Amy Alipio is an associate editor–and in-house #TripLit guru–at National Geographic Traveler magazine.

Here are a few fun facts about this erudite explorer:

Home Base: I’m one of only two Traveler staffers actually born here in D.C. In a city with a large transient population, we native Washingtonians are a rare and proud breed.

My Best: After Traveler’s first “Best of the World” list launched in 2011, Boyd Matson interviewed me for the National Geographic Weekend radio program and asked what was my favorite destination on the list.
I said “London“—and he looked clearly disappointed I didn’t pick something more exotic, like Oman or Mongolia. But London has always been the axis where so many of my passions converge: theater, literature, art, afternoon tea.
Fantastic Fans: For the first time, readers helped us create the “Best of the World” list this year. We took nominations online and the winning Reader’s Choice destination, the Derawan archipelago in Indonesia, is a place I’ve never even heard of.It just goes to show that we have some of the most well-traveled readers out there.

Who Knew?: The most surprising place I’ve been to recently is Bucharest. The Romanian capital’s wide, tree-lined boulevards reminded me of Paris.

And it’s unusually kid-friendly: big parks with cool playsets, a manageably sized natural history museum, and a restaurant in the old town where someone actually entertains your kids with craft projects before the food arrives.

Animal Kingdom: My dream travel experience in 2014 would be a safari pretty much anywhere in sub-Saharan Africa, where I’ve never been.

Best Read: I started the National Geographic Traveler Book Club five years ago, and we’ve discussed some great books. One of my favorites: The Woman Who Fell From the Sky, by Jennifer Steil, a bittersweet memoir of her time working at an English-language paper in Sanaa, Yemen, a place we don’t read a lot about outside of negative news headlines.

Best Taste: Philippine mangoes. They practically fall on your head, they’re so plentiful there. I enjoy them both green and crisp-tangy as well as when they’re ripe and sugary.