My life in travel: Dominic Littlewood
'You can't beat waking up with no one around but fish and turtles'
Saturday 29 June 2013
Television presenter Dominic Littlewood hosts Cowboy Traders on Thursdays at 8pm on Channel 5.
First holiday memory?
Devon with my parents and three siblings. We didn't have a lot of money, so my parents hired a camper van. It was very cramped and I used to sleep in a bunk that hung over the driving seats.
The reason I remember that one, in particular, is because I became very ill. It was 1975, we were in Devon, there was a heatwave on and my dad had to drive us all home in the searing heat to get to a hospital. It later transpired I had diabetes.
Favourite place in the British Isles?
I'm very much a city person. If you take me outside, I get very impatient and bored. I've had a couple of good holidays in the Cotswolds, but anything more than one night and I'm climbing the walls.
Backpacking in my twenties. I took a year off and travelled the world with my buddy. We started with five weeks in Hong Kong, because my sister lives there, and moved on to Thailand and Australia.
Ideal travelling companion?
Your best mate. I've had great holidays with my girlfriends, but better ones with my mates. If you have an argument or disagree, you just play a game of pool or have a beer to decide who wins.
Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?
I'm big into my watersports. I waterski, wakeboard, sail and scuba dive. You can take me on a beach holiday, but don't expect me to be lying there for long. I'll be off deep-sea fishing or swimming with turtles.
Greatest travel luxury?
My toiletry bag, filled with a few essential items. Being bald, sun cream is essential. Also Deet, because gnats and mosquitos seem to make a beeline for me. And a tub of Vaseline, because you can use it to soothe lips, sores, bites and grazes.
Where has seduced you?
The Gili Islands, off the coast of Lombok in Indonesia. There is no motorised transport, so you won't see a moped or a car. Everything that moves there, has two legs or four. It's so beautiful and tranquil and my villa was probably the best I've ever stayed in. I had my own pool, right outside. It was also the first time I swam with wild sharks, which was an amazing experience.
I have twice done sailing holidays in my life. The first one was to the Ionian Islands of Greece and the second was around the British Virgin Islands. You wake up in the morning and dive off the back of the boat into the sea, then climb onboard and barbecue any fish you've caught for breakfast. To me, that's the best accommodation ever. You can't beat waking up in the middle of the sea with no one around you except the fish and the turtles.
Best meal abroad?
A seafood platter in Goa. Even after negotiation, it cost my friend and me the equivalent of £120 – which would buy you a house in India. But we decided to spoil ourselves. When it arrived, it was enough to feed about 15 people. There were huge king prawns and just about every other fish you could imagine. It was amazing.
Bangkok. There's such a vibrancy about the place. I love the shopping, the food, the people, the temperature and the hotels. Along with London, it's one of the best cities in the world.
Burma. It's a country that I'm really getting excited about visiting. I'm going by myself, but my sister and her husband are flying over from Hong Kong to meet me. I imagine it's going to be like Thailand about 40 years ago, before tourism stepped up. I'm looking forward to not being able to read the menu, trying new foods and meeting different people.
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