascinating images in Yemeni tribal areas, the heart of the Congo, Somaliland, and underneath Antarctic icebergs to name a few. He is an avid skydiver, scuba diver, hang glider pilot, and caver, and possesses an enthusiastic willingness to explore and document any location.
Patrick was born in Denver, Colorado, USA. He studied at Florida State University and New York University (NYU), traveling with his camera abroad for several semesters overseas. He graduated summa cum laude from Florida State University with a degree in communications and attended law school at NYU, where he graduated with a juris doctorate degree after serving on the school’s prestigious law review publication. Patrick has lived in Cairns, Australia; London, England; Florence, Italy; and several states across America. He is currently based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
How often do you fly? Several times per month.
How many countries have you been to? 84
How many continents have you been to: 7. I have actually also been scuba diving on all 7.
Earliest travel memory: Disney World in Orlando.
Favorite American city: Seattle. Great scenery, weather and an amazing athletic population who loves to take advantage of all of the amazing offerings!
Favorite international city: Dubai, U.A.E. It’s home and I love it! It is centrally located and you can be in Asia, Europe, and North Africa in no time!
Country with the meanest immigration officers: Believe it or not, Canada. I was screamed at by a Canadian border guard for having my foot on the yellow “stand behind this line” line. She was furious.
Favorite World Heritage Site: There are so many amazing ones. I really love Canaima National Park in Venezuela. Canaima is the home of Angel Falls, the world’s highest waterfall, and is full of breathtaking scenery.
Favorite airline: Whichever one has the cheapest fair to where I’m going! I just want to get to the destination as quickly and easily as possible.
Favorite aircraft type: Hang glider. I love flying mine when I get the chance.
Aisle or window: Window. Easier to sleep.
Favorite airport lounge: I’m not that important. I just sit at the gate with my economy class ticket.
Favorite U.S. airport: Tallahassee, Florida. It is super small and easy to get around in with lot of easy parking!
Favorite international airport: Reykjavik, Iceland. Small and easy with a nice coffee shop.
Favorite hotel: Weligama Bay Resort, Sri Lanka. Right on a beautiful beach. Its my home for one month each year as we swim with blue whales just offshore.
Favorite cruise line: Not my style.
Favorite travel credit card: Capital One because it charges you no foreign transaction fees and it also pays Visa/MasterCard the fee that they charge you, so it costs you nothing to use it.
Favorite island: Socotra. It sits between Yemen and Somalia is full of amazing endemic species and fascinating culture.
Favorite beach: Whitehaven Beach, Australia. The most stunning beach I have ever seen.
Favorite fancy restaurant: Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse.
Favorite hole-in-the-wall: The Buffalo Inn, Eskridge, Kansas, USA.
Favorite bar: Don’t have one.
Favorite fruit: Nashi. The taste of a pear with the durability of an apple? Brilliant!
Favorite food: Steak. Good old red meat.
Least favorite food: Cheese. That is rotten milk! Please don’t eat that stuff!
Drink of choice (in the air and on the ground): Amarula cream.
Favorite travel movie(s): Bridges of Madison County (hey, it’s about a travel photographer!), or Walter Mitty.
Favorite travel show(s): An Idiot Abroad; Man vs Wild (it’s not running anymore, but was fun to watch).
Favorite travel book(s): Lonely Planet. They publish them for almost every country and I’m just used to the format and layout.
Right now I am reading: “The Last Places on Earth,” Gary Mancuso.
Top 3 favorite travel newsletters/magazines/blogs: National Geographic, Outside, Lonely Planet Traveler.
Favorite travel website(s)—besides JohnnyJet.com, of course! Expedia, Kayak and Priceline…I book a lot of travel online!
5 things you bring on a plane: My iPod, a good book, camera gear (don’t like to check that), warm socks, a patient attitude.
What do you always seem to forget? I always end up with a wallet full of foreign currency that I forgot to exchange when I left. My 500,000 Zimbabwean dollars devalued to nearly nothing before my flight out of the country even landed back in Dubai!
What do you like least about travel? Missing my regular sports games and gym routine. I try to keep it up while on the road, but often fail miserably.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport duty-free store? Nothing. Why are M&Ms in a normal store about 1/3 the price of M&Ms at Duty Free? I’ve never understood that.
Favorite travel app(s): Uber…does that count? I actually don’t use any others, but perhaps I should!
Most embarrassing travel moment: The time I showed up at the airport in Tonga and was told that my flight had actually departed 24 hours ago. I had crossed the international date line and never paid attention to the fact that it was actually “tomorrow” the entire week I was in Tonga.
Worst travel moment: Getting assaulted in New Zealand by 6 attackers while I was asleep. Glass bottles in the head, blood and a lot of stitches. Not a great evening.
What’s your dream destination: The moon. How cool would it be to walk on the moon?
Favorite travel charity: Conservation Fund–Carbon Offset Credit Program.
Best travel tip: If you want to see Petra, Jordan without any other tourists, you have to go buy your ticket the day before. The park opens about 30 minutes before the ticket booth, so if you already have your ticket, you can walk right past all the tourists in line and enter park and have it all to yourself for about 30 minutes. It’s about the only way to get photos without anyone else in them!
Nice Patrick Dykstra! Seriously though, I enjoyed reading your post. I must say that you have done a commendable job with it! Keep it up!!