My life in travel: Pete Tong
‘There can’t be many more exciting places to land than Rio de Janeiro’
Friday 19 October 2012
First holiday memory?
A holiday camp in Great Yarmouth. My dad, who was a turf accountant, used to send me, my brother and my mum off because he was always working. Back then, holidays weren't associated with sunshine – I remember wind, wellies and walks on the coast.
Favourite place in the British Isles?
I get to travel to some amazing places and I'm constantly thinking the grass is always greener. But if I was living abroad, I know I'd be missing London – particularly Richmond Park. I've also really got into road cycling lately, so I'm a big fan of Box Hill in Surrey.
I've been to two places this year that I'd visited before, but hadn't fully appreciated: Mustique in the Caribbean for a friend's wedding, and Portofino on the Ligurian coast of Italy, where I went to escape the season in Ibiza. I loved it because there were no nightclubs and nothing was open late.
What have you learnt from your travels?
Get out and walk. I'm always stuck in jets, cars, trains, planes and, some of the time, I don't even know where I've been. I arrive late, go to the hotel, sort my music out and then go straight to the club. It drives me crazy. So now I just like to walk – for at least half an hour – around a place. It gives me a completely different perspective.
Ideal travelling companion?
My wife, because we always have a great time. But I do like travelling alone, too. In a very busy life, the time you get alone on planes becomes invaluable.
Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?
All of the above. I found myself in Miami the other day and it was brilliant because Downtown's having a massive revival. There's a new Zuma restaurant which has just opened; you've got art galleries all over the place and regeneration happening everywhere.
Greatest travel luxury?
Private jets. It's not about the plane – it's about the airport. I go through them two or three times a week and the security, the stripping off, the searches and losing bags just becomes a hassle. A private jet sorts all that out.
Better to travel or arrive?
Arrive. Certain places completely take your breath away. My wife is Brazilian and I think there can't be many more exciting places to land than Rio de Janeiro at dawn or sunset.
Biographies. The last two I read were Racing through the Dark, about the cyclist David Millar, and Walter Isaacson's book about Steve Jobs. I've been working on Macs since the Eighties, so he's always been one of my heroes.
Where has seduced you?
India. I'd never really been before this year, but I went to Goa for a couple of days and was pinching myself the whole time.
The Fasano in Sao Paulo. It's so tasteful and luxurious. My wife and I always wanted our house to look like that. Also, the Chateau Marmont in LA. I used to go there a lot for work and loved the fact that you could stay for a week and it felt like home.
Ibiza. I just started cycling around the island this year. The climate and the countryside are perfect for it. I did the HAIRraising charity ride for John Frieda and it completely showed me a different side to somewhere I thought I knew.
Best meal abroad?
Restaurante Es Torrent, Ibiza. You can't beat it for a late lunch after a night out clubbing with friends and family. Also, The Slanted Door, an amazing Vietnamese restaurant in San Francisco.
The Far Eastern cities seem like they're in another century. I did a tour of Singapore, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong this year and every city was on another level. The East is ahead of its time – and I'm not just talking about the clock.
I'm on tour in the UK and then I'll be in Cape Town with the family for Christmas.
DJ and BBC Radio 1 presenter Pete Tong starts a new UK tour from 27 October. His latest album, Future Sounds, is released on 19 November
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