World First’s 7 Wonders: Martin Dorey
It’s been a while since we ran this feature, so we thought it a good time to revive it. We’d love to feature lots of you on here in the coming weeks so please let us know if you’d like to be considered.
To kick things off again, here’s Martin Dorey, writer and regular to the WF blog. He writes for us often, but also has a dark side in which he indulges his passion for travel via the medium of the trusty camper van. This year he was invited to be a guest judge on BBC 2’s hit TV show, Caravanner of The Year. He’s also brought out a new book recently, The Camper Van Bible, which is packed with everything you might ever want to know about camper vans and motorhomes. He’s even included advice about travel insurance in it!!!
- What draws you to a life of travel?
It was always about surfing. It’s a great excuse to see the world. In my time I’ve surfed in Panama, South Africa, Costa Rica, the USA, Sri Lanka and Indonesia and it’s been fantastic. These days I prefer to stay closer to home and travel by camper van to Europe or Ireland. Great places to surf and camp and enjoy a different way of living.
- What’s the best piece of travel advice you can offer?
Pack light. Especially when you go in a camper van. People always pack far too much stuff and then end up having to move it every five minutes to put the table up or get into bed. The less you have the more uncomplicated your travel life is.
- What’s the one item you can’t travel without?
Swiss army knife. It’s always with me and I feel bereft if I can’t find it. After that it’s my phone these days but it used to be books. I once went backpacking in India with all three volumes of Vikram Seth’s ‘A Suitable Boy’ in my rucksack. I wouldn’t make that mistake again.
- What’s the funniest thing that’s happened to you on your travels?
My family would say it was when I caught myself in the face when I was fishing in Spain. Happily I had my EHIC card and was able to get free treatment in hospital!!! Otherwise we always have fun, whether it’s trying new foods, swimming, surfing or just relaxing. Every moment is to be cherished. Mind you, I did laugh when Mrs D fell out of a boat. Only her dignity got injured, thankfully.
- Do you have a favourite travel photo? (please share it if possible)?
Yes. It’s camping on the Machair at Europie in the Outer Hebrides in 2011. We took a week to get there and, in camping on the cliff edge, we realised a dream. To travel to the edges of the UK and camp wild. It was a magical experience, except for the fact that my eldest daughter had just broken her arm falling off a play park.
- What’s your greatest remaining travel ambition?
I’d like to drive the greatest routes of the world: Route 1 in the USA, The Garden Route in South Africa and The Great Ocean Road in Australia. But I’d also like to explore Norway by motorhome and head up into the Arctic Circle. I have been there before but that was by plane. Going by camper means you become more connected to the journey.
- Where are you visiting next and why?
We’re off to Northern Spain in our camper van this summer to go hiking in the Picos and to surf our way back through France. The Cares Gorge is a 12km gorge that runs north to south through the mountains and it looks spectacular so we are going to have an attempt at that. It should be fun and will fulfil another ambition. Then we’re going to find some snorkelling and scoff tapas in San Sebastian. Should be a great trip.
You can buy signed copies of Martin’s books at martindorey.com