How to holiday like an explorer, according to Levison Wood

The British explorer, writer and photographer Levison Wood has a new TV series currently airing on Sunday evenings on Channel 4: Walking the Americas. Responsible Travel interviewed Levison about some of the most significant adventures he has had in his life and the places around the world that remain important to him.

Q. What’s your first ever travel memory?

A. “A holiday to Greece with my parents when I was four or five. I remember having to learn to ask the Greek shopkeeper for some sweets in Greek.”

Q. Where’s the best place you’ve woken up?

A.”I can mention a thousand places, but perhaps on a mountainside in Nepal to the sound of a cockerel.”

Q. Tell us about a time when you felt like walking away from an adventure?

A. “The only time I’ve walked away from an adventure was when I tried to cycle from Madrid to Gibraltar. It was January 2005 and didn’t stop raining. I was poor and slept at the roadside and didn’t eat for days. Eventually I got arrested by the Spanish police who thought I was a tramp and spent a night in a homeless shelter. After that I gave up cycling and went to Morocco instead where the weather was better.”

Q. What’s your happiest travel memory?

A. “I think a road trip with my best mates from London to Malawi.”

Q. What do you still dream of doing that you haven’t yet done?

A. Antarctica, PNG, Canada, Japan, road trip across the USA etc etc.

Responsible Travel also asked Levison about responsible tourism and what it means to him. He said:

“It means making the right decision – working with local partners, writing honest reviews, speaking out about poor performers and people abusing the system/ ecosystem/ local population.”

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