Despite his appearance here, Ridlon Kiphart is anything but a fish
out of water. In fact, after getting to know him, we can state with
confidence that Ridlon is the kind of guy who can adapt to any
condition in any place - and find something positive to take away
from the experience. "The places I find most fascinating are
those that pose the greatest challenges, and that's where I really
thrive," he says. "I love operating without a lot of 'pieces' - you
know, the conveniences you find in other places. I love being
disconnected from things like cell phones and BlackBerrys, which
won't work in most of the places I like to go." Ridlon's
ultimate travel goal is an around-the-world expedition, but he
assures us that he does put the brakes on
every now and then. As a member of the ultraprestigious Explorers
Club, he'll take time off from his adventures to attend the club's
annual dinner - at which he has eaten "vertebrate ocular parts"
("eyeballs" to the rest of us). And if you think a guy who
spends 322 days a year traveling has only a superficial
relationship with the concept of home, you've never had an extended
conversation with Ridlon. "For me, home is wherever I am at
that particular moment," he says, echoing what he wrote in his
contest essay, in which he stated that he considered "the middle of
nowhere" to be his home away from home. "There are so many places
unknown, so many places left untouched."
I'm 33 years old, but I feel like I'm
Definitely younger than 33. If I could be 28 forever, I'd be
My first airplane trip was
When I was 7
or 8 years old. I went to Raleigh, North Carolina, with my Brownies
When I was a little girl, I wanted to grow up to
A guest star on The Muppet Show.
Five years from now, I want to
Be able to cook fish well, and to not have allergic sneezing
Clark Kent (Superman) or Bruce Wayne
(Batman)? Bruce Wayne. He has cooler gadgets. He's like a
Brookstone store on steroids!
If I'm having a party and have to prepare one
dish, it would be
Fondue - cheese and chocolate.
Sing in the car or shower? Both.
My go-to song when I'm in the mood to belt out a
tune: Anything from Man of La Mancha.