My life in travel: Anouska Hempel
‘India seduces me every time’
Friday 09 November 2012
First holiday memory?
Papua New Guinea. I remember going fishing with my father on a lake. I was in charge of passing him the bait. It was rather peculiar, at that age, to be tasked with a bucket of worms. I remember it fondly now, but at the time I thought it was ghastly.
Favourite place in the British Isles?
Cornwall – especially Polperro and Looe. It’s the height of the cliffs and the depths of the water. The screaming seagulls and the rocks plunging into the sea. It’s the feeling of being at the very limit of the mainland. It’s just glorious.
Walking the Great Wall of China. I was there with Kate Moss and a group of others for her birthday. We couldn’t find each other for days! It was a wonderful, wild and mad trip.
What have you learnt from your travels?
Everything I’ve ever done has been because of travel. Right from leaving Australia to where I am today – it’s all been about exchanging different points of view. The most important lesson I’ve learnt is to look and listen to what’s happening around you.
I’ve just come back from working at the Pera Palace hotel in Istanbul so I’ve been reading The Bastard of Istanbul by Elif Shafak. I always like to read something romantic about the place I’m visiting.
Where has seduced you?
India. From Goa to Kerala and Mumbai, it gets me every time. It’s the food, the people and the colours. The magical atmosphere and the accepting nature of the locals.
Better to travel or to arrive?
I love to get on the road, but I also think arriving is such a thrill. Turning up at the train station in Mumbai, for example, to see people hanging off all the wonderful old carriages. It’s extraordinary – everyone sitting with their chickens on their laps, moving forward, but not going anywhere fast.
Worst travel experience?
Getting sick in a remote part of India and having to go to hospital. They were sensational, but it was not a pleasant experience having to be stitched up with what felt like a crowbar and a bit of barbed wire.
The Amanresorts are on a different level. I just stayed in the Bodrum one, Amanruya, which was done by a Turkish architect but follows the Thai design principles. Rather a funny mix, but it works. The Aman hotels very rarely let you down.
As long as your staff are friendly and jolly and happy – and make up for any other shortcomings – you can get away with blue murder. It all comes down to good service.
Angrove Woods in Wiltshire. You’re surrounded by bracken, pheasants and fields of glorious bluebells, depending on what season it is.
Best meal abroad?
Dar Yacout in Marrakech. They serve everything under the tagine lid. It’s owned by a French family and done with such style and panache. It has been around for ever, but it’s still a beauty.
Florence. It’s the calmness of the city and the bustle at the same time. The juxtaposition of students, nuns, tourists and locals all rubbing shoulders.
Home, finally. I’ve been on the road working for a while and I’m coming back to London and Wiltshire, before flying out again to Rabat.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 Home Office says Nigerian asylum-seeker can’t be a lesbian as she’s got children
- 2 What happens to your body when you give up sugar?
- 3 Japanese island overrun with cats after population explodes
- 4 Apple and Google users being spied on for a decade because of 'Freak' security flaw
- 5 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
Worst Airports of 2014: Poll names Islamabad airport in Pakistan worst in the world
The Atlas of Beauty: Photographer travels around the world to capture cultural diversity through stunning portraits of women
The world's 10 most expensive cities
The 10 Best lightweight luggage
The 10 Best hiking boots
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Durham Free School: 'Creationism taught at' free school facing closure
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
Ukraine crisis: Top Chinese diplomat backs Putin and says West should 'abandon zero-sum mentality'
£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to the consistent growth of...
£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity exists for an ex...
£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity exists for an ou...
£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...