20 Questions with Tara FT Sering

Our former editor on epic adventures with Smile and where to next

People often tell me I have the best job in the world and I could never manage a half-hearted protest — even just to feign modesty — because it’s true: What could be better than roaming the network to find the familiar in foreign terrain? Then working with some of the best talent anywhere — writers, photographers, illustrators, producers, stylists — to produce a satisfying read every single month? It’s been an epic, storied seven years as editor of this magazine, and as I move on to the next chapter, my everlasting gratitude goes to anyone who has ever made a contribution, and especially to you, our readers, for always inspiring us to do better. I wish you all boundless wanderlust and unforgettable adventures. You’ll be meeting Smile‘s awesome new editor, Kristine Fonacier, in the next issue, but in the meantime, as a parting shot, I’ve filled out Smile’s own 20 Questions, just for the fun of it. Keep flying and safe travels, everyone!

1. Favorite travel destination? Siargao

2. Best travel buddies? My husband, Jonathan, and my mom and dad, my sisters and brother

3. White-knuckle or easygoing traveler? Easygoing

4. Window or aisle seat? Aisle, first row

5. Best travel tip or hack? Check Smile before you fly!

6. Favorite foreign cuisine? All (but OK, anything with shiso in it)

7. City, mountain, beach? I need my fix of each one

8. Planned or spontaneous travel? Spontaneous. It drives some travel mates mad but there’s something about not knowing where you’re headed. Still, a nice middle ground is best — get a rough itinerary sorted and leave room for some magic.

9. Planned or spontaneous life? Spontaneous. I live as I travel.

10. Never leave home without… A journal, a laptop, a camera, a hooded jacket, a striped shirt, maybe 10 pens (a bit hopeless in the packing department).

11. Book that is your travel inspiration? The one I’ve been meaning to write for years — having that on my to-do list keeps me going.

12. Dream destination? Tasmania (12 hours by ferry from Melbourne!)

13. Favorite assignment? 10 days walking the Nakasendo Way in Japan

14. Favorite Cebu Pacific pun?Xiamen, shimmering, splendid” — kudos to the punster who came up with this, it’s genius!

15. Proudest moment? Four years ago, the team summited Mt Kinabalu to shoot the cover and the cover feature — I wasn’t part of it, but seeing that much commitment brought tears to my eyes.

16. Favorite desktop item? A picture of my niece, Kalea

17. Most unforgettable moment on assignment? Canyoneering in Badian with the team for four hours

18. Favorite destination re-discovered on the job? Dumaguete City

19. What will you miss most? Hearing readers say how much they enjoy the magazine. It’s been an epic ride, and an absolute honor these past seven years.

20. Where to next? See #8

This article first appeared in the February 2019 issue of Smile magazine.

Written by

Tara Sering

We use cookies for a number of reasons, such as keeping Smile website reliable and secure, personalising content and ads, providing social media features and to analyse how our Sites are used.