Want to know how to travel in style, just like the pros? We check in with frequent fliers to find out how often they fly, their favorite destinations and what they never leave home without.
Name: Jeff Fuchs
Occupation: Explorer & Tea Procurer (literally both)
Hometown: Ottawa, Canada
Residence: ‘Shangri-La’ County, northwestern Yunnan, China
Twitter: Don’t do it
Pinterest: Don’t do it
Short Bio: Award-winning explorer, Author, and Tea Procurer. Only westerner to walk the entire 5000 km length of the Tea Horse Road through the Himalayas on a 7.5 month journey. A North Face Ambassador and Explorer-in-Residence for Kensington Tours. Never goes anywhere without a decent stash of tea tucked into a bag…never.
How often do you fly: 20 plus flights a year
How many countries have you been to: Around 50
How many continents have you been to: 4
Favorite American city: New York because it is literally one of the only places I’ve ever been that I continually and almost voluntarily get lost
Favorite international city: San Sebastian (Spain) – stunning, simmering, and a part of Spain that has intensity
Least favorite country: Cannot do that one as I’m a huge believer that ‘people can turn a crap place magical, and crap people can turn a magical place into a horror zone’.
Favorite World Heritage Site: Angkor Wat in the early morning when it is very much still itself
Favorite airline: Cathay Pacific
Favorite aircraft type: The smaller the better
Aisle or window: Aisle…all about control and nasty looks
Favorite airport lounge: 1st class lounge in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo because of a cancelled flight, water glasses of vodka and an unlikely gang of four of us who were stuck for the better part of a day in there…its all about people
Favorite international airport: Hong Kong. Big and busy as it is, it works with every possible travel weary soul passing through it in a 24 hour period.
Do you unpack into the dresser/closet? Or live out of your suitcase? – I’m a neurotic mess of unpacking my vacuum pack bags – which everything is folded into – and placing them on the floor, only to re-pack them the next morning. No idea why but I need to ‘see’ things laid out.
Favorite cruise line: Don’t do them
Favorite island: Sri Lanka – gentle, delicious, slightly chaotic, and utterly imbued with tea and tea stalls
Favorite fancy restaurant: El Telegrafo (Madrid)…seafood bonanza with some wonderfully eccentric servers
Favorite hole in the wall: Underground place called
Favorite fruit: Red Cherries
Favorite food: My father’s Hungarian bab’levsz (bean soup). It is a yearly request of mine when I return home and it requires time, a cast-iron stomach and a three week fast beforehand.
Least favorite food: Pepper Squash
Drink of choice (In the air and on the ground): Tea
Favorite travel movie(s): The Party (with Peter Sellers)
Favorite travel book(s): “Snow Leopard” – Peter Mathiessen
Right now I am reading: Herbal Food and Medicines in Sri Lanka (Dr. Seela Fernando)
Favorite travel website(s) – besides JohnnyJet.com, of course!: Green Traveller, Kayak.co.uk, wwoof.org
Five things you bring on a plane: Pen, Paper, my own stash of tea, thermos for tea, computer
What do you always seem to forget: Toothbrushes and its at the point now where I don’t even try to remember them anymore. I love them and leave them.
What do you want your loved one to buy you from an airport duty free store? A tremendous bottle of Scotch, because the teas available are always crap
Most embarrassing travel moment: Misusing the word ‘rice’ in Tibetan in a nomad’s tent. The word for rice and a man’s sexual organ are almost identical and I used the wrong tone and declared to a nomadic family what I thought was “I’d like to eat more ‘rice’”, when in fact I unfortunately told them that “I’d like to eat a man’s organ”. Brought the tent down in laughter but only after a few seconds of stunned high altitude silence.
Worst travel moment: Having to ‘keep in’ the effects of a magnificent dose of Giardia during a steamingly hot 13-hour bus ride where every jolt of the buses chassis had me white-knuckling it in a panicked sweat
What’s your dream destination: Not one place
Favorite travel charity: Charity Challenges by World Expeditions
Best travel tip: Know what you want to see and do and then temporarily forget everything…
Great interview. Sounds like someone you’d want to meet and talk to for hours.