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
Life and Style
love + sex
Voices
A propaganda video shows Isis forces near Tikrit
voicesAdam Walker: The Koran has violent passages, but it also has others that explicitly tells us how to interpret them
News
people
Sport
football
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: Product Advisor - Automotive

    £17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to the consistent growth of...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Automotive

    £18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity exists for an ex...

    Recruitment Genius: Renewals Sales Executive - Automotive

    £20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity exists for an ou...

    Recruitment Genius: Membership Sales Advisor

    £18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...

    Day In a Page

    Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

    Climate change key in Syrian conflict

    And it will trigger more war in future
    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    How I outwitted the Gestapo

    My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    The nation's favourite animal revealed

    Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
    Is this the way to get young people to vote?

    Getting young people to vote

    From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
    Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

    Poldark star Heida Reed

    'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

    Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
    Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

    Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

    Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
    Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

    The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

    Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
    With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

    Money, corruption and drugs

    The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
    America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

    150 years after it was outlawed...

    ... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

    The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
    Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

    You won't believe your eyes

    Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
    Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

    The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
    War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

    Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn