Travel Diaries

Travel Diaries: How An Astrologer Explores The World

Welcome to Refinery29’s Travel Diaries, a place where we find out the how, the why, and the where people are exploring now that the world is opening up again. In their answers to 29 questions, diarists will reveal their unique — and often a little offbeat — travel habits, stories, and hacks, from their bucket list destinations to their must-have road trip munchies to the wildest thing that ever happened to them while on a vacation. Buckle up, because we're inviting you along for the ride.
Today, professional astrologer Narayana Montúfar tells us her perfect airport arrival time, the best five-hour long restaurant experience she's ever had, and the travel destination she loves so much that she wants to move there.
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Name: Narayana Montúfar
Age: 41
Occupation: Astrologer, editor, artist & author
Home: It was San Francisco for the past 15 years, but I’ve been living the nomad life for the past year.
Handle: @naramonartstrology
Plane, train, or automobile? Plane, whenever possible. I like to get there faster — of course, unless it’s a road trip.
Beach or mountains? This question makes me smile because while playing at the nomad life for the past year, I kept finding myself constantly jumping between the two. For me, the mountains are very spiritual, and beaches have a more fun vibe to them. However, I am going to say I prefer the beach. I am a water baby and partly grew up on the beach, so I have a special love for the sand.
What's your biggest vacation splurge? After college in 2007, my mom gifted me a trip to Australia and New Zealand. Originally, I was only going for three weeks, but I ended up liking it so much that I ended up staying for two months. Once I returned, my mom told me I had spent over $10,000. Oops.
What’s your minibar weakness? Wine and chocolate!
What is the first big trip you ever took? I'm from Mexico City, and the best big trip I took was a two-month road trip in the United States. I went to California and Texas.
Tell us about your best travel experience. My best travel experience was in Southeast Asia, specifically Vietnam and Thailand. The reason why I loved it so much is because the culture is so different from everything else I have experienced before.
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Tell us about your worst travel experience. Cuba. It was hard for me to see so many people having no choices and no access to basic things. It was definitely interesting, but it kind of broke my heart a little bit.
What is your favorite place to visit? I love Argentina so much that eventually, I want to live there. I just love the place and the people, I love wine, and I see myself having my own vineyard in Valle de Uco. I also like that it is so close to Patagonia, which is a place I would love to explore more.
What is your go-to traveling outfit? Baggy black pants with pockets, a comfortable T-shirt, easy-to-remove shoes, a warm sweater, a fanny pack, and my two hats!
Do you arrive at the airport three hours early? Or 30 minutes before boarding? I get to the airport 2.5 hours before the flight. I'd rather be early than sorry!
What are your favorite traveling snacks? Grapes, chips, cheese, and chocolate.
What's your favorite part about staying in a hotel? I love hotels with comfortable beds, but I spend a lot of time picking the location, as I like to walk around a lot in cool neighborhoods.
Where do you want to go next? Greece! I was supposed to go in 2020, but my plans got canceled for obvious reasons.
Where would you travel if it were the end of the world? Egypt. I am fascinated by the thought of experiencing the pyramids, the food, and the culture. I would not want to die before going there!
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What’s your most frequent trip? Mexico, because my family is there. My mom owns a restaurant on the beach in Playa La Ropa, Zihuatanejo, Guerrero. It’s such a treat to go there since it’s relatively close and the weather is amazing.
What’s your packing style? I don’t normally overpack for clothes, but… I carry a mini suitcase just for my jewelry.
What was your last trip? I’m traveling as I write this. I’m heading to Brooklyn and then going to Cape Cod and Nashville.
What's your next trip? Most likely Mexico, Italy, or Greece.
What’s your best travel hack? I don’t do a lot of the classic touristy things. I see myself as some kind of nomad instead. I don’t do a lot of tours, since I like to experience the local scene and exploring off the beaten path places.
What’s better: solo trips or traveling in groups? I love traveling with my husband. Together, we have been to 18 countries so far, so it’s something we bond over. However, if not, I prefer traveling alone rather than in groups.
What’s a touristy spot that’s actually worth it? The Galápagos Islands! The nature and geography are so unique that it is not to be missed. Italy is also touristy, but such a classic!
Window, middle, or aisle? Window so I can fall asleep. Fun traveling fact: I once slept 12 hours straight during a train ride between Amsterdam and Vienna!
Hotels: splurge or save? Splurge. Life is too short not to treat yourself!
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What’s your go-to airplane drink? Flavored fizzy water.
Domestic or international travel? International! I like experiencing other cultures, flavors, and languages. For me, traveling domestically is almost like going next door. I don’t hate it, but don’t prefer it. I like getting out of my comfort zone.
What’s the best meal you’ve ever eaten while traveling? The best meal I have ever had while traveling was in Buenos Aires, Argentina at iLatina. It’s permanently closed now, but it was incredible. It was a tasting menu that paired incredible wines with delicious food. The entire dinner was around five hours and included around six or seven tastings. It was a night and a menu to be remembered forever!
Podcast, audiobook, or playlist? Playlist! I’m a huge music fan and just like to zone out and tune the noises out. Although, I have been so busy lately that what I mostly do when traveling is write — just like I am right now!
What’s your favorite airplane movie? I usually don’t watch movies on planes. Call me a weirdo — it’s okay!
What’s at the top of your bucket list? So many places: Iceland, Poland, Aruba, Singapore, Japan. And…. aren’t people going to the moon soon?!

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