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Global Adventure: Sixteen Rapid-Fire Questions with Julia Dimon
Posted on August 25, 2015

Julia Dimon exploring Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. P: Michael Hanson

Julia Dimon has made her name and earned her living on global travel, with trips to over 80 countries and all seven continents. She does not shy away from new or strange experiences, and she has accumulated a lifetime of memorable cultural moments, from dogsledding in Greenland and running with the bulls in Portugal to training as a gladiator in Rome, camel trekking to the Egyptian pyramids, and eating deep-fried guinea pig in Ecuador. So when Adventure Travel Month rolled around, she was one of the first members of our guide and athlete team we looked to for some advice. This is her take on travel. —LYA Editor

Julia attending a Maasai ceremony in Africa.

What is the most off-the-beaten-path destination you’ve ever visited?

The abandoned radioactive city of Chernobyl. Not exactly a dream destination or honeymoon hot spot.

What is the oddest way you’ve gotten from point A to point B?

I rode in the back of a pick-up truck for 10 hours from Thailand into Cambodia’s capital city of Phnom Penh. By the time I arrived at my destination, my face was completely black, covered in soot from exhaust and pollution. It was a wild ride, but as the only foreigner, it was a great (and super cheap) way to travel like the locals do.

What is the most spontaneous trip or stopover you’ve ever taken?

When backpacking in Uganda, I met a guy at a bar and decided to take him up on his offer to host me and meet his family in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. A spontaneous trip, from a very kind stranger, in a very dangerous country.

What is your best source for beta on a new destination?

The locals make for the best sources.

Describe your best layover in 50 words or less.

Layover in Amsterdam! Rented a bike and cruised along the canals. Lovely city.


What was your best-ever, pre-planned, 72-hour adventure?

One of my fave North American cities is Chicago. Had a great time with my dad one year, where we explored all the jazz clubs, pizza joints, and comedy cellars the city had to offer. Chicago is rich with culture, star-studded restaurants, impressive architecture, and an interesting mob history.

What is the most remote place you’ve escaped to in a short time window?

From Los Angeles, Hawaii is just a few hours’ flight but, high in the cloud forests of Maui, being there can feel very remote.

What is your best tip for finding great local food in a strange place?

Look for lines. If there are a lot of people at a particular location, that means the food is good and—most importantly—fresh, to accommodate the high volume of customers.

What is your best packing tip for short trips?

Don’t overpack. Pack a few basic clothing items in neutral colors, so that you can mix and match. Light- weight, wrinkle-free, and quick-dry items are key.

Three key pieces of clothing you pack for short trips?

Comfy jeans. Fitted khaki-colored capri pants. Tunic-style white shirt.


What is one item that you always pack on your journey?

Swiss Army Knife.

Duffel, rolling bag, or backpack? Why?

Depends on the type of trip. If I’m going to a cosmopolitan city for a trip with an urban feel—rolling bag. If it’s an outdoorsy, more adventurous or nature-driven trip—backpack. Don’t like duffel bags unless I’m going to the gym.

What is your perspective on travel in 50 words or less?

Travel is transformative. Travel has the power to inspire the soul, stimulate the mind, enrich your spirit. It can make you fall in love, give you insight into humanity and how you fit into the world.  

What is your favorite place in the world to visit? One reason why?

Tanzania. An amazingly special spot, with so much to offer: safari experience is the Serengeti (awe-inspiring), the white beaches of Zanzibar (beautiful), the peaks of Kilimanjaro, and the warm people. Amazing country.

What is your number one rule as a traveler?

Say yes to new experiences. Always carry toilet paper.

If you could go anywhere for a 3-day adventure, where would it be?

Zion, Utah.

Deep underground in Puerto Rico. P: Michael Hanson

Check out the Travex series of adventure travel gear Julia packs on his journeys at

Author: - Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

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