Where the experts holiday: Andy Torbet, extreme adventurer and explorer

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

What do you like to do on holiday?
I don’t really take them. It’s not so much because I’m a workaholic and more because I’d take time off work to go cave diving, climbing, skydiving, kayaking and mount my own expeditions but, since these things are my work, I’ve no need for holidays.

Where did you last go?
I’ve just got back from 10 days in France doing some classic cave diving.  We weren’t exploring anything new but we just wanted some chilled out time to test some new underwater/cave diving filming, photography and lighting equipment while brushing up on some skills.

Do you know where you’re going this year?
Well apart from lots off cool stuff planned in the UK like ice-climbing, diving deep unexplored shipwrecks and some more skydiving stunts, I’m off to Namibia on a cave diving exploration project, France do some work on Via Ferratas, Portugal and also the USA  where I will be skydiving.

Of all the places you’ve been to, which was your favourite and why?
That’s an impossible question to ask as there have been great places for different things.  However, a recent highlight has been Greenland.  We spent six weeks up in the absolute wilderness carrying out a science expedition and filming for the BBC and Discovery. I was there as the diver/climber/presenter so I got to do all the best stuff such as ice-climbing inside glacial caves and diving under icebergs.

Andy Torbet (2)

Which destination do you wish to travel to, but haven’t yet been?
Namibia. I’ve been looking at the deep, unexplored flooded caves that run under the deserts out there for years.  All being well I can tick this one off in 2015.

In your own country, what would you recommend tourists see that isn’t in the travel guides?
Britain is pretty well covered by guides, so long as you find the right ones.  So I’d say put down the popular generalist ones and pick up and pick up a more specialist one covering the outdoors. Britain has an impressive geography and there are loads of different ways to see the best of it (sail, dive, swim, snorkel, kayak, canoe, bike, walk, trek, climb, ski, ride, etc)

How do you plan your holiday? (Guidebooks/website/agent/recommendations etc)
I’ll look at all resources.  Often where I go hasn’t had that much traffic so you need to make best use of what you find.  I often email people directly who I notice have done something in the area, and they’re usually pretty nice about offering information.

How often do you go away?
I’m on the road a lot. Between my own expeditions and adventure projects and the TV work sometimes nights in my own bed become treasured.  With presenting on The BBC’s The One Show and Coast I’ve been lucky enough to see masses of little corners of the UK.

Who do you travel with?
I rack up a lot of miles driving around the UK on my own for shoots and projects.  When abroad for TV the production will handle all the arrangement but when I do my own stuff I’ll project manage everything and look at the best providers for individual elements.  It’s not always about cost either (although it’s hard not to ignore this especially if you’re ploughing in your own money).

Where do you see tourism in your country, in 10 years?
I think the last few years of cautious economic times which saw people holidaying at home in the UK, have meant a growth in the awareness off what is on offer here.  I know the outdoor and adventure sports market has grown as more people have decided to get active and improve their fitness in the mountains, hills, river and seas we have here in the UK.  I think that will continue…assuming the British weather plays ball.

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Andy Torbet will be speaking at The Adventure Travel Show, appearing in The Adventure Auditorium on Sunday 18 January 2015 from 3-3.30pm. Advance tickets to the show are now on sale! Get your tickets for only £6 (that’s saving £4 off the door price!) by quoting ‘JUSTABOUTTRAVEL’ when booking tickets online at www.adventureshow.com.

 

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