My Life In Travel: Beverley Knight

'I love Brazil. It's how I imagine Jamaica'

First holiday memory?

First holiday memory?

When I was 10 my mum took me to New York to be a bridesmaid for her best friend. I think I was more excited about being on the plane than anything else. The crew took me to meet the pilot and ever since then New York has been one of my favourite places on earth.

Best holiday?

I get caught up in work a lot so I tend not to take as many holidays as I'd like. I really learnt to relax when I went to Dubai about three years ago. Initially it was a work trip but I had a week to myself afterwards. It was great to be able to sit on a beautiful beach and do nothing. I studied theology as a degree so it was a fascinating place for me, being a Muslim country. Sunday was a trading day and Friday was the religious day and it was interesting to watch the interaction between men and women. The gaudiness was quite amusing too.

Favourite place in the British Isles?

Wolverhampton, because that's where I'm from. There's nothing to do apart from visit the Black Country Museum, but people are remarkably friendly there so I've attached a huge amount of sentiment to it. Outside Wolverhampton I really like Newcastle. It's vibrant and buzzy with an interesting mix of folk - a good place for people-watching.

What have you learnt from your travels?

That there is so much more than what you see in your everyday life. It's an education, which has taught me to be tolerant.

Ideal travelling companion?

Someone with immense wisdom such as Dr Martin Luther King because he probably needed a bit more time for relaxing than he had. I also think he'd be very interested in his surroundings and have lots of stories to tell.

Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?

I can't keep still. Dubai was the one time I did because there wasn't much else to do other than lie on a beach. I like to get out and study the place that I'm in but I have to set aside some time for shopping, too!

Greatest travel luxury?

A good moisturiser. Flights and extreme temperatures can dry your skin out, especially black skin, which can look really ashen.

Holiday reading?

Sometimes - it depends how long the journey is. If it's short-haul I might read a magazine or a newspaper, otherwise I like books that I can devour very quickly. The last book that I read was Donya Al-Nahi's Heroine of the Desert, which was fascinating.

Where has seduced you?

I have a love affair with Brazil. I was fortunate enough to go to Salvador in Bahia with Christian Aid to find out how Brazilians are dealing with HIV and Aids. I felt at home there because it it's how I imagine Jamaica to be, which is where my family is from. We also went to Rio, which is something else.

Better to travel or arrive?

Travelling can be really tedious unless somebody else is splashing out on business class for you. When I'm touring or promoting a single or album I'm on the road a lot.

Worst holiday?

A very short break to Seaford in Sussex when I was young. The weather was appalling. We had to sit in our chalets watching TV because we couldn't go outside.

Worst hotel?

A hotel in Rome, it was like Fawlty Towers. The staff were completely inept, the bedrooms were as small as shoeboxes and the air conditioning didn't work. The bar closed at about 9pm so when we wanted to sit down and have a drink and a chat after the shows, we couldn't - it was completely dead. Everything that could have been wrong was wrong.

Best hotel?

I've been to a few, but one of my favourites was the Jumeirah Beach in Dubai. The rooms were really comfortable and homely without being over the top. They provided fresh fruit every day and the meals and service were second to none. I could relax because I didn't want for anything. Favourite walk/swim/ride/drive?

We drove from Switzerland into Italy on the tour bus and it was breathtaking, the scenery was so beautiful. I also love driving in my car from Newcastle up into Scotland - it's glorious.

Best meal abroad?

In Salvador, Brazil. For breakfast we had cassava pancakes with fried fish, vegetables and chilli sauce, which was delicious. For dinner we ate things like curried mutton and rice. The cooking was very familiar, yet so new.

First thing you do when you arrive somewhere new?

Flop down on the bed. Then I'll open the window and look out.

Dream trip?

I'm doing it this summer. I'm going to Jamaica for the first time to visit my grandma. I'm going to try and unearth some of my family history - it's a bit of a spiritual homeland.

Favourite city?

New York. From the minute I fly in, the blood pumps around my veins. No other city has a buzz quite like it; there's a real feeling of life there. I like the fact you can walk everywhere but you must remember to look up, because there's so much going on above you.

Where next?

I'll be promoting my new single around the UK, then going on tour in April.

Beverley Knight's new single 'Keep This Fire Burning' is out on 14 March

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
The data shows that the number of “unlawfully” large infant classes has doubled in the last 12 months alone
i100Mike Stuchbery, a teacher in Great Yarmouth, said he received abuse
Arts and Entertainment
The starship in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
filmsThe first glimpse of JJ Abrams' new film has been released online
Rio Ferdinand returns for QPR
sportRio Ferdinand returns from his three-game suspension today
The Speaker of the House will takes his turn as guest editor of the Today programme
arts + ents
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities

Watch the spoof Thanksgiving segment filmed for Live!
Billy Twelvetrees will start for England against Australia tomorrow with Owen Farrell dropping to the bench
rugbyEngland need a victory against Australia today
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of The Guest Cat – expect to see it everywhere
Tyson Fury poses outside the Imperial War Museum in south London ahead of his fight against Dereck Chisora
boxingAll British heavyweight clash gets underway on Saturday night
i100 Charity collates series of videos that show acts of kindness to animals
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
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

    Recruitment Genius: Senior Project Manager - Bristol

    £31000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: In the UK, the major project fo...

    h2 Recruit Ltd: Sales Executive - Meetings & Events (MICE) - £40,000 OTE

    £30000 - £40000 per annum + benefits: h2 Recruit Ltd: Are you a high achieving...

    h2 Recruit Ltd: Account Executive - Hotel Reservation Software - £40,000 OTE

    £30000 - £40000 per annum + benefits: h2 Recruit Ltd: A rapidly growing Hotel ...

    Recruitment Genius: Tyre Technician / Mechanic

    £15000 - £16800 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Tyre Technician / Mechanic is...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

    Christmas Appeal

    Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
    Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

    Is it always right to try to prolong life?

    Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
    Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

    What does it take for women to get to the top?

    Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
    Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

    Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

    Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
    French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

    French chefs campaign against bullying

    A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
    Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

    Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

    Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
    Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

    Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

    Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
    Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

    Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

    Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
    Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

    Paul Scholes column

    I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
    Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

    Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

    So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
    Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

    Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

    The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
    Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

    Sarkozy returns

    The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
    Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

    Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

    Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
    Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

    Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

    Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game