Travel Tales: Chris Sheedy
Occupation: Professional writer
Favourite travel destination? Why?: The city of Rome, because it represents everything good about the world – history, future, passion, fashion, food, wine, community, art, beauty, decay, life and death.
Worst travel experience? What happened?: High on a mountain in the Nepal Himalaya, completely lost as dark closed in, minus 30 degrees, convinced this was my last day alive but content to die in the most stunning landscape on Earth.
Best tips for beating jetlag?: Don’t be a fool, you will never beat jetlag. Don’t even bother trying, it’s all a part of the travel experience. Instead, enjoy a drink or five on the plane, stay up and party when you can’t sleep and hit the sack when you can. And make sure your journey is long enough to get over jetlag naturally.
What is the one thing you don’t leave home without?: A copy of The Paris Review for some inspirational literature, poetry and photography.
Do you stay in touch with people while you’re travelling? If so, what is the best way to do this? No, I try to completely disconnect when I travel. For me that’s a part of the freedom, part of the relaxation. I don’t watch TV, read newspapers, check emails, turn on my mobile phone and I certainly don’t have an iPhone or Blackberry. It’s all about escape and immersion into something out of the ordinary.
Best meal you’ve ever had while travelling?: A simple meal of cheese, crackers, bread, bucketfuls of red wine and a helluva view in a small town in the Cinque Terre region.
Best kiss?: The first time my son kissed me on the mouth on purpose. Inside I cried, outside I glowed.
Best/scariest/funniest drive?: I wasn’t actually driving, but I was sitting on top of a bus driving across the Himalayas from a trailhead in the Langtang region to the town of Pokhara. Looking over the edge of a bus that was travelling too fast on a dirt road and seeing a sheer drop of around 3000 metres was an interesting feeling…
What has been the big WOW moment of your travelling life?: Standing in front of the Taj Mahal left me breathless, as did virtually everything I ever looked at on the South Island of New Zealand. Jogging with my gorgeous wife in NYC’s Central Park, partying on Koh Samui, wandering the town of Bruges in Belgium, being sickened by a bullfight in Seville, standing two kilometres above the clouds in Nepal … impossible to choose!
Chris Sheedy is one of Australia’s top freelance journalists. To contact him, please visit www.thehardword.com.au