Bear Grylls gives us his take on the world of travel
Interview Words : The World According To ... | 22 October

The World According to Bear Grylls

The world's leading adventurer on why pizza is a more satisfying meal than raw goat's testicles

Mountain/ocean/jungle/desert – which are you?

I have done them all – a lot – but the ocean is always an incredible adversary, never the same and capable of incredible force.

First great travel experience?

Probably a mountain and jungle trek I did before I joined the British Special Forces, in the lower Himalaya in Sikkim and Bengal.

Favourite journey?

Everest changed my life in so many ways – I saw incredible courage and hardship and determination on a daily basis and that always leaves a mark.

Top five places worldwide?

Wales, Scotland, Alaska, Siberia, and Antarctica.

Special place to stay?

Our island hideaway in Wales – it is our own little private island in the middle of the most incredible wilderness setting.

Three items do you always pack?

Faith, sense of humour and persistence.

Passport stamp you're proudest of?

Making it back home!

Passport stamp you'd most like to have?

More from Greenland – the most unexplored region on earth.

What is your guilty travel pleasure?

Often a small guitar.

Which do you prefer: window or aisle?

Window.

Who is your ideal travelling companion?

My three children and Shara my wife.

Best meal on the road? Worst?

Our first freshly made pizza after three months of mountain rations on Everest. Worst? Raw goat's testicles.

Most surprising place? Most disappointing?

How harsh many of the idyllic looking desert islands around the world can actually be!

Where do you NOT want to go?

Berlin – I got dumped by a girlfriend there!

Who/what inspired you to travel? Any travel heroes?

The fact that nowadays the whole world is accessible to us if we have the will and resources to explore. No other generation has ever had that before.

What do you listen to on the road? Any song take you back to a particular time or place?

I don’t take an iPod as I love the sound of the wild – and I mean that even though it sounds corny. The Cowboy Junkies take me back to sailing as a kid.

What do you read?

Great early explorer biographies – the hardships people endured is always moving and inspiring.

Is there a person you met while travelling who reaffirmed your faith in humanity?

Mother Teresa.

What's the most impressive/useful phrase you know in a foreign language?

Forgive me, I am English.

What is your worst habit as a traveller?

Eating my toe nails...

Snowbound in a tent in Antarctica, how would you entertain your companions?

Stories of things that have gone wrong on my journeys or stories from early explorers.

When are where in your travels have you been happiest?

Safe at the bottom of a mountain after a big climb.

What smell most says 'travel' to you?

Juniper – from mountain ranges.

Given a choice, what era would you travel in?

Nowadays.

If you could combine three cities to make your perfect metropolis, which would they be?

Rome, Paris and New Orleans.

Bear Grylls and Worldwide Experience have recently launched Bear Grylls Survival
Academy
, teaching extreme survival techniques to outdoor enthusiasts from November 2012 in Sutherland, Scotland. Find out more here.