My Life in Travel: Pat Cash

'I hate Gatwick - if you want to get the Olympics, pull it down!'
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The Independent Travel

First holiday memory?

First holiday memory?

We used to drive up the coast from Melbourne - where I grew up - towards Sydney, stopping off at country towns and quiet beaches. It was very unspoilt then and we used to have a great time. The area has completely changed now though.

Best holiday?

I had a fantastic time in the south of Turkey last summer with my sons. I've also had holidays in the rainforest in Brazil, in the Seychelles and in the Caribbean and each was amazing. I try to do something different every year and I also try to accommodate my kids by going to the beach, because they love that.

What have you learnt from your travels?

I like to travel in business class if I can. British Airways is undoubtedly the best because it has flat beds. I hate Gatwick airport; it's one of the world's worst. If London wants to win the Olympics they'll have to pull Gatwick down!

Ideal travelling companion?

I'm pretty fond of my girlfriend. She's easy to please, curls up small on the plane and is a light packer, something I've yet to master.

Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?

I'm not much of a sun-worshipper; I have to force myself to relax. I'm somewhere in between them all. All-inclusive beach holidays are great with my kids. They're so practical.

Greatest travel luxury?

An orthopaedic pillow. I can sleep anywhere as long as I've got a good pillow, but I find European pillows too soft and American pillows too hard. The last thing I want is to wake up with a sore neck if I have to play tennis.

Holiday reading?

Rock and gadget magazines.

Where has seduced you?

I recently visited the Cook Islands, which are very special. The scenery is breathtaking and I really liked the fact that there is no traffic. I also love going on safari in Africa. For the first 20 years of my career I didn't get to see anything of a country other than the courts. I now have the opportunity to see more of the countries that I visit, so I'm very lucky.

Better to travel or arrive?

I like the fact that the phone doesn't ring while you're on the plane, but it depends on where you're arriving. It's certainly a lot easier to travel than it used to be when I first started playing tennis professionally.

Worst travel experience?

When I was 14 I went to Italy and it took nearly 50 hours to get there. We had to stop off in Sydney, Singapore, Dubai, Athens and Rome.

Worst holiday?

Travelling to the US from Bermuda. My twins had just been born and my other two kids were about eight and six, and as we boarded the twins were screaming. The air hostesses didn't offer to help at all, and I'd finally got the babies to calm down when one of them rammed her trolley into my injured knee and told me to watch where I put my legs. We ended up arguing and she reported me for swearing, so when we landed security was waiting.

Worst hotel?

A hotel in Split in Croatia. The walls were so thin that I could hear my teammate on the phone, and what his wife was saying to him.

Best hotel?

There have been so many - I can't pick one out.

Favourite walk/swim/ride/drive?

When I get back home to the Gold Coast I head for the beach straight away. It's the best beach in the world for walking, swimming and surfing.

Best meal abroad?

At the Coyote Café in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I love spicy food.

Dream trip?

I'd really like to go trekking through Nepal and I've always wanted to go on a journey on the Blue Train through South Africa.

Favourite city?

New York for its energy, and Sydney is also a favourite; it's one of the best cities in the world. I also like London - taxi drivers always seem to know where I live, it's like having a chauffeur.

Where next?

I'm going to Oslo with my boys to do a bit of skiing, then back to Australia for Christmas.

Pat Cash will be playing in The Masters Tennis presented by Cunard at the Royal Albert Hall from 30 November-5 December. For tickets call 020-7358 8212 or go to www.themasterstennis.com

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