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The Big Interview: Meet The Editor Of National Geographic Traveller (UK), Pat Riddell

This week isubscribe talks to the Editor of one the UK’s leading travel mags about big adventures, editorial pressures, and the hottest destinations. Passports at the ready…

What is the best part of being the Editor of National Geographic Traveller?

Being able to travel often and to interesting, exciting parts of the world is the obvious answer. But, more often than not, it’s our writers who travel non-stop and working with them to find compelling stories and convey a destination’s people, culture and way of life to readers is particularly rewarding.

The magazine recently held its annual photography competition. Are you surprised by the breadth of images entered? Is there any one in particular that has resonated with you?

The quality of entries to our Photography Competition never fails to amaze us — this year’s winner proves you don’t have to travel far from home to see inspiring landscapes. Rashid Khaidanov’s image of Dunluce Castle in Northern Ireland managed to capture an amazing level of detail, a brooding sky and a fantastic level of light all at the same time. 

What are the challenges of being a magazine Editor?

Keeping lots of plates spinning is the main challenge — as well as the magazine we have a website, social media channels, events and awards to keep going. Thankfully we have a very talented team who ensure readers can access our content in many forms.

What are your must-have travel essentials?

I don’t need much… a smartphone, a camera, a notebook and a pen. Oh, and a plug adaptor.

Any words of wisdom for the solo traveller?

Travelling solo is often the best way of experiencing a destination — you can make decisions quickly, speak to more people and encounter things you might have otherwise avoided. It’s too easy as a couple or a group just to talk to each other and leave decisions to others.

Describe your dream trip?

I’ve yet to really explore South America so taking a trip from top to bottom, experiencing everything from Cartagena, Machu Picchu and Buenos Aires to Patagonia, Rio de Janeiro and Tierra del Fuego would tick all the boxes.

Tell us about your favourite way to relax once an issue is completed?

There’s not much time between issues these days, but if I can get away for a quick weekend then that’s always a bonus — whether it’s skiing, New York or just somewhere by the coast in the UK.

Where are the hot destinations for 2017? 

Our annual Cool List in the Jan/Feb issue listed 17 destinations this year with the likes of Donegal, Helsinki, Peru, Portland, Santiago and Sicily included. New flights, attractions and developments often inspire this list, but sometimes there are places that are just in demand — such as South Africa, where the exchange rate with the rand enables everything from a weekend break to a once-in-a-lifetime safari trip.

What can subscribers expect from future issues? Why subscribe?

We’ve got some really exciting issues coming up, covering everywhere from New York and Venice to Ecuador and Australia. There’s Winter Sports and Family guides and plenty of competitions too. And subscribers not only get a great discount but don’t have to leave their house to dream of overseas.

For some serious travel inspo subscribe to the UK edition of National Geographic Traveller

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