My Life In Travel: Katie Melua

'My guitar and songwriting book are my ideal travelling partners'

First holiday memory?

Going to my great-grandmother's house in Tuapse, Russia, aged about five. My parents didn't come because they were finishing university, so I spent the summer there. It's a gorgeous place with lots of forests.

Best holiday?

I went back to Georgia to ski in the Caucasus mountains quite recently. I had never skied before so I don't have anything to compare it to, but I really enjoyed it. I stayed in a small village surrounded by stunning scenery.

Favourite place in the British Isles?

The Isle of Wight because they have a great music festival there and it's a really gorgeous place. I was surprised when I first went at how different the climate and landscape are to the rest of England. I remember being on the beach and thinking that it felt quite exotic.

What have you learnt from your travels?

How to pack. I travel a lot for work and I used to pack far too much. I also always take a first-aid kit.

Ideal travelling companion?

My guitar and song-writing book.

Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?

I like beaches but I'm more into adrenalin sports. I have fallen in love with jet-skiing - you go so fast! I tried scuba diving in the Bahamas recently, which was cool.

Greatest travel luxury?

My iPod is a must - I can carry my whole music collection with me.

Holiday reading?

I enjoy everything apart from autobiographies. I love Philip Pullman and Iris Murdoch, as well as classics and thrillers.

Where has seduced you?

Norway, it's so gorgeous and the air is so clean. The last time I was there it snowed and it looked really stunning. It's obviously well-known for its trees and when you fly into Oslo the forests beneath you look amazing.

Better to travel or arrive?

I love travelling but after a long while on the road I look forward to coming home.

Worst travel experience?

I was in New York recently when it snowed heavily. We had to cancel a gig because we couldn't get there. I still found stuff to do so it wasn't a big problem.

Worst hotel?

I'm not particularly fussy. In Georgia the standard of hotels isn't as high as in Europe, but they have a family feel, which is nice.

Best hotel?

I can't remember the name, but it was in Germany. I stayed only for about four hours, just to sleep. We had to catch a plane very early the next day and it had the best bed and pillows I think I've ever slept on, it was hard to tear myself away.

Favourite walk/swim/ ride/drive?

My favourite ride is in Norway. I toured there in autumn and we were meant to fly from Bergen to Oslo but there was a strike so our flight was cancelled. We ended up getting the train through the mountains - you travel through tunnels and emerge into daylight where you see frozen lakes, log cabins and stunning mountains. It felt like going back in time.

Best meal abroad?

I really enjoyed the food in Japan - I loved the bizarre textures. During one meal we ate very thinly sliced beef, which you cook in a pot of boiling water - it only took about 10 seconds because it was so thin.

First thing you do when you arrive somewhere new?

Call home. I'm away quite a lot these days so I try to keep in contact with my family and boyfriend as much as possible.

Dream trip?

I'd love to go to the Arctic and stay in an ice hotel.

Favourite city?

I really love London even though it's home. Otherwise Brussels and in particular the main square - it's breathtaking.

Where next?

South Africa for the Fancourt 46664 Concert in Johannesburg, where I'll be performing with Queen. I feel so honoured to be part of a concert that will hopefully make a difference to the HIV/Aids pandemic.

Katie Melua will perform at the Fancourt 46664 Concert (00 27 83 915 8000; www.46664.com) on 19 March with Annie Lennox and Queen. Tickets cost from R250 (£22)

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - Junior / Mid Weight

    £15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...

    Recruitment Genius: Transportation Contracting Manager

    £33000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A global player and world leade...

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel and Spa Duty Manager

    £18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are friendly, sociable, ...

    Recruitment Genius: Payroll and Benefits Co-ordinator

    £22300 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This museum group is looking for a Payro...

    Day In a Page

    Greece debt crisis: EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

    EU 'family' needs to forgive rather than punish an impoverished state

    An outbreak of malaria in Greece four years ago helps us understand the crisis, says Robert Fisk
    Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge: The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas

    Gaza, a year on from Operation Protective Edge

    The traumatised kibbutz on Israel's front line, still recovering from last summer's war with Hamas
    How to survive electrical storms: What are the chances of being hit by lightning?

    Heavy weather

    What are the chances of being hit by lightning?
    World Bodypainting Festival 2015: Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'

    World Bodypainting Festival 2015

    Bizarre and brilliant photos celebrate 'the body as art'
    alt-j: A private jet, a Mercury Prize and Latitude headliners

    Don't call us nerds

    Craig Mclean meets alt-j - the math-folk act who are flying high
    How to find gold: The Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge

    How to find gold

    Steve Boggan finds himself in the Californian badlands, digging out crevasses and sifting sludge
    Singing accents: From Herman's Hermits and David Bowie to Alesha Dixon

    Not born in the USA

    Lay off Alesha Dixon: songs sound better in US accents, even our national anthem
    10 best balsamic vinegars

    10 best balsamic vinegars

    Drizzle it over salad, enjoy it with ciabatta, marinate vegetables, or use it to add depth to a sauce - this versatile staple is a cook's best friend
    Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

    Greece referendum

    Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
    Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

    7/7 bombings anniversary

    Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
    Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

    Versace haute couture review

    Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
    No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

    No hope and no jobs in Gaza

    So the young risk their lives and run for it
    Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

    Fashion apps

    Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
    The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

    Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

    Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
    Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

    'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

    Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'