My Life In Travel: Sam Branson

'The Arctic was incredible – it just mesmerised me'

First holiday memory?

Messing around on a beach in the Caribbean when I was a kid. I was very fortunate and spent about three or four months of the year in the British Virgin Islands. I first went when I was about eight months old and still try to go back for a few weeks of the year.

Best holiday?

On my gap year I went travelling around the world with a couple of friends and we stopped off in Bali for five weeks. We went on a surfing trip, trying to find the best breaks around the island. I absolutely loved Bali – it's a beautiful place with a lovely culture. Being able to surf every day was a dream.

Favourite place in the British Isles?

Oxford, because I grew up near there. I go there to unwind after being in London, and I love all the old buildings.

What have you learnt from your travels?

Travelling teaches you so much more about life than a university course could. Experiencing other cultures gives you a sense of the bigger picture and meeting different people gives you an appreciation of your position in life, particularly the fact we have basic things such as running water and food.

Ideal travelling companion?

My girlfriend or my best mate, depending on what sort of trip it is.

Holiday reading?

I try to read as much as I can. When I was in the Arctic recently I wrote a diary every day. The best book I've ever read is Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts.

Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?

A mixture of all three. I like the beach, sports such as surfing, with a bit of culture thrown in.

Greatest travel luxury?

My guitar, if I can; it's only small.

Where has seduced you?

The Arctic was incredible, it mesmerised me. However, I think Africa really inspired me. It's stunning but very challenging, with such incredible culture and natural beauty. I loved Kenya, in particular. It's beautiful but also quite an emotional place to visit.

Better to travel or arrive?

I do enjoy travelling, but I'm very happy when I arrive somewhere. I'm a bit of a nervous flyer these days, so landing is good. However, if you're travelling through a country on a motorbike it's great. I think you should be content in the present – the journey can be just as enjoyable.

Worst travel experience?

I once had a gun pulled on me in Chamonix, which was the last place I thought that would happen. In Mexico, I caught a bug and experienced emissions from every orifice!

Worst holiday?

I try to give places I haven't enjoyed a second chance, because it really depends on the situation and who you're with. There isn't anywhere I wouldn't go back to. However, I thought Thailand was awesome, but I wouldn't rush back.

Worst hotel?

I was with two friends in Sigatoka, Fiji, and we travelled down a dirt track for two hours to find a hotel, but it had shut down. Next door was a shack with a pig sty where the owner had opened up some rooms to surfers. All were full so we ended up sleeping in a storage room on flea-infested mattresses.

Best hotel?

Am I allowed to mention Virgin hotels?! Kasbah Tamadot in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco is beautiful. My favourite is the Ulusaba Game Reserve in South Africa where you have wildlife and beauty all around you. It's a pretty inspiring place.

Favourite walk/ride/ swim/drive?

My favourite drive was a great road trip with friends from Sydney to Byron Bay.

Best meal abroad?

The food in Spain is my favourite; I love fresh fish and tapas.

First thing you do when you arrive somewhere new?

I drop off my bags and take a walk around the area to get my bearings. It's good to get a picture of the place and try to meet some local people.

Dream trip?

I really want to go to New Zealand and do a surfing trip through French Polynesia. I'd love to surf in Suva, the Fijian capital, which is one of the world's best surfing spots.

Favourite city?

I live in London, so I like travelling outside the big cities and seeing the landscapes.

Where next?

I am going to stay on Necker Island in the Caribbean for my 23rd birthday for a week.

Sam Branson hosts 'Kiss the Planet' on Kiss FM and www.totalkiss.com, tomorrow at 7pm

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
From Mean Girls to Mamet: Lindsay Lohan
theatre
Sport
Nathaniel Clyne (No 2) drives home his side's second goal past Arsenal’s David Ospina at the Emirates
footballArsenal 1 Southampton 2: Arsène Wenger pays the price for picking reserve side in Capital One Cup
News
Mike Tyson has led an appalling and sad life, but are we not a country that gives second chances?
peopleFormer boxer 'watched over' crash victim until ambulance arrived
Arts and Entertainment
Geena Davis, founder and chair of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
tv
News
i100
Travel
travelGallery And yes, it is indoors
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
The Tiger Who Came To Tea
booksJudith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed'
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
News
Alan Bennett criticised the lack of fairness in British society encapsulated by the private school system
peopleBut he does like Stewart Lee
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

    Food and Beverage Cost Controller

    18,000 to 20,000 per annum: Accountancy Action: Our fantastic leisure client i...

    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...

    Day In a Page

    Syria air strikes: ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings

    Robert Fisk on Syria air strikes

    ‘Peace President’ Obama had to take stronger action against Isis after beheadings
    Will Lindsay Lohan's West End debut be a turnaround moment for her career?

    Lindsay Lohan's West End debut

    Will this be a turnaround moment for her career?
    'The Crocodile Under the Bed': Judith Kerr's follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

    The follow-up to 'The Tiger Who Came to Tea'

    Judith Kerr on what inspired her latest animal intruder - 'The Crocodile Under the Bed' - which has taken 46 years to get into print
    BBC Television Centre: A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past

    BBC Television Centre

    A nostalgic wander through the sets, studios and ghosts of programmes past
    Lonesome George: Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains

    My George!

    Custody battle in Galapagos over tortoise remains
    10 best rucksacks for backpackers

    Pack up your troubles: 10 best rucksacks for backpackers

    Off on an intrepid trip? Experts from student trip specialists Real Gap and Quest Overseas recommend luggage for travellers on the move
    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