Walk­ing all over the world

Jodie Whit­taker ex­plores the globe with the keen, fresh eyes of a tourist - and shares her per­sonal best travel2013

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - TRAVEL 2013 - LAURA HOLT

BRITSH Ac­tress Jodie Whit­taker has starred in TV se­ries such as Broad­church, Tess of the D’Ur­bervilles and Wired. She has en­joyed suc­cess in film too star­ring in Venus, St Trinian’s and Good. First hol­i­day mem­ory? Go­ing to Benidorm when I was three. I’ve never been back. It was my first vivid mem­ory of feel­ing fear, be­cause I fell into the pool and my dad had to res­cue me. Best hol­i­day? Go­ing back­pack­ing when I was 18. I set off alone for six months be­fore a friend joined me. I started in LA, did two months around the west coast of North Amer­ica from Tijuana to Van­cou­ver and back, to work at a hos­tel in Flagstaff, Ari­zona. I then flew to Raro­tonga in the Cook Is­lands, for my first Christ­mas away from home, and on to New Zealand, Aus­tralia, Sin­ga­pore and Malaysia.

What have you learnt from your trav­els?

I think the best thing about trav­el­ling is be­ing a tourist and ask­ing ques­tions. The best ex­pe­ri­ences I’ve had have been be­cause I’ve said yes to a bus trip that could, po­ten­tially, have been hor­ren­dous. Ideal trav­el­ling com­pan­ion? Lonely Planet guide­books. I don’t go any­where with­out one.

Beach bum, cul­ture vul­ture or adrenalin junkie?

All three. In Thai­land, I stayed in Koh Pha Ngan ly­ing on the beach in par­adise for six weeks. In Vil­nius, I walked around ev­ery mu­seum there is. And, even though at 31 I have a more ner­vous streak than I used to, I’ve still sky­dived, bungee jumped and been white-wa­ter raft­ing. Great­est travel lux­ury? Por­ta­ble loud­speak­ers, be­cause I love my mu­sic. I would never be that per­son play­ing loud mu­sic on the beach, but there are some places with no one else around, where you can lie down, chill out and lis­ten to your own mu­sic. It means I have an as­so­ci­ated song for ev­ery place in the world I’ve vis­ited. Hol­i­day read­ing? Amer­i­can clas­sics. The coolest book for me, in terms of tim­ing, was read­ing On The Road in Tuc­son, Ari­zona, from where Ker­ouac drives to reach San Fran­cisco. I felt like I was with him! Which city has se­duced you? Venice. I was taken for my 30th birth­day be­cause I’d never been be­fore. It was amaz­ing. I went at the height of sum­mer too, when ev­ery­one says don’t go, and it was still beau­ti­ful. It took my breath away. Worst travel ex­pe­ri­ence? When I first got to Amer­ica, I took the train from Salt Lake City to Ari- zona and fell asleep in my seat, only to wake at 3am in an empty car­riage with a man hug­ging me. He said he was try­ing to keep me warm. I was ter­ri­fied, but didn’t want to up­set him, so I just moved car­riages. Best ho­tel? My hus­band (ac­tor Chris­tian Con­tr­eras) and I drove up to Scot­land and stum­bled across one of the most amaz­ing ho­tels by ac­ci­dent. We ar­rived on De­cem­ber 30, where by chance they had a can­cel­la­tion. So we stayed for three nights in The Ge­orge Ho­tel, a pub on Loch Fyne in In­ver­aray, in a room with a log fire and had the most lovely, time. Favourite walk? The Ton­gariro Alpine Cross­ing in New Zealand, past Lake Taupo. It’s an eight-hour, full-day hike over vol­canic moun­tains and sul­phur pools. The land­scape is ex­tra­or­di­nary. At var­i­ous times you feel as if you’re in a desert, then you see lava and vol­canic land, and you’re walk­ing through lush green­ery. Best road trip? From New York to Wilm­ing­ton in North Carolina via the Outer Banks, a 200-mile string of bar­rier is­lands. The best thing about it was the South­ern food. It was amaz­ing, but ut­terly un­healthy. Best meal abroad? I was film­ing The Shoot­ing of Thomas Hurn­dall in Jor­dan and four of us had a few days off, so we hired a be­douin guide, who took us across the Wadi Rum desert. We stayed in a camp and ate lamb and veg­eta­bles that had been cooked in the ground with hot stones. Favourite city? San Fran­cisco. I love the artis­tic, lib­eral, fun, young en­ergy. It also has great food and drink­ing dens, right on the edge of the wine re­gion, so it’s pretty much my ideal place. Where next? I’ll be in New York over New Year, then we’ll drive up the East Coast to Bos­ton for some clam chow­der. I also want to go to Ice­land; that’s on the list for next year. – The In­de­pen­dent

AWE­SOME HIKE: The Ton­gariro Alpine Cross­ing in the Ton­gariro Na­tional Park in New Zealand has bril­liantly spec­tac­u­lar scenery, says Whit­taker.

BACK­PACKER: Jodie Whit­taker

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