Introducing Volume 32: Homegrown

Introducing Volume 32: Homegrown

Our Editor-in-Chief introduces our new issue, in which we’re celebrating the diverse people and places that make up the colourful mosaic of the UK. Encouraging responsible, local travel that is kind to the planet, we venture from emerging neighbourhoods to the wildest landscapes, spotlighting little-known subcultures and reconnecting with nature along the way.

2014. I’m lurking at a harbour in northeastern Brazil,
trying to hitch a boat – where to, I don’t yet know. I’ve been
travelling around South America, avoiding the tourist path while
banging down the virtual door of travel publications, begging
editors to let me write for them.

After settling in Paraguay for several months, a country rarely
visited by travel journalists, or anyone else for that matter (top
tip for those trying to break into the field: go where few others
are), I’d picked up a few commissions – one a guide to Asunción for
a little-known publication called SUITCASE.

But jobs are few and far between, I’ve run out of money and now
I’m trying (and failing) to persuade a sailor to take me closer to
England in return for cooking and cleaning. As I watch the
umpteenth boat sail away, a nagging voice pipes up in my head once
again, telling me that travel journalism isn’t a “real job” and I
should’ve opted for a sensible career in London.

Fast forward to 2020 and I’m darkly amused that I’m at the helm
of that (now rather well-known) publication at a time when travel
is all but grounded and the UK government is suggesting that people
with creative jobs retrain. Like so many others, we’ve been
weathering the storm at a time when the waters have perhaps never
been choppier. So why do I feel optimistic?

SUITCASE has never been “just” a travel magazine. During my
years in house, first heading up digital and now editor-in-chief
across the brand, I’ve seen us evolve from a fashion-and-travel
publication to a multimedia platform dedicated to “the culture of
travel”. We strive to explore beyond luxury hotels and newspaper
headlines to shine a light on the less obvious – the people,
rituals, beliefs and subtle nuances that bring a destination

Our hope is that by sharing stories and celebrating diverse
cultures, we’ll help forge connections and break down stereotypes.
Today, when travel is limited and the world feels increasingly
divided, such storytelling has never been more important. We’re
also trying to get better at it, and I’m pretty sure that we will
stumble along our path to becoming a truly inclusive

In this issue, we’re telling the tales of our homeland, striding
out on our doorstep and skipping past the chocolate-box villages
and quintessential landscapes – though, of course, there’s a bit of
that – to speak to drag artists on their London commute, seek out
witches in Shropshire, trace the footsteps of dinosaurs in Skye and
meet the largest North Korean community in Europe. These people,
places and things are too often overlooked in pursuit of the exotic
or far-flung, yet they are what make up the brilliant mosaic of the

Much like my 20-something self flagging down boats in the
harbour, none of us are entirely certain what or where our next
destination will be. But even when we’re all at sea, the power of
great storytelling makes me hopeful for the future.