The Independent newspaper in the UK run an occasional interview series called ‘My Life In Travel’ in which subjects answer the same list of questions. Among those interviewed have been actor Darryl Hannah, singer, songwriter Katie Melua, BBC Top Gear’s James May, and adventure junky Charley Boorman. Just for fun I thought I would answer their list of questions too.

First holiday memory?
As a family we used to go to farm cottages around Britain. I remember staying at one farm where at the crack of dawn I would jump out of bed to go and ‘help’ the farmer milk the cows.

Best holiday?
That’s a tough call. I think that my ‘Long Way Home‘ tour a couple of years ago would take that title, but in fairness I could name many other great holidays or trips. Like my first trip to India back in 2004 which really left an impression on me. Or the trip I took to Rovinj in Croatia with my brother shortly after his wife died. That was special because it was one of the few times we’ve hung out with one another as friends rather than just siblings.

Aitutaki, The Cook Islands : Photograph by Simon Jones

Favourite place in the British Isles?
The Scottish Highlands are amazing. The landscape up there is awesome and it isn’t overtaken by people, shopping malls, traffic, CCTV cameras, and urban sprawl.

What have you learnt from your travels?
A silly as it may seem, I’ve learned that people do things differently. That is to say that I’ve seen how other cultures approach things and how that’s sometimes entirely different to what I would consider normal.

I’ve also learned that the great stories come from your willingness to be brave and try new things. You can’t get memories like eating food off a banana leaf in a dirty Indian roadside eatery, or skinny dipping in a volcanically heated river on a snow covered mountain in Iceland in winter, without being willing to be a least a little brave.

Ideal travelling companion?
Someone who doesn’t cling to a map or tourist guide like their life depended on it. A person who understands that the adventure doesn’t often come with a timetable or a plan.

Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?
I like to mix it up. I can do beaches but I couldn’t sit there for long before I’d have to get up and go exploring. I can do culture but I won’t spend time with my head in a book about the place in which I’m standing. I can do adrenalin, but it’ll more likely be a Police ride-along that a bungee jump.

Greatest travel luxury?
Noise canceling headphones! Air travel is just SO much better with these wonders of technology. Even train travel is better with them. I’m yearning for a pair of Bose, but oh the price tag!

Holiday reading?
Truth be known, I’m not much or a reader, but if my flight is upgraded then maybe I’ll be reading some expensive glossy magazine from the business class lounge that I wouldn’t usually buy myself.

Where has seduced you?
I would say that the tropical South Pacific lagoon of Aitutaki seduced me. The unspoiled and near deserted white beaches reaching out into the clear turquoise and sapphire blue water were breath-taking. I spent much of the time I was there just laughing to myself in disbelief that a place this beautiful was actually real and not the photoshopped creation of a brochure selling expensive vacations. India as a country seduced me too with its rich culture and chaotic energy.

Aitutaki, The Cook Islands : Photograph by Simon Jones

Better to travel or to arrive?
I like to travel for sure, but I understand the need to just arrive. Travel can be exhausting and it’s easy to burn out so its imperative that while you’re traveling you take the time to stop, put your stuff down, and be grounded for a while.

Worst travel experience?
When my American friend Becky was detained and deported from the UK on our arrival back from a trip to Croatia. That was truly an awful experience. It was that experience that really crystalized my deep hatred of the UK Border Agency.

Worst holiday?
Leavenworth. The place was this nasty little fake German town in the middle of Washington State. I visited there with someone who clearly didn’t want to be with me and the entire trip was just terrible.

Worst hotel : Photograph by Simon JonesWorst hotel?
The Howard Johnson Hotel in Bremeton, also in Washington State. This place was so disgusting and nasty that I refused to stay there. It was in the worst state of neglect I have ever seen.

Best hotel?
I could say Hotel 71 right in the heart of Chicago, or the Royal Sonesta on Burbon Street, New Orleans, or the amazing tree house in the Northern Californian woods. However, I am going to say the White Eagle Saloon in Portland.

It could have been a contender for the worst hotel honor too. It was small, basic, and a very loud band played well into the small hours of the night right beneath the hotel room causing everything to constantly shudder. I don’t know how I found sleep there, but I will say it was the best hotel because staying there was just hilarious, and fun.

Favourite walk/swim/ride/drive?
My Greyhound bus ride across the United States from California to Washington DC and back again. My only regret about that trip is that I wasn’t writing much back then and I wasn’t brave enough to photograph life on the bus. The stories from that journey alone could be a book.

Best meal abroad?
That would be a mountainous lobster platter ‘Posh’ and I shared in a little back street restaurant in Brussels. I’m not sure it was the best food I ever tasted, but it was the first time I had ever eaten lobster and the process, with the special utensils, was a lot of fun.

First thing you do when you arrive somewhere new?
Check my email. I know it’s not cool though I suspect it’s more common than we’d like to admit.

Dream trip?
I’ve long wanted to travel across America in various different modes of transport. A bus, a Harley, a classic car, a combine harvester, a crop duster, whatever. It would be cool to take the time to travel from one coast to the next taking in various means of travel and experiencing the lives of the people along the way. I have a similar variation of this dream now traveling from Australia to England.

Favourite city?
I won’t pick one because great cities are like the great people you meet. They have their charm, the stuff that makes them interesting, and to compare them would somehow do a disservice to them all.

Where next?
Watch this space!

What about you? Taking those questions, or a selection of them, how about your life in travel?