My Life In Travel: William Orbit, musician and record producer

'In Sofia, they had to hose ice off the plane'

First holiday memory?

A camping holiday with my family in Scotland when I was about eight; there was a storm and our tent blew down. I spent the night in our little Standard Eight car with my parents and my younger brother. I must have been hallucinating from not having any sleep because I kept asking my mother if the car was rolling along from the wind.

Best holiday?

Renting a villa in Barbados with my then-girlfriend and her two sisters. We had two elderly gentlemen looking after our meals; we would have morning swims in the clear blue sea and while we frolicked and splashed we could smell our breakfast being cooked in the house. I remember riding a jet ski and wondering why birds were fluttering around me just above the waves. They were actually flying fish.

Favourite place in the British Isles?

I love the coast of Norfolk. I went camping there as a teenager in the 1970s and picked strawberries to make some cash. The sound of the sea was constant and everyone cooked on open fires.

What have you learnt from your travels?

That no matter how much I travel, my wanderlust will never be satisfied – I am eternally curious about the people and places I've not yet seen.

Ideal travelling companion?

I have had a great time touring with bands and other musicians and it's always been rewarding taking holidays with friends and family. However, I really enjoy travelling alone and being free to meet different companions along the way. I enjoy the unexpected.

Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?

I'm a culture bum. I can be quite happy just soaking up the vibe. I can't do the sunbathing thing on the beach; it makes me feel uncomfortable. I like to see museums, especially small ones of local interest, and I like to follow maps and walk around the streets of a new place.

Greatest travel luxury?

Earplugs and eye shades. But as for luxury I'd say my Sennheiser noise-cancelling headphones, which are truly appreciated on long-haul flights.

Holiday reading?

Usually a classic like Thomas Hardy, so I can savour the richness of the language. Or poetry, such as Tennyson, which is great for travelling because I can dip in and out and read the same passages several times.

Where has seduced you?

I have a great fondness for Paris. But Ireland has seduced me.

Better to travel or arrive?

Arrive and kick off my shoes. But I do like the thrill of setting off somewhere new; the mode of transportation has a bearing on the enjoyment of the actual travelling. I always like trains.

Worst travel experience?

I went on a midwinter holiday to the Far East and I was booked on a really low-cost flight, but I only realised how budget it was when we stopped at about five airports on the way. At Sofia (this was in Bulgaria's Soviet days) all the passengers filed into a terminal which looked like a concrete parking lot. It was freezing cold but we were all wearing light holiday clothes and had to wait there for hours. At 4am, an unsmiling hulk of a woman ushered us on to the runway, where we had to wait while they steam-hosed ice from the wings. The only food on board was some sort of chocolate which tasted like wax.

Worst holiday?

When I was persuaded to book into a health retreat in Arizona. The climate was great and the scenery was incredible – but the health farm was insanely expensive and boring. There was too much pampering and healthy living for my liking.

Best hotel?

Claridge's, where I stayed when I visited London during the years I was living in America. It ticks all the boxes for me, including best bed linen.

Favourite walk/swim/ride/drive?

My parents have a tiny cottage in Suffolk and there's a lovely four-mile walk from there to Southwold along a riverbank and through woods and fields. It's perfect when followed by fish and chips.

First thing you do when you arrive somewhere new?

As soon as I'm out of the airport I notice how the different climate feels on my skin, and take stock of the changed air and what it smells like and feels like to breathe in. And I am acutely aware of the different sounds around me.

Dream trip?

To travel by submarine under the North Pole, with a night on an aircraft carrier first.

Favourite city?

I'm lucky to live in London, which is my favourite city. It's got everything I want and need: friends, nightlife, great galleries, restaurants, and the Groucho Club. After that I'd have to say Paris.

Where next?

I'm travelling to LA to visit a little dog, which is another story in itself.

To celebrate Chinese New Year on 14 February, the year of the tiger, Tiger Beer is sponsoring The Tiger Lucky Eight, a series of collaborations taking place across the UK. William Orbit is part of the art collective Luxor, alongside former English National Ballet dancer Anna-Mi Fredriksson and the artist Pauline Amos ( ). William Orbit's new compilation for Ministry Of Sound, Odyssey, is also available now.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Guru Careers: Dining Room Head Chef

    £32K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Dining Room Head Chef to work for one of ...

    Guru Careers: Pastry Sous Chef / Experienced Pastry Chef

    £27K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pastry Sous Chef / Experienced Pastry Che...

    Ashdown Group: Technical IT Manager - North London - Growing business

    £40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A growing business that has been ope...

    Recruitment Genius: Technical Supervisor

    £24800 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As one of London's leading Muse...

    Day In a Page

    General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
    General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

    On the margins

    From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
    Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

    'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

    Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
    Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

    Why patients must rely less on doctors

    Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
    Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

    Flesh in Venice

    Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
    11 best anti-ageing day creams

    11 best anti-ageing day creams

    Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
    Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

    Juventus vs Real Madrid

    Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
    Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

    Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

    Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power