The TV presenter, author and all round adventurer talks travel
What do you like to do on holiday? Work. Sorry but it’s true. I can’t abide being bored so I’d rather be doing something like diving or climbing and there to be a point to it rather than just for it’s own sake. So I find filming, science or archaeology projects where there is a goal in an adventurous setting, the most rewarding. Conversely I find relaxing stressful!
Where did you last go? Cave diving and filming inside a flooded mine, about 100 feet deep underwater.
Do you know where you’re going this year? I’ve got dozens of filming projects in the UK diving, climbing, ice-climbing, freediving and skydiving and I’m also doing some personal projects cave diving in Finland and France. I’m also planning the first of a number of mountaineering trips to Russia.
Of all the places you’ve been to, what was your favourite and why? We did a trip to Japan’s most remote island to film an underwater geological formation that some think was made by ancient man (I am not one of them). That was fantastic because it was so different to anything I’d ever seen in 25 years of diving – the water was warm, the visibility was good, we saw some hammerhead sharks but mostly because the team consisted of good friends.
Which destination do you wish to travel to, but haven’t yet been? Antarctica.
In your own country, what would you recommend tourists see that isn’t in the travel guides? The outdoors. Most guides will point you to man-made structures but Britain has some fantastic cliffs, mountains, shoreline, rivers and forest to be explored by as many methods as you can imagine.
How do you plan your holiday? I don’t. I’ve not taken a holiday in about five years but then I make a living from going to places and doing the things I would do on holiday, so there’s no real need.
How often do you go away? I’m away from home about 30 weeks a year but about half of that is in the UK.
Who do you travel with? Because of the extreme nature of some of my projects (e.g. cave or deep diving, high altitude skydiving, mountaineering) there is normally at least one or two people in the group that I’ve selected as someone I trust. It means I’ve always got at least one friend watching my back.
Where do you see tourism in your country, in 10 years? I think Britain’s core tourism draw for foreigners is fairly fixed and based primarily on it’s big cities e.g. London, Edinburgh etc and their long history. I have noticed an increase in natives taking their holidays in the UK rather than going abroad and that could be a reflection of the economic times.
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