By Nate Storey
February 09, 2015
Sports Illustrated swimsuit model
Credit: Yu Tsai/Sports Illustrated

For the 2015 swimsuit issue, Sports Illustrated traversed America shooting in disparate destinations, from Oregon’s misty coast to rustic Blackberry Farm in Tennessee to the sapphire bays of St. John. T+L sat down with 23-year-old Emily DiDonato from Goshen, New York, to talk travel and her third year as a SI model.

Q: Tell us about this year’s issue. What location did you shoot in?

A: It’s awesome that all the shoot sites are in the U.S. because there’s so much beauty in this country. I went to Kauai, Hawaii and loved the diverse landscape: beaches, mountains, and so much greenery. It’s a magical place.

Q: As someone who travels all over the world, what’s your secret to staying energized on the road? How do you spend your free time?

A: I drink a lot of water and eat as healthy as possible, which sometimes means bringing my own snacks. I also try to exercise when I arrive somewhere because sweating it out is the best cure for jet lag. To keep busy I bring along a good book and my journal.

Q: What’s your favorite sunny escape?

A: Turks and Caicos. I’ve been vacationing at Amanyara resort, on the western coast of Provo island, for the last couple of years. It’s always hot, the water is crystal clear, and the vibe is laid back.

Q: Where do you go for winter trips?

A: I love Vail, Colorado. I recently learned to ski and it’s become something that I really enjoy. Colorado has a fresh feel; it’s nice to be in the mountains and breathe the clean air.

Q: What's your bucket-list trip?

A: Skiing in Chile!

Nate Storey is an editorial assistant at Travel + Leisure.