Al­berta city stole Arlen’s heart

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - TRAVEL - By Jae-Ha Kim

Di­ag­nosed with a pair of rare disor­ders that kept her in a veg­e­ta­tive state for four years, Vic­to­ria Arlen be­gan her re­cov­ery nine years ago, re­learn­ing how to walk, eat and speak. In 2012, she won four medals (in­clud­ing a gold) at the 2012 Lon­don Par­a­lympic Games.

A for­mer com­peti­tor on “Danc­ing with the Stars,” Arlen is the au­thor of “Locked In: The Will to Sur­vive and the Re­solve to Live,” which was made into an ESPN Films doc­u­men­tary, and she mod­els for Jockey. In early 2020, she will make her de­but as one of the co-hosts of “Amer­i­can Ninja War­rior Ju­nior.”

An edited ver­sion of our con­ver­sa­tion fol­lows.

Q: What is your fa­vorite va­ca­tion des­ti­na­tion?

A: Lake Win­nipesaukee in New Hamp­shire. I am a huge fan of the lake and moun­tains and Lake Winni has both. It’s my fa­vorite place to run away to. The lake, or re­ally any­where near the wa­ter, is a get­away for me.

Q: To some­one who was go­ing there for the first time, what would you rec­om­mend that they do dur­ing their visit?

A: Def­i­nitely go to the lake or visit Mered­ith or Wolfeboro, which are filled with the cutest shops and de­li­cious restau­rants.

Q: What un­tapped des­ti­na­tion should peo­ple know about?

A: Sch­lad­ming, Aus­tria, is a beau­ti­ful moun­tain town that is filled with beau­ti­ful cul­ture, de­li­cious food and views that’ll take your breath away. Plus, the ski­ing is amaz­ing.

Q: What’s the most im­por­tant thing you’ve learned from your trav­els?

A: That the world is a beau­ti­ful place and we are all in this to­gether. Ev­ery­where I’ve gone, I have seen over and over again just how alike we all are and how we are all try­ing to nav­i­gate life.

Q: Where is the most ro­man­tic des­ti­na­tion?

A: Banff, Al­berta (Canada). That place truly stole my heart. Just think­ing about it is mak­ing my heart smile.

Q: If you’ve ever gone away for the hol­i­days, which was the best trip?

A: I’ve al­ways gone home (to New Hamp­shire) for the hol­i­days. And es­pe­cially now that I live in Cal­i­for­nia, I re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate it all the more.

Q: What are your five fa­vorite cities?

A: Bos­ton, Banff, New York City, Chicago and St. Andrews (Scot­land).

Q: Where have you

Qtrav­eled to that most re­minded you of home? A: Go­ing to St. Andrews re­ally re­minded me of home. My fam­ily is from there and there was some­thing so spe­cial about be­ing there. It just deep down felt like home.

Q: What is your guilty plea­sure when you’re on the road?

A: Room ser­vice al­ways is my guilty plea­sure.

Q: What kind of re­search do you do be­fore you go away on a trip?

A: I usu­ally check the weather re­li­giously, so I make sure I pack ac­cord­ingly. One time, I did not do that and there was a bliz­zard and I was not pre­pared. Kind of scarred me, so I never fail to check the weather.

Q: What is your best va­ca­tion mem­ory?

A: My best va­ca­tion? I have some pretty amaz­ing va­ca­tion mem­o­ries with my fam­ily. I think more re­cently I went to one of my dear friend’s wed­ding in Puglia, Italy, and I brought my par­ents. We had so much fun and ex­plored the en­tire south­ern coast of Italy.

BRAN­DON SHOW­ERS PHOTO

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