Amy Alipio holds the post of associate editor at National Geographic Traveler magazine. She was born in Washington DC, America, and that is where she is still based while working for the magazine. She takes a degree of pride in the fact that she is one of only two members of staff who are actually natives of the city, which is renowned for having a large transient population. She doubtless views herself as an explorer first and journalist second, but it is her ability to translate her experiences and the impressions she gains of the places she visits into punchy, vivid prose which has made her the success she is today.
Although she has travelled all over the world, when she was asked, during an interview for the national geographic Weekend radio programme, what her favourite destination from the magazines ‘Best of the World’ list was, she came up with what some people found to be the rather surprising choice of London. Doubtless, given her credentials as such a seasoned traveller, many people expected her to opt for one of the more exotic destinations on the list, such as Mongolia, or Oman, but she opted for London on the basis of the number of her passions which the city caters to. As a lover of literature, theatre, art and afternoon tea, she simply couldn’t think of a city which offered her the chance to explore more of her favourite things.
In reference to the ‘Best of the World’ list, Amy is proud of the fact that this year, for the first time, readers of the magazine played a hand in compiling the list by making nominations online. The winning destination in the Readers Choice section of the list was the Derewan archipelago in Indonesia, somewhere which even Amy had to confess she had never actually heard of. The fact that this was the winner merely underlined, to her, just how well travelled the readers of the magazine are. Also demonstrating that even the most well ravelled person never loses the capacity to be surprised, Amy was taken aback on a recent visit to the Romanian capital of Bucharest, where she was reminded of no less a place than Paris by the wide, tree lined boulevards on display. Another plus point of the city was its’ open and friendly attitude towards children. There are large parks and a perfectly sized Natural History Museum for them to explore, and perhaps the highlight was a restaurant she discovered in the old town which keeps kids entertained with craft projects while they wait for the food to be served.
For someone who does as much travelling as Amy, coming up with new destinations can be tricky, but she’s keen to announce that her dream trip for this year would be a safari through sub-Saharan Africa, one of the few places she has yet to experience. And here’s one more fascinating fact about Amy – her favourite food in the world is the mangoes in the Philippines, not least because there are so many of them that picking your next involves little more than waiting for it to fall onto your head!