My Life In Travel: Toby Anstis, DJ
'It's good for the soul to experience new places and cultures'
Saturday 28 February 2009
First holiday memory?
Going to Thurlestone Rock, South Devon. My parents had a holiday cottage in Bittaford near Plymouth, so that's where we always went on our family holidays. My sister and I had an inflatable dinghy; one day, we decided to row out to sea and see how far we could get. Quite rightly, my mum got worried at the sight of us heading out towards France and shouted so loudly, I'm sure half of Devon could hear.
A fantastic skiing holiday in Val d'Isère with 10 of my mates over New Year. We'd arrive from the slopes each afternoon and were greeted by a big open fire, plus fresh cakes, toast and tea made by our chalet maid.
Favourite place in the British Isles?
Loch Lomond. It's so scenic, peaceful and therapeutic – a place where you can clear your head completely. I climbed Ben Lomond – what a view!
What have you learnt from your travels?
It's so important to take breaks from work. You feel invigorated and totally refreshed. It's good for the soul to see new places and experience new cultures. I like to rough it but also treat myself to a bit of luxury.
Ideal travelling companion?
I have really enjoyed going on holiday with girlfriends, but as I'm single now, it would have to be my best mates.
Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?
Culture vulture. I get restless lying on a beach and need to go off and explore. Lake Garda is perfect for that. It's exquisite, tranquil and you've got all these fantastic places to visit nearby. You can hop on a train and be in Verona in 20 minutes.
Greatest travel luxury?
Every year, I afford myself a spa break at Champneys to unwind, get fit, eat well and read. I go on my own and swim, walk and chill out. I leave completely invigorated.
I love biographies about people that I admire, like Robert De Niro. I also enjoy something spiritually uplifting like The Secret by Rhonda Byrne.
Where has seduced you?
Vancouver: the cleanest, friendliestplace I've ever been to, and the landscape is stunning. I could move there tomorrow.
Better to travel or to Arrive?
I love planes and airports, particularly the excitement of flying to somewhere new. But nothing beats that moment when the plane has landed and you step out into that wall of heat and the rush of exotic foreign air.
Worst travel experience?
I get really sea-sick. When I was young, our family went to one of the Greek islands and we took a boat trip on a hot day. The inside of the boat smelled like a hospital. Combined with the smell of diesel and fish on the deck, plus a rough sea, the experience was terrible.
I caught a bad stomach bug on a skiing trip in Chamonix and only made it on to the slopes for one day. The rest of the time I was in bed, sweating with a high fever. The hotel boiler broke so I couldn't take a shower or have a bath. When I complained to the receptionist, he threatened to set his dog on me!
The first time I went to Ibiza in 1995 I stayed in this awful hotel. The swimming pool looked like a stagnant pond and the bed had springs poking up through the thin mattress.
The Versace Hotel in Australia where the contestants from I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here stayed after coming out of the jungle. It has Italian designer opulence and the swimming pool runs through the hotel.
An incredible sunset camel ride in Egypt to the pyramids. It was like being on the set of The Spy Who Loved Me, with the backdrop of the Sahara Desert.
Best meal abroad?
A meal near the Ponte Vecchio in Florence, where I had Escalope Milanese with fresh tomato spaghetti and a few glasses of Chianti. Nothing has come close since.
A round-the-world trip. I'd love to do it by air, boat and train and to spend time in Russia, Thailand, Vietnam and to see more of Europe.
London. It has more iconic buildings than any other city, the world's leading theatreland and top restaurants – it is unbeatable.
Chamonix to meet my baby nephew Rocco.
Toby Anstis presents the weekday morning show on Heart, 10am to 1pm (heart.co.uk)
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