Travel Like A Pro: My article on MSN–special thanks to my fellow Idaho friend Greg Thilmont!
Welcome to Travel Like a Pro, where we ask a frequent traveler five questions about the best and worst of professional globe-hopping. Come back every Friday to find out all about one of our favorite travel writers, flight attendants, international business-people, travel agents, and more!
They say travel is good for the soul. If you happen to find yourself travelling with Kristin McGee, it’s going to be good for your body, too. Kristin teaches yoga, Pilates and fitness in destinations like Santa Monica, Calif., Nevis, Italy and New York City. In her career, she has worked with a list of celebrities including Steve Martin, Tina Fey and LeAnn Rimes. She also appears in the “Body by Bethenny” workout DVD and has been on CNN, “Good Morning America” and more. And you just might recognize her from “30 Rock.” Her character, Kaitlin, married Liz Lemon’s ex-boyfriend, Floyd.
What do you love most about traveling for a living?
I absolutely love the experiences! I get to travel to places I’d never usually go if it weren’t for my yoga/Pilates/acting career. From Morocco to St. Petersburg (Russia), to Puglia, to Paris, to Belize, I’ve visited countries that are breath taking, history-laden and full of new adventures. I’ve stayed in high end hotels like The Four Seasons in Nevis and in huts. I also love the familiar places in the States that I visit frequently — Tampa, Florida for HSN, L.A. for acting gigs, San Francisco for yoga events and Sun Valley, Idaho to ski and see my family. I always discover something new even though I’m back in a city I visit frequently.
What’s the one comfort from home that you pack on the road?
Don’t laugh … I always carry my little portable cooler filled with healthy snacks. I have an active metabolism and I love exploring new foods and cuisines when I’m at my destination; but it never hurts to have an emergency stash of raw almonds, instant oatmeal packets (airplanes, airports, hotels all have hot water), string cheese, baby carrots, apples and sugar-free hot cocoa packets (to help me unwind at night).
What places that you haven’t been to yet remain on your travel bucket list?
So many! I’ve still never been to Hawaii. I’d also love to go to Greece, India, Ireland, Asia, Peru, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand — in the states Savannah, Georgia; Charleston, South Carolina; Austin, Texas and other cool places I’ve yet to see in the US.
Tell us one of the crazy/scariest/most awe-inspiring/funniest story from your travels.
I was teaching an outdoor yoga class in Morocco one morning when a donkey came up behind me and joined in.
What’s your most valuable tip when trying to blend in as a local?
No fanny packs ever! Take in the sights visually and use your camera sparingly. Learn a few words or phrases in that language and try your best to use them when you want to ask a local something. Ask the locals about their favorite dining, shopping, and touring spots; leave the maps and guides behind. You’re more likely to find a really great place when you ask a local.
Kristin McGee is a celebrity yoga and Pilates instructor in New York City. She is the star of over 100 videos, a contributing editor at Health Magazine and a spokeswoman for many brands and causes she believes in. Kristin also appears frequently on television. A proud mom to three, she sure keeps herself busy!