My Life In Travel: Andy Taylor

'I love walking in the hills around St Tropez, getting lost with the lizards'

First holiday memory?

Butlins in Filey, Yorkshire. It was where every young teenager used to go. I liked it because I could get away with drinking there when I was 13. Growing up in Newcastle in the Seventies when there was no cheap flights, you didn't go on foreign holidays.

Best holiday?

A dual advantage and disadvantage of touring is that you don't see much of the places you go to, but you get a taste and go back to places you like. I've always enjoyed Australia. I first went in my early twenties and it was an amazing journey to make at that age. It was also fascinating and exciting to learn you could be that famous that far away.

Favourite place in the British Isles?

I'm from a fishing village which partly explains why it has to be Cornwall, although it's been slightly taken over.

What have you learnt from your travels?

Don't get drunk before you get on a plane; don't take three connecting flights because you'll never get there; and remember to keep ID on you when you're abroad.

Ideal travelling companion?

When I travel long distances I usually travel alone. Travelling with kids is always a nightmare because unlike travelling with work, there's nobody but you to organise everything.

Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?

For me, holidays are the laziest time you can have. I can quite happily sit in a tent in Cornwall eating sausage rolls and ice-cream and just watching the waves.

Holiday reading?

I read a lot, particularly biographies. Long books like Bill Clinton's autobiography My Life will get you to the end of where you're going.

Where has seduced you?

Malibu in California, back in 1983 or 1984 when it was still glitzy and was really beautiful. I had a house there that burned down in a forest fire, but fortunately for me I had just sold it to Roy Orbison.

Worst travel experience?

I have experienced a few unnecessarily over-excited customs and immigration people looking for nothing. They can get a bit heavy handed.

Worst holiday?

I could do without going to Paris again. I saw some really aggressive things there and haven't really wanted to go back since. I have never been a lover of Paris, but rural France is something else - places like the Dordogne are fantastic.

Worst hotel?

When Duran Duran first started touring we stayed in some crappy hotels. However, hotels that purport to be incredibly good and aren't, are actually far worse. At least with low-grade hotels you know what you're getting. The Savoy in the Eighties was like that. You shouldn't have to ask for ketchup with a cooked breakfast and if they can't poach an egg, forget it.

Best hotel?

When you stay in fluffy hotels a lot, they're much of a muchness. After a while, you get more bothered about stuff like pillows and cleanliness and getting food on time, rather than what the foyer looks like and the trendy bar. However, the Park Hyatt in Sydney has the most stunning setting.

Favourite walk/swim/ride/drive?

Walking in the hills around St Tropez, getting lost with the lizards.

Best meal abroad?

A lot of meals in Italy: you just can't fail to eat well there. We had the most incredible meal in a family-owned restaurant in Verona. There were tanks full of lobsters and a wine cellar that you had to see to believe.

Dream trip?

I'd like to visit places you're told not to go to, like Afghanistan and Sudan. My friend is a virologist and travels to places like that and the Congo. That's proper travel and his stories are fascinating.

Favourite city?

New York, it's the only city left in the US that still fights to keep its credentials above this conservative onslaught of political correctness. It's still an interesting and diverse place.

Where next?

I live in Ibiza, so I'll probably be going to London for work and then Madrid.

Former Duran Duran guitarist Andy Taylor is on the panel for O2 Undiscovered - a programme for discovering and nurturing music talent in the UK (

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