My Life In Travel: Mike Oldfield

'Being an ardent Trekkie, I can't wait until space travel gets luxurious'


First holiday memory?

When I was small we used to go to the Isle of Wight for our family holidays. We drove from our house in Reading down to Southampton or Portsmouth to get the ferry; to see the sea at that age was very exciting. I didn't notice that the sea was cold because back then I didn't know anything about the Caribbean. We stayed in a small cottage and the best thing for me was that the TV had ITV as well as BBC – I think it was there that I saw my very first advert.

Best holiday?

It's a toss-up between Barbados a few years ago and Switzerland. Barbados has got a bit crowded now, but in the late Eighties when places like the Sandy Lane Hotel were quiet and not full of celebrities, it was great. The coral reefs were in a much better condition, too. It was quite a quaint place.

The first time I skied was in Villars-sur-Ollon, in Switzerland. I went there to make an album, but ended up staying for six months. It was just fantastic – going up into the mountains and eating fondue, torch-lit descents at night, sleigh rides and skiing off-piste...

Favourite place in the British Isles?

Brighton. It was the first place I went to on a day out with my parents in their Morris Minor 1000. It probably took about five hours to drive there from Reading on the A-roads back then. I remember seeing the sea and the two piers and eating candy floss. There's still something magical about Brighton.

What have you learnt from your travels?

Be organised. I once dropped my boarding card in the departure lounge of the airport and then had to spend the night in Barcelona because a cleaner had swept it up. I'm fanatical about getting prepared these days.

Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?

I like everything – lying on the beach, going waterskiing or visiting museums; that's the whole point of a holiday. Towards the end of the holiday I'm happy to become a lounge lizard after having seen a bit of culture.

Greatest travel luxury?

To be able to feel the warm air on your skin and the sand under your feet.

Holiday reading?

I always bury myself in something, from a National Geographic to a good novel.

Where has seduced you?

Bali was a magical place. We went there to film a video and we had a guide who would take us to see local dances. It was a very interesting place and I hope it hasn't changed too much since I was there.

Better to travel or arrive?

I find travel exciting, but arriving at an airport after a long-haul flight is misery because you have to go through immigration and other formalities.

Worst travel experience?

On tour once, we flew on a 10-seater plane through a thunderstorm over the Pyrenees. Having survived that, I find turbulence quite exciting now.

Best hotel?

What is now the Kahala Hotel in Honolulu, Hawaii – I think it used to be a Hilton. I stayed there on a stopover on a world tour. It was absolutely gorgeous; there was even a pair of dolphins in the grounds. However, I didn't know you have to tip the staff in the States;when aman delivered my breakfast and I didn't tip him, I thought he was going to kill me!

Favourite walk/swim/ride/drive?

I once walked up and down Table Mountain in South Africa. The mistake I made was at the top thinking, "Hurray, I've only got to get down now", but it's harder to do than getting up it. I was so stiff when I got to the bottom.

Best meal abroad?

A meal I had recently in Corsica, in a little fishing village called St-Florent. It was at a restaurant in the marina and was the best meal of my life; much better than at any Michelin-starred restaurant. I ate great French food on a veranda under the stars.

First thing you do when you arrive somewhere new?

Give the place a good sniff. There's a lot you can tell from the smell of somewhere. Then I check out where I can go and eat that evening.

Dream trip?

Being an ardent Trekkie, I'd love to go to outer space, but not on Virgin Galactic – I want to wait until space travel gets a bit more luxurious and you can have Jacuzzis and go out for dinner there.

Favourite city?

Venice is unbeatable because it's so unique. It's full of atmosphere and history; you feel as if you can almost touch the ghosts of the people who used to lived there.

Where next?

To Monaco. I love the fact that it's such a tiny state; it's also the only place I travel round on the bus because it's so easy and efficient.

Mike Oldfield's new album, 'Music of the Spheres', is released on 17 March

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?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Graphic Designer - Product Development

    £26000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Product Development departm...

    Recruitment Genius: Assistant Manager - Visitor Fundraising

    £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Visitor Fundraising Team is responsi...

    Recruitment Genius: Developer

    £30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

    Recruitment Genius: Estates Contracts & Leases Manager

    £30000 - £34000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Estates Team of this group ...

    Day In a Page

    A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

    A nap a day could save your life

    A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
    If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

    If men are so obsessed by sex...

    ...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
    The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

    Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

    The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
    The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

    Rolling in the deep

    The bathing machine is back but with a difference
    Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

    Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

    Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
    The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

    The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

    Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
    House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

    The honours that shame Britain

    Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
    When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

    'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

    Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
    International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

    International Tap Festival comes to the UK

    Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
    War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
    Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

    'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

    Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
    Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

    BBC heads to the Californian coast

    The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
    Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

    Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

    Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
    Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

    Car hacking scandal

    Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
    10 best placemats

    Take your seat: 10 best placemats

    Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory