Blur bassist, travel writer and cheesemaker Alex James reveals his favourite destinations
Blur played a show in Greenland once. It was like going to another planet, an incomprehensibly huge and beautiful wilderness. No cars. No noise. Just a whole lot of planet.
I’ve just returned from a trip in the Caribbean. I worked out in the mornings, had a massive lunch, a snooze, a massage and then played cards as the sun went down. I can’t wait to do it again.
Maybe it’s all those years touring but there’s something wonderful about constantly arriving somewhere new. Cruising is whatever you make it. There are always a million things to do and I’ve found the most pleasurable thing is to have lots of things to do and not doing any of them.
I love the glamour of big cities, especially in South America: Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Bogotá. They are great places to go if you are working but I’m happiest on a beach with the family. We often pile off to the coast at weekends. It’s just as beautiful in the winter as in the summertime.
Mexico City felt like the most exciting place in the world. It’s ginormous, twice as big as London with a Paris thrown in. There’s so much development and opportunity, and the food is off the hook.
For guests travelling on board P&O Cruises, I recommend our Blue Monday cheese and the new No 10 Cheddar; both travel really well. Hopefully they’ll be a nice reminder of home.
I love a last-minute bundle somewhere all the family are equally happy. London is always great for a night or two away in the school holidays because you don’t really have to plan anything and there is always so much to do.
Antarctica is one place I’ve always wanted to go to look for meteorites. It’s the last great wilderness. There are vast swathes of it where pretty much no one has ever been. I really fancy that.
Currently I’m recording an album of rousing classical tunes so I’m trying to get my head around that right now. Classical is great for travel. It turns the world into a massive budget video.
I just finished The Midnight Line, the new Jack Reacher story by Lee Child. Those books are a pop phenomenon. Reacher is a brilliant hero for the 21st century; the greatest British invention since Bilbo Baggins.
One thing I never travel without is a cashmere blanket. It’s like an upgrade in a bag. And I love leaving with an empty suitcase and returning with a full one.
You can find Alex’s artisan cheeses on board P&O Cruises. A Mediterranean voyage on Azura departing 23 March costs from £777pp. For details, visit barrheadtravel.co.uk/cruises.