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He loves Whistler, wants to ski in Japan, and can’t forget his ear pods

We caught up with freestyle skier Mac Forehand to talk about all things travel.

Mac Forehand skiing at Whistler.
Mac Forehand skiing at Whistler.Carlo L. Mion

Freestyle skier Mac Forehand is well on his way to securing a spot on the US Olympic ski team. The 19-year-old Fairfield, Conn., native, who lives in Winhall, Vt., travels the world for competitions, but said his favorite place to vacation is Whistler Mountain in British Columbia. Not only are the ski conditions “pow,” but there’s so much else to do besides ski, he said. Forehand made history last year when, at 17, he won the overall World Cup title in Slopestyle (which became an Olympic event in Sochi, Russia, in 2014 and involves skiing down a course with obstacles including rails and jumps and executing aerial tricks) in Stubai, Austria. He went on to win numerous other competitions and, in qualifying for the finals in every World Cup event he entered thereafter, Forehand amassed enough overall points to take home the prestigious Crystal Globe and earn a place at the podium in the final World Cup event in Silvaplana, Switzerland. After being sidelined with a torn ACL for nine months, the recent Stratton Mountain School graduate is back on the slopes and setting his sights on the Olympics. He is also one of two athletes featured in the Red Bull Winter Edition Game, an augmented reality game that is featured on the Red Bull AR App through Dec. 31. We caught up with Forehand to talk about all things travel.

Favorite vacation destination?

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I don’t get to go on too many vacations, but one of my favorite places to go to in the summer is Whistler Mountain. After skiing on a pretty much perfect park on the hill, there’s so much to do after. From mountain biking to Frisbee golf to pretty insane hikes … it’s a perfect spot for people who enjoy the outdoors.

Favorite food or drink while vacationing?

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My favorite food while in Europe would most definitely be pizza. Something about European pizza ... it is just way better. While traveling, I always bring a Red Bull; it’s a great drink to have post-plane ride.

Where would you like to travel to but haven’t?

I would love to go to Japan eventually. Along with the insane pow [fresh powder] skiing that place delivers. I love the culture and it just seems like an overall fun travel destination.

One item you can’t leave home without when traveling?

When traveling I can never leave home without grabbing a pair of ear pods; any kind, really, but I prefer the standard Apple ones. I listen to music all the time while I travel, so one thing I could never forget is a pair of those.

Aisle or window?

I prefer window over aisle for sure. Having that extra space to lean on is nice and I’ve always loved the view from up in a plane. Nothing beats waking up to the view of a sunset from a plane.

Favorite childhood travel memory?

I loved going to places that had roller coasters and rides. I went to Disney World when I was younger and just remember falling in love with that place. Also Six Flags or any other local amusement parks were always a good time.

Guilty pleasure when traveling?

I binge watch movies whenever I fly. Anything I can get my hands on, really. Some of the newer planes to Europe have so many options — which definitely doesn’t help with sleeping at all.

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Best travel tip?

Living in this crazy world we all live in now, we have to wear a mask practically anywhere, especially on planes. I like to tie a rope behind my mask [ear loops] so it is more comfortable while flying.

JULIET PENNINGTON