My Life In Travel: George Lamb, radio and television presenter

'Trekking in the Himalayas was a great adventure'
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The Independent Travel

First holiday memory?

My mum is Scottish so we used to spend our summers in a place called Broughty Ferry near Dundee. I remember the beautiful beach, great sand dunes, the little fair, as well as playing in the arcades and being a nuisance.

Best holiday?

I recently went to Thailand with my missus. We went to a retreat on Koh Phangan for a couple of weeks and it was amazing. We did a lot of yoga, went swimming in the sea, ate good food and did meditation and acupuncture. It was a real holiday – I felt great when I came back. We were two beaches away from where they have the full moon parties but the full moon gave us a miss so we didn't go.

Favourite place in the British Isles?

I love Bagwyllydiart, near Ross-on-Wye and Hereford, where my mum lives. It's just awesome, with beautiful lush green countryside, rolling hills and views of the Black Mountains. You can only see one other house from her cottage and all you hear is the birds. It's so peaceful.

What have you learnt from your travels?

To go into everything with an open mind. I try to live as much like a local as I can. I don't want to go to places where there are loads of other tourists, I like to head off the beaten track. I'll always call the friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend to come and meet me for a coffee when I'm abroad; it's much more fun if you've got an in.

Ideal travelling companion?

My girlfriend Karima because we're both pretty laid back. I work pretty intensively with lots of little holidays together in between and we have a lovely time.

Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?

It depends. I did the beach bum thing in Thailand but I do like adventure – I've been mountain trekking in the Himalayas with my dad and it was one of the best things I've ever done. I took him for his 60th birthday and it was breathtaking.

Greatest travel luxury?

Since I've made some money, I don't mind spending a bit extra on a business class ticket. I'm 6ft 5in, and I work pretty hard, so I like to treat myself when I'm on holiday. Invariably I fly back and start work the next morning so that's how I justify it to myself.

Holiday reading?

I've just read The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho which fitted in with the spiritual journey I was on in Thailand. I love sitting in a hammock with a book.

Where has seduced you?

The Amalfi coast is just beautiful. I am always in awe of Mediterranean people – they dress so well, their standard of living is great and the emphasis on work is less important; family and friends and enjoying life and good food seem to be priorities.

Better to travel or arrive?

I'm not mad on travelling. The odd journey you go on is amazing but I end up organising all the travel when we're away so it's usually a nightmare. I was in Morocco before Christmas with Karima going to see her friends and family and I had to do all the driving, so it wasn't that enjoyable.

Worst travel experience?

I've had a few delays but nothing worse than that.

Worst holiday?

I went to the Costa Del Sol when I was a kid, which didn't do it for me. But holidays are often to do with the people you're with, where your head is and so on, so you can have a terrible experience somewhere one time but then go back and really enjoy it another time.

Worst hotel?

I was put up in some pretty crumby hotels when I worked on films as a runner after leaving school. They were little pokey places but being at the end of the food chain, I was happy to have a roof over my head.

Best hotel?

Perivolas in Santorini. When I was younger I remember seeing the cover of Condé Nast Traveller which had a couple in an infinity pool overlooking this amazing volcanic island. The image really stuck with me and I remember thinking I fancied a bit of that. The first year I became successful I read about it again and booked a few days there straight away. It's a collection of fishermen's cave cottages, with an amazing pool and brilliant food – I had such a great time there.

Favourite walk/swim/ride/drive?

I really want to drive along the Pacific Coast Highway in California in a big old Cadillac with the roof down, staying in motels along the way.

Best meal abroad?

A friend of mine has a beach club called El Chiringuito at Es Cavallet in Ibiza. The setting is incomparable, with green ocean and white sand, the food is amazing and they play great tunes.

First thing you do when you arrive somewhere new?

I try and get in the sea, providing I'm near it. I feel good and refreshed after I've had a swim in the sea.

Dream trip?

Peru and Tanzania: I would love to go to Machu Picchu and climb Mount Kilimanjaro.

Favourite city?

I love New York – it's very easy for Londoners to get in with the pace there and the grid street plan makes life so much easier.

Where next?

I'm going to Barcelona for work by sleeper train.

George Lamb is a judge for Trident's Perpetual Festival. Visit the website www.tri to see how you could win a ticket to one of 30 festivals in 30 weeks