Fathom Questionnaire

Meet the Photographer: Melanie Dunea

by Melanie Dunea

Melanie in St. Remy. Photo: Nigel Parry

Hometown: New York City

Occupation: Photographer

Favorite destinations: India, Australia, South of France.

Dying to visit: Bhutan, more of India, Turkey, anywhere off the beaten path — and I mean anywhere.

Bizarre travel rituals: I like to sleep with four pillows surrounding me, if possible.

In-flight relaxation regime: It goes like this: MUST have window seat. Then: 1. insert earplugs, 2. put on travel socks, 3. guzzle a Berocca vitamin dissolved in a liter of water, 4. pop an Ambien, 5. wrap my entire head up in my fave pashmina, leaving just a wee hole for fresh air. Off I go.

Always in carry-on: My carry-on is always packed and ready to go. It contains: Berocca vitamins, Luna bars, gum, iPod, iPhone, lip gloss, Tetley tea bags, and pashmina. I just add new reading materials before I set off. 

Concierge or DIY? DIY for sure.

See it all or take it easy? See every last thing, so I can come home so exhausted that I think I need a vacation.

Drive or be driven? Both.

Travel hero: Bear Grylls and Bill Bryson.

Weirdest thing seen on travels: A straw inserted into a live baby goat's neck so we could all try the fresh blood in the Masai Mara. I did NOT sample it.

Best hotel amenity: I love a bathroom with a view, particularly the shower at Amangiri in Utah. It had shower heads all along the wall from both sides and the most extraordinary view. Also, the rose petals in floating in the bath at the Devi Garh in Udaipur was pretty splendid.

I dream about my meal at Restaurant Arzak.

Everywhere I go, I check out the local food markets and grocery stores.

When I arrive in a new place, I learn the lay of the land by walking and walking and asking the locals and hotel staff where they go.

I always bring home candy and some sort of food that I found and could not resist.

If I never return to Portugal, it'll be too soon because I spent fourteen days on a bus tour with my parents when I was little. That was enough! 

I travel for the best shot.

We make every effort to ensure the information in our articles is accurate at the time of publication. But the world moves fast, and even we double-check important details before hitting the road.