Marty Martinez and his husband, Matthew Hall, in Provincetown.
Marty Martinez and his husband, Matthew Hall, in Provincetown.

As chief of health and human services for the city of Boston, Marty Martinez says it’s “all COVID, all the time, nonstop.” He is optimistic that Boston is heading in the right direction with decreasing numbers of cases of the disease, and said he is “proud” of Bostonians for taking necessary precautions during the pandemic. The Omaha, Neb., native oversees 10 departments, including the Boston Public Health Commission and the Boston Center for Youth and Families, so when it’s time for vacation, he can’t wait to get away and unwind in his favorite place: Provincetown. We caught up with Martinez, 43, who lives in Dorchester with his husband, Matthew Hall, a finance manager for a nonprofit, and their dog, Petey, to talk about all things travel.

Favorite vacation destination?

Provincetown, on the Cape. It’s close — a 90-minute ferry ride — but you feel very far away when you’re there. The beaches, restaurants, social scene . . . we go at least once a year and sometimes twice.

Favorite food or drink while vacationing?

My favorite food when I’m vacationing or not vacationing is Mexican. Wherever I am, I will always find a way to have Mexican food.

Where would you like to travel to but haven’t?

Asia — particularly Hong Kong or Singapore. I’ve never been to that part of the world and the culture is just so different than any culture I’m connected to . . . it’s so unique. We had planned to go there this past spring, but we didn’t.

One item you can’t leave home without when traveling?

Well, my phone, of course — I’m sure everybody says that — but also my tennis racket. I love to play tennis wherever I am, so I make sure to always bring my racket with me.

Aisle or window?

Aisle. I’m afraid to fly, so I prefer being in the middle of the plane.

Favorite childhood travel memory?

Driving from the Midwest to Dallas each summer starting when I was 10 or 11. My oldest sister — who is 15 years older than me — moved there, so we would drive out and my parents would leave me with her for a couple of weeks. The trip was exciting for me, but what was most exciting was seeing my best friend.

Guilty pleasure when traveling?

I’d have to say not worrying about what I eat. I love sweets — anything chocolate — and I might have a piece of cake . . . or a half a cake.

Best travel tip?

Don’t plan everything out. Leave room for the unexpected, to be open and free and go with the flow — whatever that flow might be.


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