My life in travel: Jo Wood

'For me, I love being down by the sea'

Jo Wood's new autobiography, Hey Jo – A Rock and Roll Fairytale, is published by HarperCollins (£20)

First holiday memory?

Woolacombe in Devon. My dad had relatives there so we used to go to my auntie Mary-Rose's guesthouse every October. I remember the smell of bread from the bakery across the road and running along the sand looking for tiny fish in the rockpools.

Favourite place in the British Isles?

Hastings, in East Sussex. My sister lives there, so I go down a lot. There are great places to buy fresh fish and there's a nice sense of community.

Best holiday?

Kenya. I've had many a great holiday with the family at Manda Bay lodge in the Lamu archipelago. I've been on safari quite a few times, but for me, I love being by the sea. The first time we went to Manda Bay it was still very remote – they didn't have running water or electricity – so we stayed in little huts on the beach, which was magical.

What have you learnt from your travels?

To keep an open mind and be respectful of other cultures. When we went to the Maldives and visited Malé, we covered our hair, because it's a Muslim nation. In Japan, their whole life is a religion of sorts – it's a very ritualistic culture. They are very respectful people, especially to their elders, so you have to respond to that.

Your ideal travelling companion?

My sister. She's great to travel with because I have such a laugh with her. After that, my children. We all went to Brazil together a while ago. I fell I love with the people there, their sense of fun and desire to enjoy life. The kids loved it.

Holiday reading?

I usually read health books. I've just started Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, which is about a year in the life of a family who feed themselves. Also, Whitewash by Joseph Keon, which is all about the bad effects of milk, and Healthy at 100 by John Robbins is another good one.

Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?

I need to do something really memorable wherever I go. When I was in Australia, I went skydiving and in Tibet, I climbed a 15,000ft mountain.

Where has seduced you?

Bora Bora in French Polynesia, where I went on my honeymoon. I had this vision of what it would be like, and it was just as beautiful as I imagined.

Better to travel or to arrive?

I loved arriving in Australia because I hadn't seen my daughter for two years. I was so excited and Sydney looked beautiful when we landed.

Worst travel experience?

When we were on tour in India and I looked out the plane window to see some workers putting metal back on the wing. I leant over and told Keith [Richards]; he stood up and said: "All those who want to get off, come with me!" and the entire plane disembarked. We sat in the airport for hours until they found another plane.

Best hotel?

A a beautiful lodge on Ilhabela island, off the coast of Sao Paulo state in Brazil. It was the only one when we went eight years ago, so we just enjoyed the peace and quiet.

Favourite drive?

From London to Monte Carlo, which I did with my sister last year. We stopped in Paris, drove through Geneva and went to Milan where stayed in the Hotel Principe di Savoia. Then we went down to Monte Carlo, along that beautiful coastline with the warm wind blowing through the windows of the car. It should have been romantic, but I was with my sister.

Best meal abroad?

A promoter once took us out for dinner at a fantastic Japanese restaurant in Tokyo, which was very traditional. We ate everything from blowfish to lobster brain.

Your favourite city?

Every time I fly back into London, I look down and think, I'm home.

Where next?

I have an apartment in Miami, so I'm there until the end of March.

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