WSGT’s next Travel Influencer is Editor-at-Large for National Geographic Travel Media, Norie Quintos. In June 2017, Norie will be leading a bike trip to northern Italy aimed at deepening the travel experience through photography and journaling.
For up-and-coming travel writers Norie recommends: “Read great travel literature. Among my favorites: West with the Night, by Beryl Markham; Blue Latitudes, by Tony Horwitz; In Patagonia, by Bruce Chatwin; The Last Train to Zona Verde, by Paul Theroux.”
1.)Where was the first place that you traveled that made you think WOW—travel is amazing (think history book come to life or …..)
My family traveled to Asia every couple of years and we’d go via Europe from our home in Washington, DC. Those travels ignited the spark for me, filled as they were with the historical splendors of London, Paris, Rome, and then the sensual sights, sounds, and tastes of Tokyo, Manila, Seoul.
2.)If you had unlimited resources, where would you go and what would you do?
To me it’s not about money but time. I’d take two trips. One, rent a house outside Seville and spend a month or two improving my Spanish. Two, do a silent retreat somewhere in northern California. Both external journeys with strong internal components.
3.)What were you afraid to do and how did you find the courage to overcome it?
I don’t particularly enjoy being alone but years of traveling, a big chunk of it solo, has taught me to be comfortable with myself and to make friends along the way. Many of my friends now I met while traveling.
4.)What apps do you use regularly that make your life easier?
I don’t think I can live without Google Maps or other map-based app to help me find my way. Instagram is my visual journal of my travels. Facebook to keep in touch.
5.)What place do you wish more people have seen?
People shy away from the Middle East, but I have been enriched and enlightened by my travels to Jordan, Israel, and Iran. I hope to explore more of the area in the coming years.
6.)Best advice you have been given and by whom?
Can’t remember who gave it to me, but now I freely dispense it: Never turn down an opportunity to go the the bathroom when traveling.
7.)When were you surprised by the kindness of strangers on a trip?
I fell off a bike in a small French village in the Dordogne, and I happened to be alone at the time. A store owner saw me, picked me up, gave me some water, and insisted I sit down until I felt able to continue on my way.
8.)What inspired you to travel for extended periods of time or live in a new country?
Traveling is a very good way to find the answers you seek in life. This philosophy inspired me to co-create a special trip to northern Italy in June 2017 with the bike tour operator Experience Plus, in which I facilitate ways to deepen the travel experience through photography, journaling, and informal conversations.
9.)I travel because….
I stay young, curious, and interesting when I do.
Norie Quintos is an Editor at Large for National Geographic Travel Media, contributing content and representing the iconic brand. She is also an independent consultant for the travel industry on editorial packaging, communications, media relations, custom content, and storytelling. She is the former executive editor of National Geographic Traveler and was an editor at U.S. News and World Report and Caribbean Travel and Life. She has lived abroad, speaks several languages, and is on the advisory board of several travel companies and organizations plus she frequently bikes, hikes, and tweets! This June 2017, she will lead a bike trip to northern Italy focused on deepening the travel experience.
Stay up-to-date with Norie through her:
Our next Travel Influencer interview will be up in a week, follow the series here.