Dr Chris Brown, veterinarian and TV host, has just seen Channel Ten's The Living Room through its 300th episode, and stars in Bondi Vet, I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here! and is a regular guest panellist on The Project.
NUMBER OF COUNTRIES VISITED
ANY PASSPORT MISHAPS?
Due to a fear of pickpockets, I loaded my passport into one of those over the shoulder satchels (#fashion) for a backpacking trip around Europe when I was 23. But in an extreme heatwave in Seville in Spain, I sweated so much that all the ink from my passport stamps ran and rendered it completely unreadable. It made for a few interesting border crossings.
I GOT MY FIRST PASSPORT WHEN I WAS
11 for our first ever group family holiday overseas. While everyone at school was going to the US to visit Disneyland, my dad (also a vet) took the family to visit Wetlands in the US and Europe. For nine weeks. But boy, didn't I know my storks from my egrets ...
MY PASSPORT PHOTO IS
better than my last pic. I was definitely anaemic with two lazy eyes. Even border guards who see passports all day would stop and show their friends.
I CAN'T STOP GOING BACK TO
New Zealand. They just need to stop being so bloody nice and friendly. And what's with all those snow-capped mountains in the South Island that make it look like the European Alps? It's a bit over the top. I wish they would stop trying so hard.
MY LAST TRAVEL DESTINATION WAS
South Africa. I was shooting I'm a Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here which is REALLY in Africa. No seriously. It's not the Blue Mountains. I actually managed to make one side trip across to the coast to see some wildlife in a reserve I've worked in before. And to have a surf on a completely deserted surf break near the Mozambique border. Warm, crystal clear blue water and no sharks that I saw ...
MY NEXT TRAVEL DESTINATION IS
Svalbard, the Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean. I've been desperate to see polar bears and walrus in the wild and I feel as if this will be my best chance. I once heard that if you're on foot and see a polar bear in the wild, it's already tracking you and you're already dead. So with that as a teaser, how could I not go? And never be on foot.
I'M REALLY LOOKING FORWARD TO
the silence. The Arctic just has this eerie yet enchanting quiet about it which, after a busy year of work, will be quite appealing. Plus, with 24-hour sunlight in their summer, the light is just so different. And there's a lot of it.
WHAT I REALLY WANT FROM MY NEXT TRIP IS
a chance to relax and refresh but reinvigorate by being up close to something I love in breathtaking wildlife. Even though I love photography and do a lot of it, often being completely quiet and hearing the animal you're there to photograph is the most amazing thing. The sound of a bear breathing or his feet crunching through the snow always gives me goosebumps.
I LOVE TO TRAVEL BECAUSE
a good mate of mine calls it the rule of thirds. One third of the love comes from looking forward to the trip. The next third is actually experiencing it. But definitely one third of the joy is reminiscing over what you've seen and learnt from experiencing other cultures.
MY TRAVEL PHILOSOPHY IS
embrace the unexpected and inconvenient changes to your plans. Even a missed bus, train or flight presents an opportunity. In fact, my happiest travel memories have been the result of a plan that got completely turned on its head.
THE ONE TRAVEL MISTAKE I ALWAYS MAKE IS
trying to squeeze too much in. Sometimes you miss experiencing the real culture of a place rushing to see the sights. The best cultural experiences can often be found by sitting in a cafe or a park and just people-watching.
THE ONE THING I REALLY DO GET RIGHT WHEN I TRAVEL IS
my travel companions. Aside from one loose mate who's so desperate to get to 100 countries he recently strapped himself into a Fiat Punto and drove through central and Eastern Europe for 36 hours and gave himself DVT, I also travel with a quadriplegic mate and learn so much more about the challenges of long-haul flying, a lack of wheelchair ramps and the curse that is a cobblestoned street. But travelling with him has also given me my most rewarding and enjoyable travel experiences in Greenland and even the Faroe Islands.
IF I HAD TO SIT IN THE MIDDLE SEAT THE OTHER PASSENGERS I'D WANT ON EITHER SIDE OF ME WOULD BE
Barack Obama and Donald Trump. Sitting in the middle of that would be worth the price of the air ticket.
THE ONE FAMOUS TRAVELLER I REALLY ADMIRE IS
my good mate, James Gribble. He fainted after going for a jog in Southern Africa and has been a quadriplegic ever since. He's still the most enthusiastic and knowledgeable traveller I know. And even though you'd think hikes, boat trips and climbing peaks would be beyond him, he always finds a way. And finding 'that way' makes every trip with him the most extraordinary experience.
THE ONE FAMOUS PERSON I'D LIKE TO TRAVEL WITH IS
[naturalist] Sir David Attenborough. He could narrate the hotel breakfast menu and make it sound meaningful.
AIRLINE FOOD IS
an amusing distraction on a long-haul flight.
AIRPORT SECURITY IS
determined to perform a scan for explosives on me every single time I go through. I'm currently on an unbroken stretch of 12 tests in a row. Do I look dodgy?
very good at setting the automatic toaster so that it barely toasts your bread on the first run but completely burns it on the second run through.
I'VE ALWAYS WANTED TO GO TO
Antarctica. One day … one day.
I'VE NEVER WANTED TO GO TO
Miami. I transited through the airport there with about 30 kilos of veterinary supplies and it was the longest five hours of my life. I got the opinion they didn't believe my 'supplies' were for animals.
AISLE OR WINDOW?
Window every time. Sure you get a headrest, but I never get sick of that view above the clouds. It reminds me how magical flying is every time.