My Life In Travel: Suzi Quatro
'The best Chinese meal I ever had was in Japan'
Saturday 01 January 2011
Suzi Quatro is an American-born singer-songwriter, musician and actress who now lives in Essex
First holiday memory?
Driving to Pennsylvania with my family to meet up with loads of relatives on my dad's side of family when I was about seven or eight. There were two streets full of relatives; practically every house you went to belonged to somebody in the family.
Hawaii has always been a favourite, with probably the prettiest beaches you'll ever see and the nicest atmosphere – it really is paradise. I first went in 1968. My band was going over to Vietnam to play a gig and we had to stop unexpectedly in Hawaii where we stayed for a few days. I never forgot it because it was so beautiful. I've been back since then and would love to go again.
Favourite place in the British Isles?
I like Edinburgh very much, and also Jersey. It's a nice place to go and St Helier is lovely. I've been quite a few times for holidays.
What have you learnt from your travels?
I've been travelling professionally since I was 14, so I've totally mastered how to pack light. I can go with a carry-on case for a couple of weeks if I have to.
Ideal travelling companion?
I kind of like my own space when I travel. I go into my own little world.
Greatest travel luxury?
I always take my scrapbook and my laptop. I have to have something to occupy my mind.
Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?
I like a bit of everything. However, I do enjoy sports and I jog no matter where I am in the world. I also love seeing the sites – I'm a big tourist in that way and I enjoy relaxing in the sun.
I eat books: everything from David Remnick's Lenin's Tomb to trash – I like it all, it just depends on what mood I'm in. When I'm on the plane I can't read anything heavy because I can't concentrate, but when I'm by the pool I'll get stuck into something more serious.
Where has seduced you?
I've been to Australia maybe 29 times now, so that's a very big pull for me. It's so nice, I could live there – in Melbourne, Sydney or Perth – even though it's so far away. I also like Miami very much and visit often.
Better to travel or arrive?
I can't stand travelling, it's just tedious. I travel a couple of times a week, though, so no wonder.
Worst travel experience?
The one that just springs to mind was getting stuck on the ground in Paris for about four hours and they wouldn't let us off the plane; it was something about airport staff going on strike. I got up on the microphone and told jokes, but nobody laughed.
I did a big tour of Russia in 1989 and went to Sochi, a beach resort on the Black Sea, and I can't say I particularly liked that. But it was just when glasnost was starting so conditions weren't great.
That would have been in Sochi – I wouldn't have put my dog in the hotel we stayed in.
I recently went to Detroit for my birthday and stayed at the MotorCity Casino hotel where they gave me a room that was almost as big as a hotel itself. I took lots of people and they really honoured me with this wonderful room. That was pretty nice.
Driving through California up to 'Frisco via Big Sur is pretty impressive, and going from LA to Vegas is pretty good too.
Best meal abroad?
The first meal that comes to mind is in Japan. I've done many tours there and once our promoter took us to a Chinese restaurant in Tokyo just before we left. He told us we were about to have the best Chinese meal we've ever eaten and indeed it was. It was fantastic.
There aren't many places I haven't been. Going to Egypt was a dream come true. However, one place I haven't been to that I'd really like to is Greece. I'd like to go see all the history and ancient culture there.
New York. My favourite thing about it is that you can be surrounded by people but you can still be alone.
After Miami I'm off to New York because I have a friend in a show there. And then after that I'm going to my place in Mallorca. I have a little holiday apartment there, as well as a house in Hamburg and in England.
Suzi Quatro In Search Of ... Otis Redding is on BBC Radio 2 tonight from 6pm-8pm ( bbc.co.uk/radio2)
The My Life in Travel column is produced in association with Andalucia Tourism. See www.andalucia.org
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