“I will visit anywhere with big, beautiful mountains where I can ski. Switzerland, France, Austria, Italy, Canada, Japan, the list goes on…”
Mike MacEacheran is a Scottish freelance writer and guidebook author who regularly contributes to Conde Nast Traveler, The Wall Street Journal, Sunday Times Travel, The Guardian, The Observer, Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, The Independent, BBC Travel and The Globe & Mail. He has traveled to 107 countries and lives in Edinburgh, which is where he was currently located when he answered our questions.
Essentialist: What was the first trip you took where you thought…I’m hooked and want to do this more?
Mike MacEacheran: Sailing down the Nile in Egypt, aged 21, on a felucca from Aswan to Edfu. I’ve been back twice and it still stands out as one of the world’s greatest travel experiences. There was no turning back after that.
E: What is the first thing you like to do when you have landed in a foreign country or a new city?
MM: Not exciting, I’m afraid––and a typical travel writer’s answer. After landing at an airport, I almost always go to an ATM to get some local currency. If it’s a new city and I already have cash, most likely head out to for a beer to catch my breath.
E: What is a place (city, country) that you could go back to a million times?
MM: The northwest Highlands of Scotland. And anywhere with big, beautiful mountains where I can ski. Switzerland, France, Austria, Italy, Canada, Japan, the list goes on…
E: What are two essential items you carry with you on all trips? (besides your passport and wallet!)
MM: Noise-cancelling headphones (invaluable for flights) and a moleskin notebook. I’m always jotting down notes and I’d been a useless travel writer without it!
E: Any secrets for battling jetlag?
MM: I tend to drink a couple of beers with a meal, then maybe a miniature red wine and fall asleep halfway though a movie. So when I land it’s hard to tell whether I have jetlag or I’m slightly hungover.
E: When not traveling, what do you like to do for fun?
MM: Hiking, skiing, going to gigs, running and, obviously, planning my next trip.
E: Backpack or roller suitcase?
E: In your bag: Books or kindle?
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