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The Travel Seven: Phiona Okumu

Name: Phiona Okumu
City/Country: London, UK but also Kampala, Uganda and Pretoria, South Africa …it’s complicated
Occupation: Web music/brand PR, pop culture writer
Passport Stamps: Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, UK, US, Finland, France, Germany, Netherlands, more!
1. My Best Travel Memory So Far: I once went to Helsinki to see about a boy one summer. Only to get there and realise he was not into me whatsoever! Somehow we ended up going to the countryside, which isn’t surprising because apparently most of Finland is rural. I just remember getting on a bike and racing through acres and acres of woods and then along miles and miles of lake thinking “this has got to be the most beautiful country I have ever seen.” It made the heart-break from before besides the point in hindsight.
2. Favorite Hotel & Why: Bouchardon Bed and Breakfast in Paris is possibly the best hospitality I’ve ever received in my life. Jozsef was the host. he’s set the bar so high for personal detail in service for when I open my own B&B—one of my fantasies.
3. My Must-Haves on any Flight are: Track-suit bottoms. Sleeping aids if it’s an overnight flight.
4. When On the Road, I Absolutely Hate:   Two things: 1) Realising I left my headphones somewhere (happens too often); 2. Having my personal space encroached on. Most times when I’m on the road I just want to be left alone with my thoughts. I don’t do well with those people who insist on longing out a conversation.
5. My dream destination or vacation: I’ve not been to the Caribbean yet. I’d love to do it How Stella Got Her Groove Back style with my girls. I’ve never had a proper girls’ holiday away, I’d like that. I’ve also never done one of those cruise ship things. I have a deep-seated fear of being stranded on a boat bored out my bracket but I am looking to be convinced otherwise.
6. The three things I can’t travel without:  1) Something to play music on – phone, mp3 player whatever. 2) A notebook. I forget things a lot especially pens for filling out immigration forms. Also, a lot of ideas happen to me when I’m on the go so I try and make a note of them for later  3) My own blankie for the long-haul flights. The airline ones just don’t seem to do the trick
7. Top lesson learned while travelling:  One never needs ALL those shoes. Yet one carries them along anyway…
Already on your second or third passport? Join the Travel Seven and submit your answers today to travel@parlourmagazine.com—if we like them we will post on here on Parlour!

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