The pages of this second edition of the Escapist started flying around our office at a most curious time. Just as our editors were kicking into gear to send the July/August issue to print before many of them headed off on summer breaks we were suddenly jolted by the UK’s referendum results and the political meltdown that has followed. Instead of a leisurely close to an issue that should have seen a relaxed yet orderly pace about our HQ, we found ourselves working double time across our radio studios, web pages and the publication you’re currently holding as the story lurched from one absurd event to the next.
For readers in the UK – our second biggest market after the US – the word “escapist” has taken on a second meaning: many aren’t just looking for places to spend a few weeks in the sun but also somewhere that might serve as an alternate base while London attempts to get its house in order. Thankfully most of the cities we sent our editors and correspondents to could easily serve as destinations for admiring fine architecture and broadening the palate while also offering inspiration for new business ventures and handsome buildings in which to establish a new home.
Monocle editor Andrew Tuck was the first to put a pin in the map and announced he was going to the Azores. While he had done plenty of research and was fascinated by his choice, we doubt he will be moving to the middle of the Atlantic any time soon. Then again, if he could bag a Portuguese passport as part of the deal you never know. Next up was our man in Istanbul, who decided to go Mitteleuropean with a tour of the villas, restaurants and remarkable neighbourhoods of Brno in the Czech Republic. Christopher Lord paints such a fine picture of the housing stock that I’m tempted to scout the modernist gems on offer myself.
Staying in the Old Empire, associate editor Megan Gibson raised her hand for an assignment in Bad Gastein in Austria’s Salzburg region. As the spa town attempts to reinvent itself, Gibson was charmed by the entrepreneurial spirit and came back chattering about a four-room hostel that clearly has her thinking about donning a dirndl in a few years and playing innkeeper. Also in Europa, Culture editor Robert Bound embarked on a petite grand tour from the Atlantic to the Med while Business editor Matt Alagiah headed south to see if he might like to pitch for a Palermo posting at some point.
Slightly further afield our executive and foreign editor Steve Bloomfield made the jump over to St John’s, Newfoundland, to discover what happens to a Canadian outpost when the oil fields dry up. Across the border Edits editor Josh Fehnert chose to check up on how Buffalo’s bounce-back is coming along. In Latin America our New York bureau chief Ed Stocker took on Lima while his counterpart from Toronto, Tomos Lewis, was thrilled to be offered Montevideo as a change of scene from Ontario’s changeable spring.
Finally, we assigned our Asia bureau chief Fiona Wilson to pack her windbreaker and winter jumpers for a few days in Wellington while James Chambers, our man in Hong Kong, did a quick hop over to Hanoi to sharpen his scootering skills. Should you get to the back of this issue and feel you’re still in need of a few travel tips then you might want to secure copies of our new Honolulu and Sydney guides – and place advance order for our soon-to-be-released Rome edition. We’re now off for a few weeks for a pre-autumn recharge but we’ll be back with a chunky entrepreneurship-themed September issue and a host of fresh sounds on Monocle 24.
If you have any travel emergencies drop me a line at email@example.com.
Happy travels and thank you for your support.
Editor in chief