Road warrior

John Wood, 42, Founder and CEO, Room to Read

By Sheridan Prasso, Fortune contributing editor

(Fortune Magazine) -- Though he jumped off the corporate ladder to launch a nonprofit, John Wood doesn't necessarily favor yurts and youth hostels. As author of the new book Leaving Microsoft to Change the World: An Entrepreneur's Odyssey to Educate the World's Children, Wood frequently travels through Asia and Africa at sponsors' expense and using donated frequent-flier miles.

His outfit, Room to Read, has built more than 3,000 schools, libraries, and computer labs, donated two million books, and funded thousands of scholarships since 1999. We caught up with him on the New York leg of his book tour.

" DAYS ON THE ROAD More than 200.

" Favorite Destination Hong Kong is my favorite city for business (in my case, fundraising). Everything is central, people move fast, and I've had 14 meetings in a day.

" Favorite Hotel The [five-star] Yak & Yeti in Kathmandu, Nepal. I don't have that Gandhi-esque desire to sleep on a roach-infested floor just to prove how noble I am.

" Plane Reading I usually knock off 200 to 300 e-mails on a flight, then read the paper.

" Favorite Book of All Time Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller Sr.

" Air Wear Canvas North Face pants, warm SmartWool socks, and my Bose noise-canceling headphones.

" Necessary Gadget My Motorola tri-band cellphone. I was once at a restaurant in Bali talking to a partner at Accenture Germany who made a commitment on the spot to help us rebuild schools in Sri Lanka.

" Vacation Spot When it was crunch time on my book, I hid myself away at Jnane Tamsna and the Kasbah du Toubkal, two fantastic resorts in Morocco owned by friends.

" Favorite Ground Transport In Nepal, I once rented a yak to carry 1,000 children's books to a remote village in the Himalayas. It only cost $5, including the yak minder.

" Best Meal Shiva Shakti in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, serves the best Indian food ever.  Top of page