My Life in Travel: Jeremy Bowen
'Being shot at is a hazard of the job. It has happened to people I know'
Saturday 22 May 2004
What is your first holiday memory?
What is your first holiday memory?
Going camping with my parents and brothers in Wales. My first holiday abroad was camping in Spain in 1968. We drove along the Costa Blanca to Calpe, which was quite adventurous for the time - the beaches were fairly deserted and there were just a few campsites. I went back there 20 years later and it was totally built up.
Where did you spend the summers of your childhood?
They were mostly farm holidays, although we once went to Gibraltar. Other than that it was Wales and Cornwall, and at my grandparents' house in Sussex. We used to go to the beaches at Climping and Worthing.
What has been your best holiday?
I had a wonderful time in February this year in Barbados. I went with my partner and two kids and some friends and their parents. We rented a house for two weeks, and it was very relaxing. My best holidays are those with my children, when I know that they are enjoying themselves.
What is your favourite place in the British Isles?
The Pembrokeshire coast - the scenery and beaches are magnificent, and I've got wonderful childhood memories of the area.
What have you learnt from your travels?
It's never as bad as you think it is going to be when you get there.
Are you an independent traveller?
Not now, because I've got a family and we holiday together. I have to travel a lot for work, but for TV you always have a cameraman with you. I have travelled an awful lot to some very strange places, so I suppose I would call myself an independent traveller in that respect.
Who would be your ultimate travelling companion?
My children - one is three and the other is nine months old. I'm interested in showing them a few of the world's sights when they get older. I was working in Japan recently and I thought it would be a wonderful place to take them.
To where have you lost your heart?
The coast of former Yugoslavia. After Sarajevo there were no tourists at all. Montenegro is also very special and the sea is fabulous.
Is it better to travel than to arrive?
Some journeys can be absolutely hellish. But it really depends whether or not the destination lives up to your expectations.
What has been the worst thing that has happened to you on holiday?
I can't think of anything on holiday, but the huge downside of my work is that people can sometimes be killed. Being shot at is a hazard of the job and it has happened to quite a few people I know. My friend and colleague Abed Takkoush was killed by Israelis in the Lebanon in 2000 when I was with him.
Where is the most overrated place you've been?
Los Angeles. I couldn't really get a grip on it; it is too big and sprawling and I probably didn't know the right people. The cities on the East Coast of the United States are fantastic, but I have never had a particularly good time in LA.
Where is the most underrated place you've been?
The Lebanon. The people are particularly friendly, the climate is wonderful and the food is delicious. It also has a really interesting history that a lot of people probably don't know about. You'd have a fantastic holiday if you went there.
Where would be your trip of a lifetime?
Somewhere I could take my kids when they are a little bit older that really opens their eyes to the world - and hopefully before the world gets so globalised that it doesn't matter where you are. A trip right through Africa with them and my partner would be wonderful.
The world ends tomorrow - where do you regret never having been?
Brazil. It looks like such an amazing place and somewhere I sadly haven't been to yet.
Where are you going next?
To Jerusalem in a month's time, for work, unless something comes up before then.
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