Susan Kime: Child of the West, Observer of the World
We'll start at the beginning. Susan was raised in bucolic La Jolla in Southern California, a Pacific beachfront town renowned for its art scene and for the Salk Institute.
From a young age, this California Girl thrived on new experiences and new places, and was determined to see more of the world.
• Today, she has traveled to scores of countries
|• "The most exotic locale? Says Susan, "Ladakh in the extreme northern corner of India, with Tibetan cultural flavor and Himalayan landscape"
• She has lived in over a dozen places including New York City, maritime Nova Scotia in Atlantic Canada, and a remote village in Arizona
Bet You Didn't Know This About Park City, Utah, Susan's Current Town
Susan now hangs her safari hat in the Park City/Deer Valley area of Utah.
"I traded surfing for skiing," she says. "Now, I find that I love Park City. It is in Utah but has its own personality."
"Visitors wonder why Park City is so different from the rest of the state," she says. "The answer is in Park City's origins."
"Before Utah became a U.S. state in 1896, laws were lax," she says. "Especially in rough-and-tumble Park City, which sprang up in a silver rush. Settlers came from all over, drawn to Park City's personal freedoms: not just miners and merchants, but inventors, freethinkers, artists, entertainers, healers, barkeeps, ladies of the night, and a few outlaws."
"If you had a rebel spirit, Park City was the place to live, or live it up," Susan says. "In this anything-goes Western town, you could drink and carouse without a sheriff or church elder watching."
"Today, Park City is one of the West's most exclusive mountain getaway spots, with a five-star-ness to almost everything about it," she feels. "The scenery, the skiing, the resorts, the restaurants, the crowd. And oh yes, we have that little film fest and movie production studio called Sundance.”
How Susan Got Into Travel Writing
“I fell backward into this field," Susan says. "My husband got a call from a friend in the travel industry who needed someone to go to Mexico and write an article. My better half passed the phone to me."
"I made up my mind in seconds. I still feel the same excitement embarking on every travel story. This job is an adventure."
Susan's Shortlist of Spectacular Sights Around the World
• The vista from the resort Ananda in the Himalayas: snowy foothills on one side, and on the other, a river valley with the Ganges flowing through
• Sunset from the White Marble Taj Lake Palace Hotel in Udaipur, painting Lake Pichola a molten bronze
• The Parthenon on the Acropolis during a full moon
• The Taj Mahal during a seemingly art-directed rosy sunset
• Norway's Northern Lights from the deck of my Hurtigruten ship (at 2:30 A.M. on the voyage's last night)
ª Also in Norway, the sight of the all-ice Kirkenes Snow Hotel festively lit, as I returned from a "king crab safari" over frozen fjords
Where You'll See the Susan Kime Byline
Susan has contributed to many respected media.
• Her online outlets have included JustLuxe.com (as Senior Affluence Correspondent), Pursuitist.com (as News Editor), Luxist.com (as Senior Lifestyle journalist)
• Her work has appeared in print media like Forbes Travel Guides (for Salt Lake City and Park City,) Robb Report, and Elite Traveler
Some of Susan's Proudest Work, Old and New
• The out-of-this-world service on the banks of India's Lake Pichola in Udaipur, at Taj Lake Palace hotel
• They say you can sense the presence of the departed in the eerie "blue hour" during Norway's no-night summer days
• Why residents like living without walls in architect Yamazaki Kentaro's "Unfinished House"
• A revealing talk with "Chef of the Century," international culinary supernova Joel Robuchon
• (Here on Luxury Travel, read about this celebrated toque's must-be-experienced restaurant, Joel Robuchon Las Vegas)
Susan Says: Remain Grateful
"I'm aware that travel writers are expected to experience the wonders of the world. But I'm very grateful to have had the opportunity to visit, describe, and photograph exceptional places."
"I'm also grateful for my Italian hiking shoes and my Hasselblad Lunar camera."
Where to Read Susan's Latest on Luxury Travel
• Her explanation is the best on the Internet: what river cruising is like, and why people who hate conventional cruises love river cruises
• River cruising is a popular game. Susan helps you find the best players and ships
• Intrigued by river cruising, and found a cruise line you like? Now find a genius fare
• Her fantasy hotel room, which is (surprise) not a resort Presidential Suite but a deluxe cabin aboard the Viking Ocean Star ship
• Susan's dine-around of her hometown: a choosy roundup of the best restaurants in Park City/Deer Valley, Utah
• Susan thinks that this once-scandalous river town is emerging as one of the West's coolest getaway destinations.
Susan's Vegas Entertainer Friend
The photo on this page was taken at Siegfried & Roy's Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat at Mirage Las Vegas.
• Susan glided around the pool with one-name Sin City celebrity Oswald, "a 450-pound bottlenose dolphin with a gift for dancing, a snarky sense of humor, and a fondness for orange Jello cubes"