My Life In Travel: Ralf Little, actor

'Jamaica is the most magical place'

First holiday memory?

My sisters and I used to go camping with our grandparents every year to places that, at the time, seemed incredibly exotic – like Kidderminster. That's the magic of holidays as a child, you have no concept of where you're going, just that you're going. They are some of the happiest childhood memories I have.

Favourite place in the British Isles?

Another place I went camping with my grandparents was Cheddar in Somerset, and I've kept a soft spot for it ever since. Having said that, they took us around all the sights including Cheddar Gorge and the cheese-making factories and, of course, at age 10, all I wanted to do was stay on the campsite playing football and catching fish in the stream.

Best holiday?

I've never been the type to just lie around in the sun – it makes me exhausted and gives me a headache – so a holiday needs to involve activity and distraction. Because of this, I love skiing. My favourite trip so far was in Tignes at the end of the ski season this year. I went with a friend and we got to ski a huge area, and enjoyed the great nightlife in Val d'Isère and Courchevel.

What have you learnt from your travels?

Pack light. If you're going away for a week, you only need one pair of jeans, one pair of shorts, a couple of T-shirts plus clean socks and underwear for every day. If you can manage it all in hand luggage, it's really satisfying walking past everyone else at the baggage reclaim at the end of the flight.

Ideal travelling companion?

My mum has always been someone who is great to travel with. She used to drag me out of bed and insist that we went out to sample the culture, learn the history and sight-see. At the time, it always seemed like a nightmare, but now I feel major gratitude that she forced me to make the most of my time.

Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?

Adrenalin junkie first, then culture – mainly out of a sense of duty, but I always feel a sense of satisfaction having done it. Then, a definite last – beach bum. I do like the sun and sea, but only for a couple of hours, at which point I have to seek out snorkelling, scuba diving or jet-skiing.

Greatest travel luxury?

My laptop. I almost don't go anywhere without it. It's a luxury because I don't really need it, but it's great to be able to stay connected to the wider world whenever I need to.

Holiday reading?

I love Terry Pratchett's books. What makes them so incredible is how re-readable they are. Even if you remember certain plot lines, it's the wry asides and observations that make them so engaging. They're perfect for holidays, because you can dip in and out without having to focus too hard, and they always raise a smile.

Better to travel or arrive?

I always feel suspicious of people who claim to enjoy the journey – who wants to sit cramped in a plane, bus or boat for hours? When they invent teleportation, sign me up.

Worst holiday?

I've never really had a bad holiday. Even if it hasn't always gone to plan, the people I've been with have usually sought to make the best of things. However, I once went to Florida and halfway through the holiday, I majorly fell out with the person I was with. Four days of frosty glares later, I was more than ready to come home.

Where has seduced you?

Jamaica, for the vibrant culture, the incredible scenery and the island attitude. The food was sensational and I learnt to scuba dive there; it's just the most magical place.

Worst hotel?

I once stayed in a caravan in Rhyl for a week with some friends when I was 18. The accommodation wasn't the most luxurious, but it was one of the most fun holidays I've had.

Best hotel?

The Caves in Negril, Jamaica was pretty special. It was very luxurious and in the most picturesque setting. Also The Residence in Tunisia; it was more grand and opulent, but still exceptional.

Favourite walk/swim ride/drive?

The most incredible thing I've ever done was being dropped out of a helicopter at 15,000ft and skydiving down the north face of the Eiger in Switzerland, landing, and then skiing down to the bottom.

Best meal abroad?

Again, in Jamaica, the food was absolutely unbelievable. Saltfish and ackee was entirely new to me then, but now you'll see me in Caribbean takeaways in London from time to time, trying to relive the experience. The most important thing is to seek out local, traditional dishes.

First thing you do when you arrive somewhere new?

Get lost. Don't dress like a tourist, find out if there are any areas to avoid, and then, armed with no other information, strike out on your own. There's no better way to feel part of a city.

Dream trip?

I recently returned from an incredible trip to Rio de Janeiro with ActionAid to see some of the work that they do there with under-privileged children. It was one of the best experiences of my life – not always in a good way – but it was a real insight into how hard life is for some people. The most amazing thing I found was how strong and resilient they could be, and how welcoming and generous they were. Despite all of the squalor and poverty in one of the poorest and most notorious favelas, the City of God, the people were kind, dignified, and proud.

Favourite city?

I've always had a soft spot for Barcelona. I love the architecture, the culture, the food, the people – and the football.

Where next?

I'll be skiing again as soon as the season starts, but before then I quite fancy the Maldives. Apparently they're really beautiful and relaxing, although I reckon after two days, I'd be twitching to go and do some scuba diving.

Ralf Little is an ambassador for the anti-poverty charity ActionAid. To find out more about ActionAid's work in the developing world visit actionaid.org.uk

Suggested Topics
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: 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...

    ICE ICT: Lead Business Consultant

    £39,000: ICE ICT: Specific and detailed knowledge and experience of travel sys...

    Day In a Page

    John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

    Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

    'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
    Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

    Forget little green men

    Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
    Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

    Dying dream of Doctor Death

    Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
    UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

    39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

    There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
    Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

    Computerised cooking is coming

    From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
    Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

    Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

    The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
    Football Beyond Borders: Even the most distruptive pupils score at homework club

    Education: Football Beyond Borders

    Add football to an after-school homework club, and even the naughtiest boys can score
    10 best barbecue books

    Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

    We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
    Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power

    Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

    Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power
    Ron Dennis exclusive: ‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

    ‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

    Ron Dennis shrugs off a poor start to the season in an exclusive interview, and says the glory days will come back
    Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

    Making of a killer

    What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
    UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

    Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

    Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
    Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
    Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

    Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

    Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most