Alberta city stole Arlen’s heart
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.