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Louise's Longings

What’s your favourite destination you’ve been to in the world and why?

Colombia, because I felt as though I was getting away from the well-trodden tourist trail of South America and discovering something exciting. The old colonial city of Cartagena, with its colourful Spanish-style houses is beautiful, as are the beaches in Tayrona national park, in the country's northern Caribbean region.


If you could teleport yourself somewhere new right now, where would it be?

Sri Lanka. It's somewhere that I've always wanted to visit ever since seeing Rick Stein do a food show from there.


What’s your funniest travel experience?

Discovering that I was locked in a portable toilet at an evening function in the desert in Qatar. As I locked the door, the key snapped in two and I had to climb on top of the toilet, poke my head out of the tiny window and shout for help. It didn't help that the generator was nearby, drowning out any noise. Eventually someone realised I was missing and the toilet door was peeled back like the lid of a sardine can.


What’s your worst travel experience?

Preparing to catch a plane to London from Zurich after a 12-hour flight from Hong Kong with our two young kids, and discovering that I'd left all of our passports - and my husband's UK visa documents - on the plane. The cleaners thankfully managed to find the passports and my husband and I are still married.


What’s the one item you can’t live without when you fly?

Lucas' Paw Paw Ointment.


What’s the most random thing you’ve experienced or witnessed in a hotel or resort?

Seeing Bill Clinton at the Oberoi Rajvilas in Jaipur, when I was there on a press trip. Either that, or seeing a massive crab climb out of the shower plug hole in Costa Rica.


Describe the best culinary experience you’ve ever had?

My first taste of ceviche. I was with a group of backpackers, sailing from Panama to Colombia, and our captain had made a stop at the San Blas islands, an archipelago off the north coast of Panama. The Kuna people had caught the fish from the sea and prepared the ceviche for us, followed by grilled fish over coals.


If you could have one celebrity at a dinner party, who would it be and why?

British comedian Michael McIntyre, because he'd keep the conversation flowing and throw in a few laughs along the way.


What has been a career highlight to date?

Interviewing Sir Richard Branson at Icebergs Dining Room & Bar in Bondi, for Travel Weekly. He was surprisingly honest and also slightly nervous.


What’s one quirky fact about you?

I had my hair permed when I was about 16. But didn't we all back then?

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