Travel Insider: Meredith MacFarlane
As part of our ‘travel insiders’ interview series, we draw inspiration from the famous Proust Questionnaire, where we will regularly share our own Q&A with women who either work in the industry or are serial travelers. Here we can all get some tips as well as some inspiration for a new adventure. This week I chat with Four Seasons Santa Fe General Manager Meredith Macfarlane. (*Update: Meredith is now GM at the stunning Four Seasons Vail)
I had the pleasure of first meeting Meredith Macfarlane when we were colleagues at the famous Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills years ago. A fellow Canadian, I was the PR Director while Meredith was the Hotel Manager, overseeing the operations (an enormous job). I always admired her ability to handle so many things at once with that famous FS professionalism, and also her intelligence, kindness and sense of humor. I learned from her daily, and I was thrilled when I heard the news of her new role as General Manager at Four Seasons Santa Fe. Meredith has been a lifelong traveler, something she has passed on to her young sons, and her career from Four Seasons has taken her from Toronto to Los Angeles to Santa Fe.
Q: Where was the last Country you visited?
We just came back from a tour of Iceland, France and England
Q: Who or what inspires you to travel?
My boys Owen (13) and Max (10) – I want them to see the world so that when they grow up they understand the importance of being a global citizen.
Q: What was a particularly memorable destination or cultural experience?
I was tremendously moved by my visit to Westminster Abbey. I am very fond of the Tudor dynasty and it was so incredibly moving to see where Queen Elizabeth the 1st was laid to rest – one of the first great female leaders.
Q. Do you have any favorite hotels and/or airline routes?
Four Seasons of course!
Q: Where do you go to for recommendations, to research a destination? Does social media have an influence?
I definitely go to Google, and social media has a huge influence – as soon as we booked our flights on Icelandair I followed them on Twitter.
Q: What is one fashion accessory or outfit you always pack? Any additional packing tips?
Scarfs: They can add color and fun to any outfit. I wear them around my neck, as a belt or in my hair…..I never go anywhere without at least five or six of them, and they are easy to pack!
Q. What destination(s) is still on your bucket list?
I really want to get to Africa to do the safari thing. There are so many places to go……my boys really want to get to Argentina, which I have been fortunate to visit, as it is a complete soccer thing for them – the home of Messi.
Q: What advice would you give to would-be solo travelers to encourage an adventure?
In my role I have fortunate enough to travel to Costa Rica, Argentina and all over the U.S. and Canada by myself. It is so empowering to be on your own, and as crazy as it sounds, enjoying time by yourself. I find myself returning from the trips with a renewed sense of purpose and passion for what I do for a living.
Q. Finally, what is your travel motto?
“Wherever you go, go with all your heart” ~ Confucius
Author: Carrie Mitchell
Carrie A. Mitchell is the founder of L’Aventure Travel, the host of the Suitcase Sojourn Podcast, and author of the children’s travel book “To Be We”. Carrie is a global travel and hospitality expert who works with publications, brands and entertainment outlets on a number of travel related projects, from marketing consulting to editorial coverage to hosting & producing content for the web, TV and podcasts. She is always seeking to learn from people and places around the world, and share through her cultural exploration (40+ countries and counting)