When was the first time you went travelling on your own?
It was April 2000 and I was fourteen. And I wasn’t on my own, I was in the company of another fourteen-year-old but we were without adults so it does count. We went to Italy for two weeks to take part in a Raptor Protection Camp with a band of international students. Only when we got there, we found out that “student” meant university age, not schoolchild age. You can read about that one right here.
What was your best ever trip?
The two weeks in Iceland in July/August 2012 was pretty good. The weather was beautiful and I did and saw so much. But my trip to Holuhraun last July was amazing because that was a still-steaming fresh and new lava field and I’ve always been fond of Tromsø, especially the night out I had in February.
What was your worst trip?
I didn’t like Bucharest much. That’s partly because of the heat and humidity. It’s partly because I found it a huge culture shock arriving into a big busy city actively in the process of throwing off its Communist past and partly because it was a big busy city. I spent the first few days ardently wishing I’d been stuck in Terminal 5 all that time.
Do you have a favourite holiday book?
I love The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch. But for holidays I tend to take something a bit bigger. Holiday success reads over the last few years have included The Once and Future King by TH White, The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle): 1 by Patrick Rothfuss and Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke.
Where would you like to revisit?
Apart from the obvious (Iceland), top of the list is Russia. I also planned to be back in Tallinn last year but it never happened and I want to go to Svalbard again.
What new places do you want to visit?
Latvia for a start. The Grand Canyon, New Zealand, Canada and Halong Bay are all on my one-day list when I’ve got the time and money and I think I’d like to see the Egyptian Pyramids, although I haven’t heard great things from people who’ve been there.
Where is definitely not on your list?
Warzones are at the top of that no-list. Anywhere hot. Anywhere prone to scorpions, snakes and oversized spiders. Any of the places my esteemed colleagues go for work.
Do you have a favourite travel outfit?
I don’t really do decorative or stylish so my usual travel outfit is more along the lines of a t-shirt, something a bit warmer worn open over the top, like a zip-up hoodie or a big shirt, lightweight trousers, mountain sandals if possible and with weather-appropriate clothing close at hand in case it gets wet and cold. And of course, I always wear my watch and my sunglasses.
Do you have any questions to add?
Please leave them in the comments and I’ll do another Q&A another day.
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