'The beef I ate in the Seychelles turned out to be fruit bat'

First holiday memory?

The first holiday I can remember was to Nassau, in the Bahamas. I remember playing with beer cans and using them to build sandcastles. My father is a navy diver so we spent a lot of time travelling. I used to travel on his DP (dynamically positioned) vessel and he even let me sail it through the Suez Canal! It was very tight but I managed it.

Best holiday?

I've really enjoyed our family holidays. My father is half-Austrian, so I love going back to Vienna. Because I'm a classical musician it's heaven.

Favourite place in the British Isles?

I love Norfolk, where I was born and bred. When I was younger I'd go strawberry picking after my piano lessons. Now I've moved to London I realise how lucky I was to grow up so near to the beach. I recently played a concert in Norwich Cathedral, which was amazing particularly because it was to a home crowd.

What have you learnt from your travels?

I've got a good understanding of different cultures. Because my mother's from the Philippines and my father's from Austria I've got an appreciation of mixed cultures anyway and have been able to travel a lot. I've also come to realise that there's a greater world out there beyond work. I recently came back from Sierra Leone, which was fascinating. I really enjoyed roughing it and going where the locals go.

Ideal travelling companion?

My partner Gray, because he's got the exploration bug like me. When we went to the Maldives rather than just sitting on the beach all day we went off walking and diving. He has been my tour manager so we have been able to travel together frequently.

Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?

I'll try anything once but I'm not great with adrenalin sports. I do love a beach holiday because I can take all my books and read. Also, when I'm abroad I try not to eat anything that I recognise, so when I was in the Seychelles I found out at the end of the week that I'd been eating fruit bat, thinking it was beef!

Holiday reading?

I'm doing an astronomy degree, so anything to do with stars. I also love things like Beloved by Toni Morrison or Harry Potter.

Where has seduced you?

The Maldives because the scuba diving was amazing there. We stayed on the island of Kuramathi - you could swim out to the reef and the drop was immense, it was so liberating.

Better to travel or arrive?

Travelling is half the fun because you never know what's going to happen. I once went to Norway for a concert and the weather was so terrible that we had to get a military convoy and helicopter to take us up a mountain to reach our destination.

Worst travel experience?

There's nothing more distressing than losing your luggage. Mine got lost en-route to the States and it has also arrived in bits every time I have flown back to London City Airport.

Worst holiday?

You have to try and be proactive. When I was in the Seychelles it rained for seven out of the 10 days we were there, but my boyfriend and I decided to embrace it and walked around a rainforest.

Worst hotel?

A nasty hotel in Greece that had cockroaches in the room.

Best hotel?

There are some beautiful hotels in Thailand, like The Oriental in Bangkok. I once stayed somewhere that had a waterfall as a shower, which was fantastic. I loved staying in a little hut in the Maldives, where you could step straight out on to the beach.

Favourite walk/swim/ride/drive?

I've got an ambition to drive Route 66 in a camper van and I'd love to swim on the Great Barrier Reef.

Best meal abroad?

I've had some really great meals in the Philippines with dishes coming out in quick succession, such as freshly grilled squid.

First thing you do when you arrive somewhere new?

Gray hangs everything up with military precision, but I live out of my suitcase and just throw on my bikini and get into the pool. That's a good remedy for jet lag too.

Dream trip?

I'd love to go into space when that becomes possible. I'd like to see more of South America too.

Favourite city?

Rome, because I got engaged there. I went on the premise of doing a photo shoot but it was a hoax. My boyfriend proposed at the top of the Spanish Steps. We then explored the city by moped.

Where next?

I'm going to Ireland, which I adore.

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