Interview 19th August 2006

Fish: My life in travel
Interview By Sophie Lam, published in the Independent newspaper.

First holiday memory?
Caravanning in Dornoch, in the Highlands. My dad was really into it and I remember going to a caravan park called Grannie's Heeland Hame (Granny's Highland Home). The first summer we went it was blisteringly hot and I remember big white beaches that seemed like the Sahara. The year after it pissed with rain the whole time so I sat in the car playing with my Lego.

Best holiday?
I went to Bequia when it was fairly off the map as far as tourism was concerned. I learnt how to dive there. We were there for about three weeks and I really tried to immerse myself in the local spirit and ended up playing for the island volleyball team against Mustique. We lost, unfortunately.

Favourite place in the British Isles?
I really like going up to the Scottish Highlands in the autumn, particularly the west coast around Plockton.

What have you learnt from your travels?
An understanding of cultures, and to be patient and polite. I try to get involved with the local culture.

Ideal travelling companion?
I have enjoyed going on holiday with my daughter in the past but she's now a teenager and does her own thing. I enjoy my own company too.

Beach bum, culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?
Everything, from chilling out on the beach with a few rum punches, to going out and taking in the history. I like to find out about the place I'm in. I also love diving.

Where has seduced you?
Chile. It's a relatively young country with an amazing mishmash of cultures. We went to Santiago and travelled along the coast.

Greatest travel luxury?
I don't take any, I just pick stuff up once I've arrived.

Holiday reading?
I split my reading between a heavy tome like T E Lawrence's Seven Pillars of Wisdom and something less serious from the airport.

Better to travel or arrive?
Definitely arriving. Because I'm six foot five flying is a nightmare. You try to get the emergency exit seats on the plane and then find out that there's a bunch of hobbits sitting there and you're squashed up behind them. Although they're necessary, the security checks are abominable. I do enjoy travelling on tour buses, though, because you can wake up in another town every day.

Worst holiday?
I went to Egypt this year with my girlfriend and we would never go back, mainly because of the scamming and ripping-off. At the pyramids, there were thousands of people there and hundreds of guys selling rubbish. It was so intimidating my girlfriend broke down in tears.

Worst hotel?
A hotel in east Poland, where I stayed a few years ago. The restaurant had a five-page menu with about three items on it, the bath was smaller than a sink and the bed was a plank of wood with a tiny blanket.

Best hotel?
The spa resort in Holmsbu, Norway: floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the fjord with shifting icebergs. It was wonderful.

Best meal abroad?
A Thai meal in Singapore - it was the first time I had eaten Thai food and it really got me into it. I don't think I have ever eaten so much. We started off with cocktails at Raffles then ate at various hawker stalls.

First thing you do when you arrive somewhere new?
Check out the bath and the shower.

Dream trip?
Everyone I know who has been to New Zealand has recommended it. I have always wanted to go to Vietnam too, before it becomes spoilt by tourism.

Favourite city?
Berlin - we had a great time recording a Marillion album there. Also Prague, New York and Buenos Aires.

Where next?
Mexico City, via Atlanta, which won't be much fun given all the delays. Mexico City is a really vibrant place.

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