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News & Advice

My Life In Travel: Emilio Estévez

'The train to Mumbai was so overwhelming'

First holiday memory?

It's not really a holiday, but our family relocated from New York City to Guaymas in Mexico for six months when I was about eight. My father was cast in the Mike Nichols film, Catch-22, which was being shot there. It was a culture shock for the entire family.

Best holiday?

The Galisteo Inn in New Mexico. It's a true getaway with no mobile-phone signal, no reception and no internet. It's wonderfully off the grid, yet close enough to Santa Fe if you crave shopping, people-watching and access to restaurants.

Favourite place in the British Isles?

When I was filming Mission: Impossible, I stayed at the Grosvenor House on Park Lane in London for about five weeks and I loved that. I went running in Hyde Park every day. It was the longest I'd ever spent in the city and I really enjoyed my time there.

Insider's tourist tip from your hometown?

Malibu has long been memorialised by the Beach Boys as a destination for surfing, sun and bikinis, but lately it has become home to a growing number of vineyards and wineries. The climate is Burgundian and many Rhône varietals have been planted in the foothills. It is also home to my own label, Casa Dumetz; I grow pinot noir in my front- and backyard.

What have you learnt from your travels?

That no matter where I visit, I notice more and more travellers looking to find the best of what's local: beer and wine, produce and meat. Find the terroir of the land you are visiting – I believe it is the best way to get underneath the culture of a place.

Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenaline junkie?

I wish I was able to take more holidays. I was in Spain for four months filming The Way and by the time I'd got home, I couldn't think about going away again; I just wanted to be at home. I also find it hard to be away from our vineyard and farm because there are certain times of the year that we need to be there. It's very hands-on.

Ideal travelling companion?

My partner, Sonja. She's not afraid to be a tourist, no matter where we travel, while I'm afraid of looking un-cool if seen as such.

Holiday reading?

I enjoy non-fiction. I'm reading a book called The Last Farmer at the moment; I read a lot of books about the science of agriculture and viticulture and people's experiences of it. I'd never pick up a romance novel.

Greatest travel luxury?

Having my laundry done when I'm staying at a hotel. I can never get my clothes as clean when I am at home.

Where has seduced you?

India. I have only been once, when I was on location with my father working as a stand-in on Gandhi in the early 1980s. I took the train from Delhi to Mumbai and it was a real experience. The mass of humanity was so overwhelming. It turned my world upside down.

Worst travel experience?

I went to Bolivia to talk about the possibility of doing a film based on a book called Back From Tuichi. We were provided with a private plane to fly there but when we arrived, we were accused of trafficking narcotics; the plane was confiscated along with our passports and we were jailed. We managed to leave, but I think I'm still a fugitive from justice there, because we managed to leave without it being resolved. It was an absolute nightmare.

It was at the time when we were doing press for one of the Young Guns movies – my publicist asked me how I wanted to address it, but thankfully we managed to make people realise that nobody actually brings drugs into Bolivia.

Best hotel?

The Hotel Cipriani in Venice. I stayed there on a work-related trip and it was the most outstanding hotel I'd ever stayed at. I remember dancing in Saint Mark's Square with Sonja. There was a band playing.

Favourite drive?

The drive along Highway 1, along the coast from Los Angeles to San Francisco.

Best meal abroad?

Huevos estrellados at a restaurant called Casa Lucio in Madrid – estupendo!

Dream trip?

Any that doesn't involve work-related travel. When that'll next be, though, who knows...?

Favourite city?

Paris. It's a city you can see on foot and a very romantic place. Sonja is a big walker, so we put on our tennis shoes and set off.

Where next?

Skopje, Macedonia. Sonja is from Macedonia, so I really want to visit.

The Way, starring Martin Sheen and directed by Emilio Estévez, is in cinemas from next Friday