Joni serves as the New York associate editor for Where. “My adventurous spirit has taken me around the globe—rafting down the Ganges, hiking the jungles of Borneo and splashing around Earth's largest volcanic lake, located in Sumatra, Indonesia—only to land me in the most thrilling city in the world, New York.” She is always in search of off-the-beaten-path places for authentic cultural experiences and a taste of local flavor. Follow her on Twitter as @JoniSweet and on Instagram as @jonisweet.
Joni’s take on New York: I love that I can taste my way around the world at all the great cultural restaurants. I love seeing what all the local fashion designers come up with and taking inspiration from the stylish New Yorker. As a humor junkie, I laugh my way through this city’s vibrant comedy clubs. I also love that this is a sprawling city, where you can take day trips to outer boroughs that feel so different from Manhattan.
Most memorable travel experience: I’ll never forget visiting the border of Pakistan near Amritsar, India. Men were chanting, smiling and waving large Indian flags, while women danced in the street to Bollywood music. They invited me down from the stands to dance with them and after months of living in the country, I finally stopped feeling like an outsider. I smiled inside and reflected on this experience when I sat back down and watched the orchestrated ceremony where guards on both sides of the border shake hands, a daily peace offering.
Last notable trip: Nicaragua in the summer of 2014. Las Huellas de Acahualinca, 2,100-year-old ancient human footprints in the capital Managua, left me humbled and feeling deeply connected to distant ancestors. I also loved seeing the art and taking cooking classes.
Place you always return to visit: Ithaca, New York, where I attended college. It’s so much fun to hike, splash around in hidden gorges, visit the farmer’s market and try all the Finger Lakes wines, especially the Riesling. This weird, wonderful town will always have my heart.