Jet set: Fiona Kotur Marin

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 01 July, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 01 July, 2009, 12:00am

What's your best plane seat and why?

I'm a big fan of 747s, not only because they have four reliable Rolls-Royce engines and a whale-like presence, but also because of the upper deck. My favourite seat is one that lies flat (a must) in the intimate environment of the upper deck.

Which destination have you returned to again and again? New York. I will always be a New Yorker at heart, having lived there until our family moved to Hong Kong. I travel there alone for business or with my husband and children at least four times a year.

What's one destination that's always eluded you and why?

Rome is a city I've always wanted to visit. From my studies in art history to my first viewing of La Dolce Vita, I have longed to go, but with each European trip, Rome has eluded me - even now, as I write this from the airport lounge in Milan.

What are three things we're certain to find in your carry-on luggage?

My Apple laptop, La Mer moisturiser and a good book. The only time I have a chance to read is when I'm travelling alone, so I take advantage of it.

What's your first stop in a new city?

I always explore street culture first and tour neighbourhoods to understand the personality of a place, or stop to have lunch at a local eatery. I also love local markets.

How do you get the most out of a new city in a limited time?

I always explore the things unique to that city first - mostly from a shopping point of view. With globalisation, it's harder, but more rewarding to find individuality, especially in fashion. My husband always asks local taxi drivers where they have lunch, and the food is usually pretty good. Then to contrast that, we try dinner prepared by the city's most popular chefs.

What's your next big trip and why?

I'm in Milan right now, meeting my European clients. In two weeks, I'll take my two oldest boys to Putonghua camp in Taipei.

Tipping - good or evil and why?

Being from New York, tipping is a perfunctory exercise. I had never given much thought to it until I moved to Asia, where the expectations are so different. It is refreshing to have people refuse a tip based on their own sense of professional pride. Still, I am always happy to tip for good service.

What's your favourite travel outfit and why?

Black pants, boot cut, and a black fitted jacket made from high-performance, athletic materials, but not styled that way. I like comfort, but try not to look like I am going to the gym. My grandmother wore kidskin gloves and a suit when she flew, and I would like to preserve that little bit of formality.

What's your most memorable travel experience?

Sleeping under the stars in the ruins of a Southern Indian temple. It had hollow pillars, like organ pipes, that hummed melodiously all night.

What item from your wardrobe do you not leave home without? I always travel with jewellery - my Verdura cuffs in particular. They remind me of my husband when I am away from home.