Gail On The Move ~ Your Questions Answered

This is part of the spontaneous AMA I ran a few weeks ago. Thanks to all who asked questions and gave me ideas for future blog posts.

You, Gentle Reader, are the best!

What was your favorite cities that you have visited and which ones are on your bucket list? 

I fell unexpectedly and deeply in love with Strasbourg last time I was in France. I find myself enamored of border areas, like Alsace. Places that have long histories of invasion and culture conflict, like Budapest. The history and cuisine is always fascinating, and the people often slightly grumpy and stoic (which I find utterly charming ~ see Pillover or Sidheag).

Most of my personal bucket list is focused on Archaeologically rich areas and specific sites: Petra, Amarna (the tomb builders village that John Romer excavated), some lesser known sites in Belize, Rhodes, Crete, Thermopylae, I could just keep going.




As an author I have a different list. I really love visiting genre readers in foreign lands so I’d love to go somewhere like Japan or Turkey or Thailand. I’ve found that, as my writing take me places, I discover lands that I never would originally thought to visit but which move me deeply. Added bonus = they may end up in my writing. On the other hand, sometimes researching for my writing opens my eyes. I’d love to see the Sudd someday. And I didn’t know about it at all until I researched Imprudence.


When traveling from home to do events (panels and workshops, etc) how do you fare eating wise? 

Not great. It helps that I am not a picky eater, but I do have a sensitive stomach. I am a grazer (small amounts of food, frequently) so I can “time set” my stomach to a different time zone pretty easily. I’ve found that, for me, this is really helpful in dealing with jet lag as well.

I have a huge number of safeties in place for long distance travel. Hard boiled eggs are a miracle of protein delight (I only eat the whites), if I can find them one the road, I buy them. I start out most trips with 6 hard boiled eggs in a little cooling bag and I’m pretty insistent about getting a fridge in any hotel room.

If I’m lucky enough to have a handler I ask that the handler bring me: whole milk, fresh fruit, smoothie, a bag of spinach, and a bag of arugula. If not, the moment I have free time at the start of an event I find the nearest convenience store and stock up on what I can. I’ve learned it’s always easy to get carbs, but lean protein, fruit, and veg are hard.

I tend to be packing some trail mix and these great coconut macadamia nut cashew protein balls from Trader Joes (or I make my own bliss balls). It’s smaller than most regular protein bars, lower in sugar and higher in protein.


Sweets stall in Budapest


How do you keep from consuming foods your body just may not agree with while you travel?

Well I’m more picky when I travel. I pretty much avoid red meat, sugar, and fried things, because I know they don’t agree with me and I worry about keeping up my immune system and energy. I also do not eat fish (my favorite) in a landlocked state or at airports. Some hotels make it easy, most do not. As a rule there are only one or two things on a hotel menu that fit my “travel criteria.”


The Great British breakfast is the exception to all rules.


My biggest tip is to start any long day at a convention with an egg white omelet, all veggies (bonus for spinach), no cheese. I’m a light enough eater that if room service isn’t too ridiculously expensive, this will do me for both breakfast and lunch. It’s hard to mess up, egg whites are a perfect protein and exist everywhere, and every place has some sort of vegetable they can cook and stick into it. I can go for 3-4 hours on half an omelet and a piece of toast. It’s great!

Did you study abroad? 

Sort of. I took my MS from Nottingham University in England. I also did a stint of grade school in Devon when I was 10 (and numerous summers). But since my Mum is British and I already spent a great deal of time there I don’t entirely think of England as abroad. To me Ohio, where I did my undergrad was more alien and strange.


I’ve excavated and lived during the field season in Italy and Peru, although I’ve worked on artifacts from all over the world. And I’ve done a language immersion program in Mexico. But I’ve never stayed anywhere long enough to really feel like I lived and learned in another country. I was about to move to Italy for a few years when I met and fell in love with the AB instead.


One of the sites I worked on.

When are you coming (back) to England? 

Here is the Why Doesn’t Gail Visit Me? post that explains how I decide where to go. I only do one international trip a year. It depends on many factors. If I have a new book out, if a convention/publisher or event wants me there and is willing to cover some of my costs. Whether said event is close to friends or family. Whether my partner can come with me, and get the time off work. I really don’t like doing international trips by myself anymore.

Tea on the go – what if the only available spot is Starbucks? What would Alexia do? 

Drink their English Breakfast blend with whole milk (or a mix of skim and half & Half when in those odd parts of the world where they don’t offer whole, I’m looking at you Florida). It actually isn’t that bad, nor was its predecessor, the Awake blend. I’ve drunk far more than I care to admit.

Here is what I do when I can…

{Gail’s monthly read along for April is To Play the Lady by Naomi Lane.}


Your Moment of Parasol . . .

1944 Costume designed by Irene for Ingrid Bergman in Gaslight (1944)
From the collection of Larry McQueen on Pinterest

Your Infusion of Cute . . .
Old Books Repurposed into Paper Saucers and Cups by Cecilia Levy

Your Tisane of Smart . . .
18 Rules of Behavior for Young Ladies in 1831

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .  
KU Scammers on Amazon – What’s Going On?

Book News:
Gail made a B&N Best Book Nerd Tweets list

Quote of the Day:

“There is no such thing as a little garlic.”

~ A. Baer

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Posted by Gail Carriger

5 Responses

  1. NoraA said:

    I own the complete set of Adams End of the Universe series. They are a favorite read from my collection of over 2000 books.

  2. Jessica said:

    I don't know how I never realized you completed your undergrad in Ohio. That's where I was born, raised and currently reside. I can see how it would be alien and strange to someone not from here 🙂

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