We’ve chosen some of our favourite interviews from the Buzz archives from the last 29 years to share with you while we are on lock down.
Our first of many is Simon Reeve, adventurer, traveller, explorer and TV presenter.
When on tour, is it just about you creating wanderlust for everyone that comes to see you?
There has got to be a bit of that yes as we are living in the golden age of travel when people can just about do anything or go anywhere, it is a real opportunity for people to rack up some completely incredible memories. There is obviously a risk that we all get suckered into working our proverbial’s off all the time and not focusing on what really matters, so one thing I wanted to do was shake people a little bit by the shoulders and say “Come on, take your chance while you still can, get out there and enjoy life, take risks, do memorable things, push yourselves out of your comfort zones and bank some incredible memories for you and your family as a result!”.
Is it best for people to just get off the beaten track when travelling, and just do it?
It doesn’t have to be although as is often the case, the further off the beaten track, the more memorable the experience will be but you can also just do it locally, it’s not just about travelling to the other side of the planet. I’ve had some solid advice from people over the years about just explore where you live but do it in a more adventurous, interesting, and more memorable way.
It is all about travelling and living with your eyes open, and grabbing opportunities while you can and to push yourself out of your comfort zone. If you are on holiday, this can be as simple as not eating in a restaurant that has pictures of the food outside!
It can be about asking what is the most interesting thing to eat, or the most interesting place to go. Just challenge yourself a little bit.
For me personally in my life, this (travel) has brought the richest rewards to me, and gifted me some really incredible memories. And that is what travel can do to a person, and that is what I am most keen to pass on to people through the tour. I have been very lucky and have travelled the world visiting about 120 countries but nobody is more surprised about that than I am. I didn’t grow up like that, I didn’t go on my first plane until I started working; so I definitely don’t take it for granted!
No place is off-limits to me but I am not the only person who decides where we go, the BBC has got to ‘ok it’. I generally come up with the ideas but within those ideas there are different places, riskier places, safer places and sometimes they (the BBC) will say ‘that place’ is too dangerous and we cannot sanction you going there. But really though, there is no place that I would ever say “no” to going to; if we are allowed to go, then we would go. If we can get into a place and we can find people willing to host us and look after us, then we would head there. This is all based on me knowing that the world is a much safer place than most people think or fear. As long as you wear a seat belt, and take some basic precautions, you can go just about anywhere, and do almost anything.
Well there is not a nuance, there is not as many dimensions to it. If you look at ‘our’ news about the world, its a big world, lots of things are happening there and we generally hear the most dramatic and desperate, so if you watch the news you might think the world is going to hell in a hand-basket. I am not denying there are important problems out there by any means but environmentally what we are doing to the planet is catastrophic, but there has never been a safer time to be a human being, and never a safer time to explore the world despite what people might think.
I am very keen that people don’t live their lives on their knees and not being put off fear and scare stories. I really mean it, if you wear a seatbelt, that is the single most important thing you can do when you are away travelling. You have got to use your common sense, if it doesn’t feel safe, then you walk. This is honed over time, and honed over experiences, you have got to get out there and do these things to build up that knowledge.
Words: Carl Marsh
Published March 2019