GUEST OF THE MONTH
She's the kind of girl everyone wants as their BFF and has a career that is envy inducing. From being Editor-in-Chief of a bridal publication, to styling edgy and fashion forward editorials, Amanda Zurita's work has taken her all over the world. The writer, stylist and editor can now be found on assignment in Europe, researching and writing for one of America's top tour companies, Rick Steves. Tough gig!
As a writer, is there a particular trend in travel that we should know about?
I think in the same way that we've seen a turn towards boutique hotels, travelers are looking for more intimate, experiential travel moments. Food tours are definitely big—which I love, you can learn so much about a culture through its food—but also other boutique tours ranging from things like local shopping trips, artisan workshop visits, and urban architecture tours. These days most people can handle the big sights on their own, so I like seeing the specialized offerings for getting closer to local culture. There's something for every interest.
What’s always in your carry-on?
I'm one of those rare people that actually quite enjoys flying. It's one of the few times where I'm completely out of touch with my inbox and I feel like I can relax with a book or movie. I always have my Kindle with me, and some wireless headphones (right now I'm using a pair from Urbanears, which have great sound quality for the price point). I also bring a refillable S'well water bottle and some dried fruit for a snack. For long-haul flights I pack a M-61 Power Glow Peel wipe from Bluemercury. It's refreshing and leaves me with a clean glow before stepping off the plane.
Where do you consider to be the most romantic city in the world?
I love San Sebastian, Spain. It has a beautiful promenade along its curved beach, quaint side streets, and a stunning Neo-Gothic cathedral. It's one of those places where you don't get upset if it's raining because the city is equally as charming in a downpour. And it has that characteristic, passionate late-night Spanish vibe going for it.
Your go-to for a romantic meal?
There's a place in Portland, Oregon called Le Pigeon with a fantastic tasting menu. It's tiny and dark and especially intimate. I literally dream about their foie gras profiteroles. I also spend a lot of time in Italy, and you could pick any off-the-grid restaurant with house-made pasta and a nice bottle of red wine for a rustically romantic meal.
Where is your absolute favourite hotel?
In January I took a girls trip to Colorado's Vista Verde Ranch and it blew me away. Guests stay in cozy cabins, each with its own hot tub. Every morning we woke up to see the hundred-plus horses grazing in the snowy fields. So picturesque. The ranch offers activities like snowshoeing, horseback riding, yoga classes, and more. And the service was entirely spectacular. I can't wait to go back.
Where’s next on your travel wishlist?
I'm headed to Bali for the first time in a couple weeks and I am thrilled. Elsewhere on my wishlist: I'm dying to drive the ring road in Iceland and to see Cuba before all of America goes there. I keep a note on my desk with a list of countries I have yet to visit as a constant reminder to make travel and adventure a priority.
You can follow Amanda's travels and writing here: