Howard Marks: My Life In Travel
'I like to travel alone, it means I'm more open to random things'
Saturday 14 October 2006
First holiday memory?
Going to Stratford-upon-Avon, where my godmother lived, with my parents when I was about nine. We went to see The Merchant of Venice, which was great.
Favourite place in the British Isles?
It was Berwick-upon-Tweed until I visited it. I used to pass Berwick on the train en route to Scotland and was determined to get off and explore what appeared to be a beautiful part of Britain. When I eventually did I discovered it was a complete shack!
A holiday in Taiwan several years ago, and I have wanted to go back ever since. It's the only country that has Taoism as a prevailing religion, which I have never come across before. I love culture shock and certainly experienced it there.
If I'm travelling for pleasure then I'll spend all day reading, usually something that my girlfriend has recommended like non-fiction or travel books. Otherwise I tend to read things for research.
What have you learnt from your travels?
I'm continually learning. These days I'm trying not to forget things like adaptors.
Ideal travelling companion?
No one. I travel quite a lot on my own - it means I am more open to random things.
Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?
I like staying in luxurious hotels that have smoking facilities.
Greatest travel luxury?
I tend to get irritated when there aren't any washcloths in the bathroom so I take one I've pilfered from somewhere else.
Where has seduced you?
Jamaica, for all the obvious reasons. Argentina was probably the most exciting country I've visited. I spent a few weeks with the Welsh community in Patagonia, then saw the glaciers and the Tierra del Fuego archipelago.
The Masseria Torre Coccaro in Puglia, Italy. It was so over the top. That's also where I've had my best meal abroad. We ate oysters with parmesan followed by pasta with octopus in its ink. I haven't ever had anything quite like it.
What's meant to be a very good hotel, quite near Glasgow. It's a stately home, but the food was terrible and the service was awful.
I would never go back to Zagreb. I had a terrible time there last Christmas. I went for a few days, largely because I had never been to Croatia, but it was terribly boring.
Better to travel or arrive?
Definitely to arrive. It's not exciting covering myself in nicotine patches and trying to sleep for 10 hours.
The Philosopher's Walk in Heidelberg, Germany, where philosophers mused.
There are whole chunks of the world I have never visited like Australia and New Zealand that I'd love to go to, but so far I haven't been able to get a visa because of my past.
Buenos Aires. There seems to be more preservation of European culture than anywhere else I have been outside Europe, without any of the divides that plague Europe.
Latin America around Christmas, because I'm working until November.
Howard Marks' tour, 'An Audience with Señor Nice' continues around the UK and Ireland until 17 November. His book 'Señor Nice' (Harvill Secker, £17.99) is in bookshops now
- 3 Channel 4 announces two-hour TV show to be broadcast 'Live from Space' later this month
- 4 Man stabbed with Legend of Zelda Master Sword in serious condition
- 5 Study suggests that 'gaydars' are real - at least for women
Apple's Tim Cook: Business isn’t just about making profit
Thousands of young people forced to go without food after benefits wrongly stopped under 'draconian' new sanctions regime
Ukraine crisis: New navy chief 'defects' and surrenders Crimean HQ as Putin claims ultranationalists forced intervention
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Ukraine crisis: Russia dismisses '3am ultimatum' as 'total nonsense'
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast
£12000 - £18000 per annum: Inspiring Interns: Our client is a high-end niche t...
£20000 - £40000 per annum + Award-Winning Benefits: Flight Centre Business Tra...
Unpaid: Kaya Responsible Travel: Increases in tourism, the introduction of new...
£23000 - £27000 per annum + £16000 retainer & uncapped commission: Flight Cent...