Veteran broadcast journalist and radio talk show host Callie Crossley knows the importance of the work she is doing during this difficult time. Whether it’s hosting her weekly radio show, “Under the Radar With Callie Crossley,” on WGBH 89.7, hosting WGBH TV’s “Basic Black,” or serving as a panelist on “Beat the Press,” the award-winning journalist and documentary filmmaker has been focusing on race-related issues – from the killings of unarmed Black people by white police officers, to the inequity issues surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic – that have been gripping the nation. “It’s a lot,” she said, adding that the recent shooting death of Rayshard Brooks in a Wendy’s parking lot in Atlanta hits especially close to home: When she was an 18-year-old student at Wellesley College, she and a friend, who is also Black, were in their car waiting to place an order at a McDonald’s in Natick when they were approached by a white police officer [who was with his partner, who was in their nearby patrol car] who asked what they were doing there and where they came from. “I’ll never forget what it felt like to be targeted by those cops and not know why,” she said in a recent radio broadcast. Familiar routines are helpful during stressful times, so she is looking forward to getting to Martha’s Vineyard soon to relax and unwind. “I have been going for a long time, and I just love it there,” she said. We caught up with Crossley, who was born and raised in Memphis, Tenn., and now calls Cambridge home, to talk about all things travel.
Favorite vacation destination?
Hawaii followed by Martha's Vineyard as a close second. I live through the awful New England weather all year so I can get to the Vineyard in the summer.
Favorite food or drink while vacationing?
Wine, wine, and wine. Real Memphis barbecue – if I make it – and fish of all kinds; though I’ll try a lot of different stuff. I don’t mind a few fruity cocktails, either.
Where would you like to travel to but haven’t?
Bora Bora, Fiji, Maldives . . . guess you can see a pattern.
One item you can’t leave home without when traveling?
Books! I’ll lug around the big ones, and put a bunch on my Kindle. And of course, will buy more while I’m away because if left alone, I can plow through six or seven books in a week.
Aisle or window?
Aisle. I like to be able to get up when I want to [and] I don’t like being crowded in by a window.
Favorite childhood travel memory?
A road trip, when I was about 10, to see a baseball game in Houston in a big stadium. I care nothing for sports, but loved being with my family and watching my dad be so excited about the game. I loved the snacks, natch.
Guilty pleasure when traveling?
Fabulous desserts made with local ingredients.
Best travel tip?
Bring a fold-up suitcase/backpack for souvenirs.