My Life In Travel: Liz Bonnin, TV presenter

'The more I travel, the more I want to see'

First holiday memory?

My mum was born in Trinidad, so we used go to there twice a year to see family. I have fond memories of island-hopping with my cousins and aunts and being by the beautiful Caribbean sea. Every time I go, it feels like returning home, even though I've never lived there.

Best holiday?

New Zealand. My sister and I hired a car and drove down from the North Island to the South Island. We skydived over Lake Wanaka and swam with wild dolphins in Kaikoura. We stayed in beautiful B&Bs with scenery that ranged from forests to wide expanses of landscape that looks almost like Mongolia. It really was the trip of a lifetime, discovering one of the most beautiful places on the planet.

Favourite place in the British Isles?

The Cairngorms. When I went the sun shone every day, which was very unusual. I was filming a documentary about Scottish wildcats and came across a pair of wildcat kittens. Also, Rathlin Island, off the coast of County Antrim in Ireland. I went scuba-diving there and saw conger eels amid shipwrecks. The British Isles are second to none when it's a beautiful day.

What have you learnt from your travels?

The more I travel, the more I want to see. I think travelling is one of the most important things everyone should do in life. I went to Honduras for the first time recently and experienced that absolute thrill of not knowing what to expect.

Ideal travelling companion?

My sister. We're very different but very close. We've never had a fight. She's a wonderful companion who has inspired me to explore new places.

Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?

Sometimes I just need to get away to the nearest hot place with a suitcase full of books and do little else except swim in the sea. Other times, I'm into exploring wildlife, trekking in Patagonia or jumping out of planes in New Zealand.

Greatest travel luxury?

A cashmere shawl I own that's the size of a blanket. I wrap it around myself three times when I'm on a plane. When I got off after Honduras, you wouldn't have recognised me – I looked completely dishevelled, swathed in this huge blanket.

Holiday reading?

I read a lot of science and wildlife books for work, so when I go for leisure, I like to catch up on novels. I recently read A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, who also wrote The Kite Runner. And I also really enjoyed The Elegance Of The Hedgehog, a beautiful book about a little girl and a courtier who live together in Paris, by French novelist Muriel Barbery.

Where has seduced you?

India. The first time I went I was freaked out by the utter difference. But as much as it's filthy, overcrowded and there is sheer poverty – there is absolute beauty in some of the villages. It's also where I saw my first tiger in a national park in Madhya Pradesh; I'm obsessed with tigers. That trip is what inspired me to do my MA and natural history programming on the BBC.

Better to travel or to arrive?

I enjoy flying. It's a little bit of escapism, where you cannot get access to your phone or contact anyone. I tuck in under my blanket and watch movie after movie. But I still get butterflies and a smile on my face when I land.

Worst hotel?

A tiny place in Egypt. We were driving between two oases in the middle of the desert and were absolutely filthy and dying for a shower. It was the only place I'd been to where the shower was dirtier than I was. We went for a few beers to get through it, got into bed, and I woke up in the morning with a massive spider bite on the middle of my forehead the size of a small country. We had breakfast outside and there was a pool with a layer of larvae on top of it.

Best hotel?

A tiny little B&B called Mas de la Beaume in Gordes, Provence. It's set in one of the most beautiful old towns in the world. It's the screensaver on my phone because it's what my dream house would look like. It's a converted French farmhouse with little old stone rooms – lots of character and utterly beautiful.

Favourite walk/swim/ride/drive?

A walk along the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare, Ireland. There's something very spiritual and powerful about that place. Also, driving through Pench National Park in Madhya Pradesh, in an open-top 4x4 looking at the trees and the blue sky; and swimming in the Caribbean, near Sainte Anne in Martinique. The water is clear and utterly warm. There's nothing like it.

Best meal abroad?

Whenever I go back to Trinidad, I make my family stop for a prawn curry roti at the Hot Shoppe shack near Port of Spain. Also, eating grilled fish with Indonesian dipping sauce, greens and sticky rice on the balcony of the Kumara Sakti [a yoga retreat in Ubud, Bali] with the best vegetarian food I've ever eaten in my life.

Dream trip?

I'm besotted with South American culture, language and music, so I'd love to spend six months there. I've been to Argentina but I would love to travel through Brazil and Chile. I've always dreamt of getting to know the continent better.

Favourite city?

Rome. I love the romance of it: the peeling orange paint on green-shuttered buildings, the attitude to food and spending hours at lunch tables with friends and family. It's a beautiful city to stroll around.

Where next?

I'm going to Botswana to film the elephant migration and some meerkats for the BBC with a show called Animal Einstein. I've never been on safari, so it's another privileged outing.

Liz Bonnin presents 'Egypt's Lost Cities', available on BBC DVD (£20.42).

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Rita Ora will replace Kylie Minogue as a judge on The Voice 2015
tv
Life and Style
tech
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
life
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Life and Style
life
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
Extras
indybest
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Arts and Entertainment
Salmond told a Scottish television chat show in 2001that he would also sit in front of a mirror and say things like,
tvCelebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
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

    Affiliate Marketing Manager / Affiliate Manager

    £50 - 60k (DOE): Guru Careers: An Affiliate Marketing Manager / Affiliate Mana...

    IT Administrator - Graduate

    £18000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FO...

    USA/Florida Travel Consultants £30-50k OTE Essex

    Basic of £18,000 + commission, realistic OTE of £30-£50k : Ocean Holidays: Le...

    Marketing Executive / Member Services Exec

    £20 - 26k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing Executive / Member Services Ex...

    Day In a Page

    Secret politics of the weekly shop

    The politics of the weekly shop

    New app reveals political leanings of food companies
    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Beam me up, Scottie!

    Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
    Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

    Beware Wet Paint

    The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

    Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    Sanctuary for the suicidal

    One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
    Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

    Apple still the coolest brand

    Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits