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Five Miles Up with … Travis Wall

Bekah Wright
September 17, 2013

Travis Wall’s fancy footwork first caught notice when he was runner-up during the second season of Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance.” Since then, he’s choreographed for the show, a gig that’s earned him three consecutive Emmy nominations. This Sunday, he’ll be doing double duty at the Primetime Emmy Awards, both performing and waiting in the wings when the winner for Authentic Choreography is announced. If he has time between rehearsals to walk the red carpet, we’re wondering … Might he be accessorizing with a certain souvenir named Bumpa?

What’s something you never fail to pack in your suitcase?
Gym shorts and a hoodie.

Carry-on or check-in?
Definitely check-in. I can never figure out the liquids -- my face wash, deodorant… everything’s too big, and I’m not really a planner, so I pack 15 minutes before I go to the airport.

Window or aisle?
I’ve trained myself to get through flights by sleeping, and I can’t sleep on a plane unless I have a window seat.

What’s your idea of the perfect vacation?
A turned-off phone, a beach and my boyfriend, Dominic.

Tell us about a vacation you’ve taken that’s come close thus far.
This past March, we went to Las Ventanas al Paraiso in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, for our two-year anniversary. It was amazing – we did things like horseback riding on the beach at sunset. Next, I’m going to Hawaii – The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua on Maui – with my boyfriend and three best friends. I haven’t had a break in so long; it’s been job to job to job to job. I’m so excited to turn off my phone and just relax.

What’s the worst mishap you’ve had while traveling?
Being robbed at gunpoint on the beach in Miami with my best friend. I’d never been in a dangerous situation before and, suddenly, I had a gun sticking in my back.

Where’s your favorite destination for performing?
My dance company, Shaping Sound, just came off a 13-city tour. We had standing ovations every night, but in New York, we performed at the Beacon Theatre in front of 2,500 people. It was bananas.

What's the silliest souvenir you’ve ever brought back from a trip?
A white, taxidermy cat I picked up during a random pit stop on a road trip from Virginia to South Carolina. It was sitting there by checkout and I said, “Ma’am, what’s that?” She said, “A taxidermy cat.” I asked, “How much is it?” She said, “Fifty dollars.” Done. I bought it and named it Bumpa. For a long time, I put it on a leash and dragged it everywhere. My friends got a kick out of seeing people’s reactions.

Ever try a food you wished you hadn't?
Shellfish. I’m allergic.

Favorite resort and/or boat you've ever stayed in/on?
Resort-wise, Las Ventanas al Paraiso, and cruise ship-wise, Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas. It’s the biggest ship in the world and the most beautiful ship I’ve ever seen.

Favorite restaurant you’ve discovered while traveling.
I was a picky eater in my late teens and early 20s, so I’m finally opening up my mind to trying different kinds of foods. I’m a Bobby Flay guy – I love his Mesa Grill restaurants. I also love BOA in Los Angeles.

Biggest regret you've ever had while on vacation.
Sometimes, I wish I’d be a little more adventurous. I get so stuck to sitting by the pool with a cocktail, when I could be ziplining, or swimming with dolphins.

The one thing you're willing to splurge on when traveling above all else.

Three artists on your travel playlist?
I’ve got four -- Daft Punk, Jason Mraz, Bruno Mars and Beyonce.

Where would you take someone visiting your hometown for the first time?
Virginia Beach’s boardwalk. It’s very different from every other boardwalk in the United States. It’s old, yet new, and not crowded with visitors. It’s a little bit of a secret.

You only get one more trip in your lifetime. Where will it be?
I’ve been dying to go to Italy. I’d fly over to Europe, then take the train and visit every city I can possibly see within a three-week span. I hope to make that trip happen later this year.