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The Travel Seven: Shannon Washington

Name: Shannon Washington
City/Country: Brooklyn, NY
Occupation: Digital Creative Director & Producer at Beauty@Gotham. Creative Director, Contributor and Publisher of Parlour Magazine
Website/Links: Parlour Magazine, Shannon Washington DOT com 
Passport Stamps: El Salvador, UK, Cuba, Brasil, Argentina, Barbados, France, Spain, Honduras, Uruguay, Canada, Trinidad, and about eight other places I’m forgetting.

1. My best travel memory so far: I have two. I’ll never forget surfing in El Tunco, El Salvador and riding a wave for the first time. It was terrifying and amazing at the same time and showed me what fun could be had when I stepped out of my comfort zone. Also, waking up to a pink sunrise on New Years Day there was a gift from the creator. The second is bringing in back-to-back birthdays in Havana, Cuba with family and friends and getting face-palmed with my birthday cake. But after 6+ glasses of rum, everything is fun.

2. Favorite Hotel & Why: Honestly, I’ve never found a hotel that blends luxury, wellness, creativity and fun like The Standard Spa Miami. It’s secluded and far from the rhinestone ratchetness of South Beach, and the spa/wellness center is one of the best in the world with plenty of classes and services. Aside from that, their staff are among the nicest I’ve ever come across and the sunsets are to die for.

3. My Must-haves On Any Flight Are: Dermalogica Active Moist for long flights, Monocole, Build and Real Simple Magazines, my own blanket, and a fully charged iPad full of movies, emails and DJ Mixes to catch up on. Depending on the length of the flight, I also pack Engov—I picked it up in Brasil a few years ago. It’s supposed to help with hangovers, but it also works for me when I get jet-lag or choose to have a drink in the air. Lastly, I bring my own socks just for flights because everything is better with no shoes on.

4. When I’m On The Road, I Absolutely Hate: That ridiculous, quizzical look by other passengers and (sometimes) gate attendants when the first-class is called to board and my crew and I proceed to the gate. Get your upgrade game on ladies! Also, anyone who expects people and things abroad to be “just like home.” If you need that, stay at home.

5. My Dream Destination or Vacation: I really want to go to The Philippines and Turkey for the food alone. Besides, everyone I’ve ever met from those countries is cool as hell!

6. The Three Things I Can’t Travel Without: 1) An Introduction: It’s always great to have a friend, or a friend of a friend in your destination to give you an inside view, 2) Travel Candles: No matter if you are in a hotel or apartment, a great scent is a wonderful way to settle in and settle down, 3) My iPhone: useful travel apps such as WorldMate, Google Maps and iTranslate are amazing when you need to get around and communicate properly.

7. Top Lesson Learned While Traveling: Having a passport and travelling is a privilege, not a right. The ability to move from country to country is just not a reality for most people both here and abroad so I feel extra blessed every time I get on a plane. So if you can, listen to yourself and GO. Don’t let a lack of friend’s availabilities stop you from a quick weekend journey. You really can be your own best company when you let go and explore the world around you. And when you do, research the CDC Traveler’s Website before you leave—Honduras was lovely, but it gave me the lovely gift of malaria. Thanks Roatán, you and your mosquitos can forever kick rocks.

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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