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Featured Traveler: Ruzwana Bashir

By AFAR Traveler

Nov 30, 2012

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Ruzwana Bashir is co-founder and CEO of Peek, a pretty sweet travel utility that allows you to plan and book great experiences—while you’re traveling, or in your own city. They recently launched something called “Perfect Days.” Anyone can create their own Perfect Day with the easy upload tool. In fact, we’ve dipped our toes in those waters: check out AFAR’s Perfect Days for downtown L.A., Healdsburg, Sonoma, San Diego, San Francisco, and Honolulu.

Ruzwana is a travel junkie herself, unsurprisingly. As you can see from her answers to our travel questionnaire, she’s quite partial to London. She even created a London Wanderlist on AFAR. Check out her Wanderlist, and be sure to peek at Peek!

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Right now I’m in San Francisco.
Though I would much prefer to be in the Okavango Delta in Botswana, seeing the world’s most awe-inspiring wildlife.
Occupation: CEO of Peek.com, a travel site that helps people discover and book amazing things to do.
My next trip is to New York.
My last trip took me to Arizona.
First international trip—when and where? To Pakistan (where my parents are from) when I was five.
Favorite hotels: Post Ranch Inn for the views, Hotel Costes for Euro glamour, and Ponta Dos Ganchos for when you just need to kick back.
Favorite restaurants: I love Kokkari in San Francisco but nothing beats a meal at The French Laundry in Napa.
Favorite shopping destination: Hands down, London. With Selfridges, Mount St, Dover St and Bond St all within reach, who could possibly wish for more?
Favorite local style/most stylish place: London again. Now that I live in the States, I really miss all the incredible local designers (e.g. Jonathan Saunders, Lara Bohinc, Nicholas Kirkwood), and high street stores like Topshop.
iPhone or DSLR? iPhone
Backpack, wheelie, or trunk? Wheelie
Plugged-in or unplugged? Plugged-in
Public transportation, cab, or bike? Cab or tuk-tuk
If you’re in Myanmar in winter, don’t miss out on ballooning in Bagan.
Preparation: guidebook, online research, or seat of your pants? Guidebook, online research, and getting recommendations from friends
Traveling alone is the best way to make sure you connect with locals.
Five things you can’t travel without: cashmere blanket, pillow, laptop/iPad, copious amounts of food and a cup of hot tea
Favorite airport and why? Bangkok, because once I’m there I know the world’s best Thai yoga massages are moments away!
Three travel apps you can’t live without: Google Maps, Kayak, and Peek
What’s the one hometown place you miss most while traveling? Samovar Tea Lounge
First thing you do when you get home: Sleep
Most out-of-character travel experience? Something that you would never have done at home. I travel to do all the things I would never do at home! Past escapes include climbing Kilimanjaro, trekking the Inca trail, horse riding through the Mongolian steppe, hang gliding in Rio de Janeiro and scaling an active volcano.
Biggest travel mistake? Arriving in Tehran without enough cash for the whole trip (no ATMS accepted foreign cards, there was no way to use a credit card). Getting a wire transfer was a nightmare, but thankfully short-lived—within a few days I was headed off to Esfahan and Persepolis (feeding my long-standing addiction for exploring ancient ruins).
If I had a whole month to travel, I would go to Japan and Korea.
If I had a whole year to travel, I would go around the world.
Travel has taught me to always remain curious. 

Photo by Heidi Schumann.

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