Travel Q&A with Sylvia Longmire

Name… one non-essential item you always travel with.

I’m a very lightweight, streamlined traveler. And I’m not an especially sentimental person. Because I travel alone, I need to travel with the bare minimum of things. It’s rare that I have anything with me that is non-essential.

…your favorite city if you have just one day in town.

Venetian boats in the canal


Venice. My favorite city is Vienna, but I was able to do Venice in a day, and I wrote a lengthy blog post about this. I was there as part of a cruise, and I did it, and it was phenomenal.

…your favorite recent meal.

I live in the Orlando (Fla.) area, and Columbia Restaurant — it’s Spanish food — has tapas and full plates. But their Spanish chorizo and their garlic shrimp and their gazpacho… their gazpacho is so good! There’s a location about an hour from me, in Celebration (Fla.). But I’ve been to all their locations.

…your favorite thing to do when you’re visiting a city, but the weather is bad.

I’m a total museum geek, and I will fly somewhere just to go to art museums. I prefer contemporary, modern art. I did the Met [in New York] in two hours, and it wasn’t nearly enough [time]. But that’s how I felt in the Tate Modern [in London]. I was in the Tate Modern for three hours, and I felt I could have spent at least the entire day there.

…the friendliest country you’ve visited.

Dublin, Ireland, was amazing as far as people being friendly. I can’t say enough about the Irish. Sydney [Australia] is a close second.

…your favorite way to travel.

Cruises, hands-down.

…a travel habit you’ve picked up.

chocolate bar


I’m a huge chocolate fan. In every country I visit, I buy chocolate made locally for myself, my mom, and my neighbor. I think I’ve been able to get chocolate from 20 or 21 countries. And when I get back, the tradition is we sit around a table and try the chocolate, and we compare it to past chocolate. That’s my tradition for pretty much anywhere I go. Sprüngli from Switzerland has been the best so far.

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