Where the experts holiday: Felicity Aston, record breaking adventurer

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

What do you like to do on holiday?
Explore. It doesn’t matter where I am, I want to see everything! It makes me a very frustrating holiday companion if you prefer just to stay in one place.

Where did you last go?
I have just come back from Madeira. The destination was chosen by accident as I was dropped off by a cruise ship I was speaking on and decided to stay for a few days to explore. I didn’t know what to expect and it was a real surprise, very rugged.

Do you know where you’re going this year?
I will be going to the North Pole on a Russian nuclear-powered ice breaker.

Of all the places you’ve been to, which was your favourite and why?
Antarctica. It is a difficult, expensive and time-consuming place to get to but my goodness, it is worth it! I should also probably say Iceland – I like it so much I stayed – and live there now.

Which destination do you wish to travel to, but haven’t yet been?
There are so many… I have just watched a film about a friend of mine who kayaked the length of the Aleutian Islands and I find that I have been totally inspired to find an opportunity to explore them, they look amazingly wild – perfect.

A sunny evening

In your own country, what would you recommend tourists see that isn’t in the travel guides?
This is a difficult question because secret places don’t remain secret if you tell everyone! The best thing to do is to come here and look around – you will soon discover the secrets for yourself and that is always the best way!

How do you plan your holiday? (Guidebooks/website/agent/recommendations etc)
I am a planner. I can’t help myself. I love reading guidebooks and finding out about the places I will visit – but then, bizarrely, once I arrive I love nothing more than simple wandering and getting lost. You always make the best discoveries by accident.

How often do you go away?
Because I travel a lot through speaking and as a writer, not to mention expeditions, I try to make a distinction between travel for work and travel for holiday – but they get blurred. I go away on expedition at least once a year.

Who do you travel with?
I travel alone as much as with others. It is strange how travelling with an expedition team can sometimes be more isolating than travel by myself.

Where do you see tourism in your country, in 10 years?
There is an interesting debate in Iceland at the moment. Tourism has boomed exponentially in recent years and the government has proposed a ‘nature pass’ system that imposes a fee on tourists and residents alike for visiting ‘nature’ in Iceland. This has given rise to all sorts of questions around the subject of defining wilderness and ownership of the environment. Personally, I dearly hope that they think again.

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Felicity Aston will be speaking at The Adventure Travel Show, appearing in The Adventure Auditorium on Saturday 17th January 2015 at 16:30 – 17:00. 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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