David James: My Life In Travel

'When I travel with the England team we have our own plane'


First holiday memory?

California Beach in Norfolk. We used to go during the summer holidays, in the days when you could see the sand through the sea. I have great memories of those times.

Best holiday?

I have spent a lot of time in the United States and I like the diversity of the country. I particularly enjoyed Las Vegas, where I stayed at the MGM Grand. Los Angeles was great too. The MGM Grand is a city within a city; we didn't leave the complex for about three days because there was so much to do. LA was perfect for relaxing with family and friends.

Favourite place in the British Isles?

Devon. I travel there every week because my girlfriend lives there. As many attractions as there are in London, it's just manic, so it's nice to go down to Devon to relax; it's tranquil and scenic.

What have you learnt from your travels?

This summer I went to Malawi with the Football Association. It was a good learning experience, but it was desperate because it's an impoverished country, which is rife with HIV/Aids. It had a profound effect on me and I am in the process of setting up a foundation to do some work out there to try and help. After that I went to the US to film a documentary about the NFL [National Football League] with Martin Johnson [the former England Rugby Union captain], which was a real contrast. We travelled down the east and west coasts, which was great.

Ideal travelling companion?

My girlfriend. I love going away with my kids, but holidays with them come with a lot of responsibility. It's nice to get away on our own sometimes.

Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?

It doesn't matter - I enjoy the company more than the location or type of trip. Las Vegas was great because I didn't have to do anything, which is rare for me.

Greatest travel luxury?

When I travel with the England team we have our own plane so we're not restricted with our baggage. I always take a sketch pad and some pencils, which is a bit of a release for me.

Holiday reading?

I am the reading champion at Manchester City. I'm into detective fiction and factual books.

Better to travel or arrive?

It depends on the flight. If I have a decent seat then travelling isn't so bad, but that's not to say I travel first class all the time! However, I probably drive 1,000 miles a week in England. I don't mind sitting in the car as long as I have music to listen to.

Worst travel experience?

Other than the M6 and the M5, there haven't been any.

Worst holiday?

My mate and I decided to go to Tenerife. We had £120 spending money and we spent about £30 of that on batteries at the airport. We had to spend the week eating pasta and drinking water.

Worst hotel?

The hotel we stayed at in Tenerife. The travel agent showed us a glorious picture in a brochure when we booked the holiday, but when we pulled up outside they had changed our booking to a really dodgy place.

Best hotel?

I have stayed in lots of really nice hotels, usually through football, but again it depends on who I'm with.

Favourite walk/swim/ride/drive?

My favourite walk is around Dartmoor.

Best meal abroad?

When I was 16 and I was taken to China for a football tournament. Oddly, we had roast beef in Shanghai and it was the best roast I have ever eaten. Second to that, it would have to be jerk chicken in Jamaica.

First thing you do when you arrive somewhere new?

Check out the local area.

Dream trip?

I would like to go to Australia, because I have never got round to going. I'd also like to go to somewhere like the North Pole or Mount Everest.

Favourite city?

London, because the shops are like nowhere else.

Where next?

Hopefully Germany for the World Cup, but I will have to wait and see what happens. I won't be able to plan any holidays until I know.

David James hosts 'Beyond the NFL' on 20 January on Sky One at 10pm

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

News
peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
Sport
Romelu Lukaku puts pen to paper
sport
News
Robyn Lawley
people
Arts and Entertainment
Unhappy days: Resistance spy turned Nobel prize winner Samuel Beckett
books
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
Life and Style
Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson voice the show’s heroes
gamingOnce stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover
News
A speech made by the Turkish Deputy Prime Minister urging women not to laugh in public in order to preserve morality has sparked a backlash on social media from women posting defiant selfies of themselves laughing at his remarks.
GALLERYWhy are Turkish women having a chuckle at the government's expense?
News
i100
Life and Style
Phones will be able to monitor your health, from blood pressure to heart rate, and even book a doctor’s appointment for you
techCould our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?
News
people
Extras
indybest
Travel
Ryan taming: the Celtic Tiger carrier has been trying to improve its image
travelRyanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Sport
Usain Bolt confirms he will run in both the heats and the finals of the men's relay at the Commonwealth Games
commonwealth games
Life and Style
Slim pickings: Spanx premium denim collection
fashionBillionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers 'thigh-trimming construction'
News
Sabina Altynbekova has said she wants to be famous for playing volleyball, not her looks
people
News
i100
Life and Style
tech'World's first man-made leaves' could use photosynthesis to help astronauts breathe
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Sales and Office Administrator – Sports Media

    £23,000: Sauce Recruitment: A global leader in sports and entertainment is now...

    C++ Software Engineer - Hounslow, West London - C++ - to £60K +

    £40000 - £60000 per annum + Pension, Healthcare : Deerfoot IT Resources Limite...

    VB.NET and C# developer (VB.NET,C#,ASP.NET)

    £30000 - £45000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: VB.NET a...

    Visitor Experience volunteer

    Unpaid voluntary role: Old Royal Naval College: To assist the Visitor Experien...

    Day In a Page

    Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

    The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

    With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
    Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

    How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

    As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
    We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

    We will remember them

    Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
    Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

    Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

    Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
    Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

    Acting in video games gets a makeover

    David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
    Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

    Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

    Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
    Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

    Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

    Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
    Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

    Spanx launches range of jeans

    The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
    10 best over-ear headphones

    Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

    Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
    Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

    Commonwealth Games

    David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
    UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

    UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

    Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
    Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

    Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
    Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star