Adventurer Bear Grylls reveals his holiday memories, from an ‘amazing’ trip to Disney World in Florida to an off-grid island hideaway in Wales
Star-studded escapades: Bear Grylls with actress Julia Roberts in Kenya
This week adventurer and broadcaster Bear Grylls checks into our travel Q&A.
He talks about his essential travel item, his dream holiday hideaway – and more.
ESSENTIAL TRAVEL ITEM?
A spirit of staying calm in a crisis and a never-give-up attitude.
Paragliding in Grande Dune du Pilat in France with the family last year. It is the tallest sand dune in Europe.
I still have some snow water from the summit of Everest. My late father used to take sips of it for strength. But really it wasn’t about the water. It was about believing dreams are worth fighting for and never giving up.
WHY IS TRAVEL SO IMPORTANT?
The wild parts of our world are becoming ever more threatened by destruction. My travels have taught me how precious this planet is, and how fundamental nature is to humanity. It’s so important to get outdoors so we can all forge a stronger relationship with the natural world.
WHAT’S THE FUTURE OF TRAVEL?
People want experiences that challenge them, create powerful memories and give them a sense of pride. We are forever pushing our boundaries — humans are hard-wired to explore. But having adventures close to home is also important. You don’t have to travel to the ends of the Earth for the outdoors to inspire and change us. Adventure is a state of mind.
EARLIEST HOLIDAY MEMORY?
When I was seven, I went to Disney World in Florida with my family. It was our first overseas holiday, and even though we stayed in a cheap airport hotel and the queues lasted all day for one ride, it was so amazing. To be in such heat was a first, and just being in a pool that was so blue, and drinking buckets of lemonade.
HOW DO YOU WANT YOUR CHILDREN TO TACKLE TRIPS?
I always tell them the best trips often don’t go to plan. Be prepared for the unexpected and go with it. The wild, open road often throws curve balls and you have to be ready for them. And in terms of attitude: positivity, resourcefulness, courage and, above all, determination.
Bear’s last holiday was paragliding in Grande Dune du Pilat in France with his family last year
WHAT WERE YOUR CHILDREN’S FIRST PASSPORT STAMPS?
Hawaii. They came with me to the Big Island while I was filming Man vs. Wild in the early days. Shara [Bear’s wife] and I quickly realised, though, that filming trips with little kids was a washout. We barely saw each other and they were stuck on their own in the middle of nowhere.
EVER HAD A PACKING DISASTER?
Often. It’s why I always carry the real essentials on my person, so if bags go missing, it’s not a total disaster.
HOT OR COLD CLIMATE?
Hot. I got frostbite on Everest and in ultra-cold climates, those toes still get painful — fast.
Our small island hideaway in North Wales — it’s where I feel most at home. We have no mains electricity or water and run everything off-grid, but our three boys, Shara and I are happier there than anywhere else on Earth. We dive, train, paraglide and climb. It’s very special.
- Feeling inspired to test your survival skills at the Bear Grylls Survival Academy? Head to beargryllssurvivalacademy.com to choose your adventure.