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Five Miles Up with ... Danica Patrick

January 7, 2013

Traveling at high speeds. This has been the theme for Danica Patrick’s life, starting with go-kart racing at the tender age of 10. Since then, she’s graduated to Formula Ford and Indy car racing, including being the first woman to lead in the Indianapolis 500. Now in the NASCAR world, Patrick continues to follow a creed: Drive like you have something to prove every time. So how does the race-car driver/model/TV host/actress vacation? On safari, of course. What she brings back as a souvenir, though, might raise a few eyebrows on the racetrack.

What’s something you never fail to pack in your suitcase? 

My toiletries. There’s something about having your comforts of home with you on the road.

Carry-on or check-in? 
I try to always carry-on. I hate having to wait for my luggage at baggage claim.

Window or aisle?

What’s your idea of the perfect vacation?
Going somewhere new and different. I love experiencing new cultures and food.

Tell us about a vacation you’ve taken that’s come close thus far.
I went to South Africa last winter and loved it. It was probably one of the most memorable vacations I've been on in a long time. The safari was one of the highlights of the whole trip. Then there was the beautiful water in Cape Town, and I met some wonderful people that I’ve stayed in touch with.

Favorite hotel you've ever stayed in?
Singita Lebombo Lodge is the amazing hotel in Kruger National Park where I stayed while on safari.

What's the most unusual souvenir you ever came back with?
I bought napkin holders when I was at Singita Lebombo Lodge. Each Singita Resort has a different color scheme that’s incorporated throughout the grounds. The napkins rings I purchased have light blues and are beaded. They’re really unique and different.

What’s the worst vacation you’ve ever been on? 
Anywhere you can't afford to be visiting is going to end up being a less than memorable vacation.

Where’s your favorite place to race? 
Indianapolis.  The Indianapolis Motor Speedway feels like home to me.

Ever try a food that you wished you hadn't? 
No, I'm adventurous when it comes to trying different foods, but I’ve tried many drinks I wish I hadn't. 

Biggest regret you've ever had while on vacation?
Not taking enough pictures.

What's the one thing you're willing to splurge on above all else? 
Hotel rooms. It's not worth skimping on a hotel room while on vacation just to save a few dollars.

Three artists on your travel playlist? 
Miranda Lambert, Alanis Morissette and Ingrid Michaelson.

Where would you take someone visiting your hometown for the first time?

Bicycling on a local bike path in Roscoe, Ill., that I used to ride on when I was growing up.

You only get one more trip in your lifetime. Where will it be? 
Oh, so many choices, so little vacation time, but at this point in my life I would love to visit Italy