Liz Kershaw: My life in travel

'There's the Statue of Liberty ... and me in a dressing gown and shower cap'

I always had this burning desire to sail into New York on a ship.

I wanted to sail past the Statue of Liberty and see all the skyscrapers, so last summer I took myself off on the Queen Mary 2. I set my alarm for five o'clock because I wanted to make sure I was up to see the Statue of Liberty and I woke up and I couldn't see a thing. There was thick fog and all I could hear were the bells on the buoys bobbing up and down through the mist like something from the Mary Celeste.

I got fed up of waiting so I told my son I was going for a shower and all of a sudden there was banging: "Mum, Mum, come on, come on!" So, I've got a picture of me in a dressing gown with a plastic shower cap on and the Statue of Liberty behind me, because after all these years I had to run out to catch the moment in the fog.

I once broadcast from a gypsy caravan on a back lane in Ireland.

It was in 1997 and it was for a travel piece on 5Live. I spent a week on this caravan pulled by horses – it was brilliant. No cars, camping at night. In the evening, before we could do anything – even though we were starving – we had to make sure the horses were watered and brushed, and clean their feet. I was with my partner and my two boys who were about two and six – they loved sitting at the front.

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Misty eyed: thick fog almost denied Liz her big moment (BBC)

I've got a piece of rock from the ash-cloud volcano in Iceland.

I decided I wanted to go to Iceland but obviously I couldn't fly there because of the ash cloud, so I got on a cruise ship. I ended up standing on top of a glacier hundreds of feet thick and spewed across the glacier were these big lumps of pumice stone that had been thrown out of the volcano about three weeks before. I was determined to bring one home. I thought it was going to be really light, but when I picked up a piece the size of a football I nearly fell on my knees it was so heavy. But I brought it back and now it sits on my doorstep. In millions of years, somebody'll be doing a geological survey and think "how did this rock get to leafy Northamptonshire? That must have been a big explosion."

I went on a school trip with my dad when I was two.

He was a deputy head teacher and when he led a trip to Blankenberge in Belgium, I went as well. I was surrounded by teenagers and I remember a big row when my dad got called to one of the bedrooms because one of the kids had burnt a hole in the sheets and the hotelier was trying to throw everybody out.

I once slept under the veranda of a closed restaurant.

I went to Turkey backpacking when I was a student and I wasn't really prepared for how much I'd have to rough it. I went with five guys and we slept in campsites, on the roof of an empty building, on the beach and we did get into some quite dangerous scrapes I think. I lost a stone in four weeks.

Airline travel is absolute crap.

I like travelling on trains and boats. My next trip is going to be on a train across Canada. I met some people on the Queen Mary 2 from Canada and I said: "Ooh, I've always wanted to go across Canada on a train, I love trains." They said: "Why don't you do it? Come out and we'll take you." I'm likely to do that this year.

Hugh Grant would be great to travel with.

He'd be the ultimate Englishman abroad. I'm sure he'd dress very well; he wouldn't let you down in the sartorial stakes. Nice bit of linen and a Panama hat. And I always think he's very suave and pro bably very funny.

Liz Kershaw presents a weekly show on BBC Radio 6 Music, Saturdays 1-3pm. (bbc.co.uk/6music)

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