My Life in Travel - Dominic Monaghan

'I had a fantastic trip to Thailand with Orlando Bloom'

First holiday memory?

Lake Garda in Italy; I remember staying in a campsite when I was seven or eight with my parents and a guy coming round with huge blocks of ice for picnic boxes. He would sing this song which I've forgotten now – it was probably "Ice Ice Baby" – announcing that he was coming round.

Best holiday?

Holidays are all different depending on the company and time of your life. However I do remember a fantastic holiday to Thailand with Billy Boyd and Orlando Bloom in my early twenties. We were all single, young and up for an adventure. We went to Bangkok then took off to the islands.

Favourite place in the British Isles?

I have holidayed in Penrith, Cumbria, with a very good friend of mine called Mark who has a house there. I've had some amazing times sat around a log fire after a long walk or stalking animals – though we'd never kill them. I also have great memories of Glasgow.

What have you learnt from your travels?

I've learnt that the world over, everyone's essentially the same. We are all trying to have a nice time and get along with things. If I've ever been in trouble on holiday there has always been someone available to help me.

Ideal travelling companion?

John Lennon is someone I'd like to have become friends with and whose brain I'd like to have picked.

Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?

I like a combination of culture and adrenalin sports. I like cities but I have become a bit less beach-ified than I used to be. I enjoy being active, doing things like white-water rafting and bungee jumping and anything associated with nature – going to parks and wildlife reserves.

Greatest travel luxury?

My computer so I can have my photos, music and the ability to stay in touch with people.

Holiday reading?

One of the main luxuries is packing books. I got an e-book for Christmas, which is great for travelling – I can upload about 1,500 books on to it.

Where has seduced you?

I was really enamoured with Cusco in Peru. It's full of art galleries and backpackers and you're quite high up so you can't do too much apart from drink coca tea. The food was fantastic, the weather was beautiful, there were llamas and alpacas wandering around nearby and I got to meet some really inspiring artists. The plane ride in was superb because you fly round the mountains and turn a corner to come into this little valley. You're acutely aware of the isolation.

Better to travel or arrive?

I enjoy the preparatory elements of travel – packing my bags and choosing my outfits – but my favourite part is getting there.

Worst travel experience?

Lima was pretty grim. We were there for a night en route to somewhere else and got in a taxi whose driver tried to rip us off, asking for money halfway through the journey then charging us quadruple the going rate and demanding a tip on top of that.

Worst holiday?

Oban in Scotland. I went with my parents when I was at the stage when I didn't want to be on holiday with them. It rained all week and we drove each other crazy, playing board games. My brother and cousin had just started reading Viz so we read them, which I think just about saved us.

Worst hotel?

A hotel I stayed at in Milton Keynes when I was filming. It was horrendous. I can't remember a time when I called reception and they answered the phone. And the food was shocking. I was so incensed that I refused to pay the bill.

Best hotel?

I like the George V in Paris. It's traditional and very French and pretentious, but if you're going to spend a weekend in Paris that's the way to do it. The W in San Diego is swanky and cool and Casa de Carmona in Spain is lost in the 1940s and has an incredible charm and beautiful decor.

Favourite walk/swim/ride/drive?

My favourite drive, from LA via Big Sur to San Francisco, is really beautiful. I also drove from the top to the bottom of the South Island of New Zealand with Billy Boyd, which took about three days. It was like a Beatles Magical Mystery Tour – we got drunk, though not while driving; ate too much; got lost and took photos of road kill on the way.

Best meal abroad?

It was in India. I'd been travelling from Bangalore to Goa and I got to a beach town called Palolem. Everywhere had shut down for the night and I walked on to the beach, which was beautiful. A guy offered to make me some chicken tikka, so I went for a night swim then had the most fantastic meal of my life.

First thing you do when you arrive somewhere new?

Get out of the hotel and explore, unless I'm severely jet-lagged.

Dream trip?

I'd like to go on a hardcore safari in Africa, something off the beaten track with anti-poaching people and camping out in the savannah. I'd also like to go to the Galápagos Islands, Madagascar, Easter Island and Christmas Island – isolated places.

Where next?

I think I'm going to go back to Thailand to see some friends in Bangkok, then maybe go up to the north of the country.

Dominic Monaghan stars in 'X-Men Origins: Wolverine', released 29 April

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
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
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
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

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Business Development Manager / Sales Pro

    £30 - 35k + Uncapped Comission (£70k Y1 OTE): Guru Careers: A Business Develop...

    Graduate Sales Executive / Junior Sales Exec

    £18k + Uncapped Commission (£60k Y1 OTE): Guru Careers: A Graduate Sales Exe...

    Web Developer / Software Developer

    £25 - 60k (DOE): Guru Careers: A Web Developer / Software Developer is needed ...

    Oracle 11g SQL 2008 DBA (Unix, Oracle RAC, Mirroring, Replicati

    £6000 - £50000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: Oracle 11...

    Day In a Page

    Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

    Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

    A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
    Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

    The science of herding is cracked

    Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
    Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

    This tyrant doesn’t rule

    It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?
    Rachael Lander interview: From strung out to playing strings

    From strung out to playing strings

    Award-winning cellist Rachael Lander’s career was almost destroyed by the alcohol she drank to fight stage fright. Now she’s playing with Elbow and Ellie Goulding
    The science of saturated fat: A big fat surprise about nutrition?

    A big fat surprise about nutrition?

    The science linking saturated fats to heart disease and other health issues has never been sound. Nina Teicholz looks at how governments started advising incorrectly on diets
    Emmys 2014 review: Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars

    Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars?

    The recent Emmy Awards are certainly glamorous, but they can't beat their movie cousins
    On the road to nowhere: A Routemaster trip to remember

    On the road to nowhere

    A Routemaster trip to remember
    Hotel India: Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind

    Hotel India

    Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind
    10 best pencil cases

    Back to school: 10 best pencil cases

    Whether it’s their first day at school, uni or a new project, treat the student in your life to some smart stationery
    Arsenal vs Besiktas Champions League qualifier: Gunners know battle with Turks is a season-defining fixture

    Arsenal know battle with Besiktas is a season-defining fixture

    Arsene Wenger admits his below-strength side will have to improve on last week’s show to pass tough test
    Pete Jenson: Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought

    Pete Jenson: A Different League

    Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought
    This guitar riff has been voted greatest of all time

    The Greatest Guitar Riff of all time

    Whole Lotta Votes from Radio 2 listeners
    Britain’s superstar ballerina

    Britain’s superstar ballerina

    Alicia Markova danced... every night of the week and twice on Saturdays
    Berlin's Furrie invasion

    Berlin's Furrie invasion

    2000 fans attended Eurofeurence
    ‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

    ‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

    Driven to the edge by postpartum psychosis