20 Questions with Gabriel
1. In my carry-on bag I always have…organic lip balm, a toothbrush, noise-cancelling headphones, a hat and a good pair of sunglasses.
2. On my first TCS Expedition…I learned the importance of being flexible when taking part in expeditionary travel. I learned how incredibly fortunate we are to visit all of these amazing destinations...and I realized the world is bigger and more spectacular than any of us could ever possibly imagine.
3. The most unique thing I have done on a TCS Expedition was…watching the Naghol Land Divers of Pentecost Island in Vanuatu. The tribe danced, chanted and created an electric vibration, putting me into a trance. Every few minutes one of the men would climb up a 50-foot, hand-built wooden structure. Reaching the top, he would tie tree vines around his ankles, then he would leap off. I still get goosebumps every time I think about it!
4. A place I thought I’d dislike, but I fell in love with was…Tokyo. Since it is five times bigger than NYC, I thought it would be too much asphalt, a concrete jungle. I wasn't expecting one of the cleanest, most organized places in the world.
5. My absolute favorite hotel is…this is a tough one! Too many to choose from. George V in Paris, a Four Seasons property, is unparalleled in its service. I once watched a guest spill food on his tie, a waiter swiftly came over and gently removed it, hurried out the door, and came back in under 10 minutes with the tie freshly dry-cleaned! Between their three restaurants they have five Michelin stars! And their fresh flower displays in the lobby are unlike anything I have ever seen.
6. One place I haven’t seen yet, which I’m dying to visit is…the Tiger’s Nest in the ancient lands of Paro, Bhutan. I will get there!
7. The strangest food I have ever tried is…Goose feet in France, horse steak in Iceland and moose lips in Russia.
8. Some of my favorite countries to eat in are… Italy, of course! Thailand and Japan are some of my favorites as well.
9. The best meal I ever had was…this is another tough one, because there are simply too many. Aramburu in Buenos Aires fed me one of the best meals of my life.
10. The best souvenir I ever bought myself is…an intricately carved bovine skull in Bali.
11. My favorite market in the world is…La Boqueria, in Barcelona. Although heavily visited, I never tire of the colorful fruit stands, and the stalls near the back have some of the rarest ingredients Spain has to offer.
12. The one place I love going back to is…Kathmandu, Nepal. It is a mystical, cultural melting-pot of a city, with the Himalayas as a backdrop.
13. When I need to relax...I take three long deep breaths.
14. My favorite thing to do on vacation is…detach, unplug, turn the phone off, and put the alarm clock in the bottom drawer!
15. My favorite experience for guests on a TCS Expedition…Seeing big smiles spread across their faces when they live out their travel dreams. If I can play a small role in making that happen, then I have done my job.
16. In my suitcase, you’d be surprised to find…my foam roller. Extensive international travel can be hard on my lower back.
17. Before I go to a country, I try to learn about…the local traditions.
18. The first time I traveled abroad, I went to…the United States.
19. My favorite foreign language to listen to is…Portuguese. With 9 vowels, the language rolls beautifully off the tongue.
20. My best piece of travel advice is…An expedition is NOT a vacation. Keep your body’s battery charged! It's OK to take a morning off. Your soul and your mind will soak up more of the experience if you are well rested.