Introducing Sean McLachlan, Gadling’s newest blogger.
Where was your photo taken: In the artillery museum in the castle in Segovia, an hour’s drive north of Madrid. I’m researching a book on the development of black powder weapons and this place has a great collection of cumbersome old bombards, culverins, and serpentines. The castle has a tall tower that offers a great view of the nearby cathedral and surrounding countryside.
Where do you live now: Right at this moment (May 2009) I’m living in Oxford, UK, doing research on a couple of books. Otherwise I bounce between Madrid and Missouri, when I’m not traveling, that is.
Scariest airline flown: Not sure it was officially an airline, but the eight-seater Cessna that flew me over the Nazca lines was truly frightening. It kept banking to the left and right so the passengers on each side could get good photos, but mostly we just got slammed around. Then the Dutch girl sitting in front of me lost her lunch and the smell filled the cabin. I don’t get airsick, but I almost did that time.
Favorite city/country/place: India. The people are wonderful, the country beautiful, the food delicious, and it has an ancient culture and history to explore. I’ve been to India three times, even worked there briefly, but if you gave me a free flight to anywhere in the world, I’d go back there.
Most remote corner of the globe visited: Jaighan, a friend’s village in Uttar Pradesh. While it’s not terribly remote, it seemed a world away from the hustle and bustle of India’s big cities. It only has a few hundred people and felt perfectly serene.
Favorite guidebook series: I like the Blue Guides because they include a huge amount of information about art, culture, and history. They are a bit weak on hotels and restaurants, that’s not their focus, so for a good all-around guidebook I like the Rough Guides. I am not much of a Lonely Planet fan. Some of their writers have a cynical, world-weary attitude that comes off as elitist, and for God’s sake don’t trust the maps.
Worst hotel experience: Oooo, tough one. The Peruvian hotel with sand in the halls and no working bathrooms? The British bed and breakfast where the owner walked into our room without knocking? The Pakistani flophouse with the junkie staggering around the courtyard at all hours? I really can’t decide.
Favorite trip: The year I hitchhiked from Bulgaria to Nepal.
Traveler’s resume — where have you been: Belgium, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Canada, Cyprus, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, India, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Mexico, Morocco, Nepal, Palestine, Pakistan, Peru, Spain, Sweden, Syria, The Netherlands, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States.
Next trip: My next big trip is to The Gambia later this year. In the meantime I’ll be traveling around England, and possibly Belgium, The Netherlands, and Switzerland. Ethiopia is in the cards too, but probably not until next year.