Jamie Lawson; Singer/Songwriter on travel

My name is Jamie Lawson and I’m from a town called Plymouth which is a coastal town in Devon in the South West. I now live in London having moved to London then to Dublin then back to London then back to Cornwall and now back to London.

I didn’t travel much as a child, certainly not abroad anyway. The only place we travelled was to Cornwall which was literally over a bridge and we had a view of the bridge that led to Cornwall from the house. So we drove a whole hour into Cornwall down towards Padstow which is a really beautiful place in Cornwall and we used to go on holidays there. We used to stay in apartments or caravans as children.

Travelling for me is pretty much all business, this year I did one trip for pleasure around Ireland. I did a road trip with a friend of mine and we just arrived in Knock, we hired a car and then we drove. I presumed we would just drive around the south and do the coast of Galway and that area, but we didn’t we went to Sligo and Donegal and up around the North – it was beautiful.

It was great because we didn’t plan anything! The only thing we planned was to meet at the airport and even that went wrong because I actually arrived at the airport on the day, found out that my passport was ripped and they wouldn’t let me travel. So my friend was travelling from somewhere else and we were supposed to meet at the airport so she got there. I had to tell her I wasn’t coming and then had to go back into London to the passport office and try and get one, which I managed to do in a day and flew out then the next morning! It was a nightmare of a day.

The coast of Ireland is incredible – it’s really beautiful. We stayed in hotels and B&Bs and one night we stayed in this really beautiful lodge just outside Belfast which was really strange. It was getting late and it was the kind of place we assumed we wouldn’t be able to afford to stay in. So we went in for a cup of tea for a rest and there was a load of footballers and it happened to be the Northern Irish football team and then I walked around the corner and there’s Van Morrison just sat talking to someone. Van Morrison just sitting there and I really wanted to say hello but I didn’t. I thought why bother what is already kind of weird and special.

San Francisco was really interesting for me as well because it was always misty- I think I went the wrong time of year. I got to go to LA as well and Hollywood, I just remember it was filthy and I was really shocked. The only place I ever really loved was a Greek island called Paxos where I went with my mum when I was eighteen and it was hot and I remember swimming at night and I thought that was special.

I sometimes do a bit of research about places when I’m there if there is time to kill between one place and the next. If you’re just travelling from town to town it can get quite dull quite quickly and you just spend a lot of time hanging around, drinking tea. Quite recently on the way from Bray to Wexford we went to Glendalough which I thought was really beautiful , and its not the sort of thing you normally do so I like to do things like that – to stop off at some sort of historical monument or tourist thing then that’s not a bad thing to do.

The biggest thing that I try and do when going on a trip is to pack as lightly as possible. I see people struggling with bags all the time; you should never be carrying a bag that you can’t actually lift.