My life in travel: Ade Adepitan

'I thought Thailand's islands were beautiful'
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The Independent Travel

First holiday memory?

Going to Clacton-on-Sea in Essex with my best mate from school, to stay at his nan's house. We went on the dodgiest roller coaster ever and swam in the sea, which was extremely bracing. I remember eating rock and my friend getting sunburnt. It was a really good holiday.

Best holiday?

I'm really lucky to travel lots with work. I'm stuck between Bonaire in the Caribbean, the Seychelles and Koh Phi Phi in Thailand for my favourite. Thailand was the best proper holiday because it was a real chill-out break, but you could also party and go diving if you wanted to.

Favourite place in the British Isles?

I travel a lot but surprisingly little in the UK. However, I really enjoyed Padstow and the Isle of Skye for their scenery. I went to Skye to film otters for a kids' wildlife show and it was really beautiful. We stayed at a house with a veranda where you could have breakfast and watch whales breaching in the Atlantic. It was awesome to see that while eating scrambled eggs.

What have you learnt from your travels?

Languages. I'm fluent in Spanish, having lived in Spain for two years. I've also learnt a lot from meeting different people and absorbing their cultures.

Ideal travelling companion?

Whoever my current girlfriend would be at the time.

Greatest travel luxury?

I've flown first class a couple of times; that's an awesome way to start a journey. But I'm a gadget man, so I have to take my iPod, laptop and Bose speakers. When I was filming Beyond Boundaries for the BBC, we spent a month of really gruelling trekking across Nicaragua. At the end, we got to a beautiful bay and I had my laptop to watch DVDs on, which was great.

Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?

I love adrenalin but I get enough of that with work, so I'd have to say beach bum.

Holiday reading?

That's what I love about travelling. I went to South-east Asia and managed to read Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy in two weeks.

Better to travel or arrive?

To arrive. I travel at least once a month and, when I was competing with basketball, I was doing up to three long-haul flights a month. The novelty soon wore off. Waiting for connecting flights was the most tedious part.

Where has seduced you?

I thought Thailand's islands and the Seychelles were both beautiful places. Swimming in the Indian Ocean was amazing.

Worst travel experience?

Flying to Ghana and arriving to find the airline had left my wheelchair in the UK. I was there to film for Comic Relief but had to spend a day without my wheelchair, stuck in my room. The next day I got food poisoning.

Favourite journey?

The trek across Nicaragua was pretty awesome. There were really tough moments, but other times we would be walking through dense, virgin forest with monkeys jumping around and we were pulling mangoes and bananas off the trees to eat. When we got to the volcano on Ometepe island there was a natural spring at the bottom to swim in. It was so picturesque and refreshing.

Worst hotel?

I stayed in some dodgy places for basketball tournaments, such as a youth hostel in the Czech Republic.

Best hotel?

A safari lodge in the Masai Mara in Kenya. I had a lovely tent and there was a Jacuzzi on site with wild animals roaming about. The combination of luxury and nature was just amazing.

Best meal abroad?

At a hotel restaurant in Delhi. It was so opulent – people were riding around on the backs of elephants in the forecourt.

First thing you do when you arrive somewhere new?

Head to the beach or pool if either is available; I just like to chill out.

Dream trip?

The Moon, although I think I'd probably bottle it when it came to it. It'd be pretty cool to see Earth from space. More realistically, if I had the money I'd like to travel round the world and visit the seven natural wonders.

Favourite city?

I really liked Barcelona. It's so lively and vibrant and I love Gaudi's architecture. And there's a beach there, which is a bonus.

Where next?

I want to get to New York to do some Christmas shopping and I'm hoping to go skiing in France. Then I need to get my sun fix, so I'm contemplating the Caribbean or Brazil.