Popupla Questionnaire

Meet Tel Aviv Mover and Shaker Ross Belfer

by Ross Belfer
Ross

Photo by Merav Ben Loulou.

Hometown: New York City via Asbury Park, New Jersey.

Occupation: Entrepreneur, publicist, photographer, and founder of Xhibition.

Favorite destinations: Lisbon, Azores, Colombia, Southern France, Stromboli, and my new hometown of Tel Aviv.

Dying to visit: Japan and Morocco.

Bizarre travel rituals: If it's an early morning flight, stay up through the night and head right to the airport. I also never depart from Tel Aviv without first eating a Tunisian sandwich from Aroma. I can't stand airplane food.

In­flight relaxation regime: Read a light novel or magazine before sleep sets in.

Always in carry­-on: Everything. I never check luggage. I've had traumatic experiences at baggage claim.

Concierge or DIY? I am the concierge.

See it all or take it easy? See it all in the city. Take it easy is at the beach or on a nature-­tinged vacation.

Drive or be driven? Be driven.

Travel hero: Jacques Cousteau.

Weirdest thing seen on travels: Walking into a random cafe in Amsterdam for a quick lunch only to find a truly locals­-only beer and meat bar where we could literally hear the sound of a pin drop. No verbal exchanges, not even a giggle, just the sound of newspapers being folded and bodies repositioning on the wooden chairs and benches. I had never before been in such an odd situation where I felt bad even whispering to my friend. We crunched on bresaola sandwiches, the sound of each bite reverberating throughout the room, and silently slid out the door to a burst of laughter and shock after an unexpected experience in the city's most quiet bar.

My favorite hotel is Pedras Salgadas Spa Resort because the bedrooms are otherworldly tree­houses.

I dream about my meal at Kispiac Bisztro in Budapest. The lamb ossobucco and duck pâté were unreal.

Best hotel amenity: Relaxation­-inducing bath salts at Palacio Belmonte in Lisbon.

Favorite childhood travel memory: Maybe not my favorite, but I distinctly recall the smell of burning wood permeating Quebec City when I visited as an eight-year-­old.

Everywhere I go, I check out the outdoor food markets, where I can truly get a sense of a city's residents, vibe, and local cuisine.

When I arrive in a new place, I learn the lay of the land by walking down the streets around my residence over and over until they become my home away from home.

I always bring home local soap, stamps, and other bric­-a-­brac.

If I never return to Dubrovnik, it'll be too soon because not a single person in Dubrovnik is from Dubrovnik.

I travel for the adventure and time alone with my thoughts.

MORE ROSS

Website: xhibition.com
Blog: eagertourist.com
Facebook: Eager Tourist
Instagram: @eagertourist
Twitter: @eagertourist