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News & Advice

My Life In Travel: James Anderson, professional cricketer

'My dream trip is to a country with no cricket'

First holiday memory?

Tenerife. I vaguely remember getting off the plane and it being warm, but the reason it really sticks out is because I was ill during the holiday. It made it a long week for my parents.

Best holiday?

Bora Bora, an island in French Polynesia. My wife and I stopped off there a few years ago after a cricket tour in New Zealand. We stayed at the St Regis resort and it was just amazing. We swam with dolphins and spent a lot of time just relaxing together for a week.

Favourite place in the British Isles?

The Lake District. I went a lot when I was younger because our family had a caravan near Windermere. We had some really great family holidays there and I've since started taking my own children, too.

What have you learnt from your travels?

Travel as light as possible. Going through airports with loads of luggage is one of my pet hates. I don't like going through all the security searches or having to decant your toiletries and liquids into separate bags. When I'm on tour with cricket, I can't avoid having lots of kit and equipment. But I try to travel as light as possible on my own.

Ideal travelling companion?

I'm not very good at keeping hold of tickets and passports, so I need someone who's very organised. Our team manager is amazing for that. He looks after all the bags and makes sure everything arrives at the other end.

Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?

We get to see some amazing sights on tour. Had I not played cricket, I don't think I'd have been to the Taj Mahal and Table Mountain, or travelled as far as Australia and New Zealand. But it's actually quite hectic. So when I go on a family holiday I'm more than happy to just hang out by the pool.

Greatest travel luxury?

Flying in business class. A lot of people don't get to experience that, so it's obviously quite a luxury in itself. But for me, the most important thing is that our luggage gets dealt with more efficiently.

Where has seduced you?

The Maldives. I went on my honeymoon there. We stayed at one of the Coco Palm resorts and went snorkelling, did a scuba diving course and just relaxed. I've never really experienced anywhere else like it.

Better to travel or arrive?

I'm all about the destination. I don't like travelling, since I have to do quite a lot of long-haul flights. I wasn't looking forward to the 11-hour journey to Sri Lanka for the test match this week, but arriving was great. I love going to new places.

Best hotel?

The One&Only in Cape Town. We stayed there for a few days in 2009, and it was incredible. It's cool and modern, and the beds were really comfortable as well, which is a big thing for me. I'm lucky to have stayed in lots of fantastic hotels with cricket, but that one really stands out.

Favourite walk?

Scafell Pike in the Lake District. It's the highest mountain in England and right in the centre of the lakes, so you get beautiful views across Cumbria on either side.

Best meal abroad?

We went fishing in the Maldives, brought our catch back to the beach and the hotel cooked it for us. There was real sense of satisfaction in having caught the fish ourselves.

Dream trip?

A country that doesn't play cricket. We often return to the same places on tour, so actually getting to see somewhere new is exciting. I'd like to go to Singapore, Thailand, China and Japan – I've yet to experience Asia properly. I think it would be really interesting.

Favourite city?

Cape Town. It's got everything: beautiful beaches, restaurants and nightlife, and the scenery is incredible. I also love Bridgetown, the capital of Barbados, for similar reasons. It's got a really laid-back feel.

Where next?

We're back in India later in the year, playing seven games in seven different places. It'll be hectic, but really interesting as we visit smaller places that aren't on the tourist map. I'm used to India now, but when you first go there it certainly wows you.

James Anderson is an ambassador for La Manga Club, which celebrates its 40th birthday this year (lamangaclub.com). The first Test match against Sri Lanka starts on Monday.