The Travel Diaries

Journalist Holly Rubenstein interviews incredible guests about the travel experiences that have shaped their lives. From the first place they fell in love with, to the top of their bucket list, it's wanderlust guaranteed.

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  • Tim Peake, Astronaut

    It’s the Season 11 finale and to celebrate we’ve got a cosmic treat for you as we rocket into the mesmerising realm of space with the legendary British astronaut Tim Peake. A Space Destination Special, if you will - though we do cover some destinations here on planet earth, too, of course!Tim honed his skills as a test pilot and helicopter pilot in the British Army Air Corps. After nearly 18 years of military service, he spotted an ad from the European Space Agency (ESA) to become an astronaut. After a rigorous selection process with over 8,000 hopefuls, Tim was chosen as one of ESA's astronauts in 2009, marking the beginning of his journey to the stars.Fast forward to 2015, and Tim's dream of spaceflight became a reality as he launched aboard a spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS). During his six-month mission he conducted over 250 scientific experiments and became the first British astronaut in history to perform a spacewalk.It’s not every day that you get the opportunity to interview an astronaut, and there was so much I wanted to ask Tim, specifically about space, that I’ve cut down the chapters format this week, we’re going through the five chapters of his travel diaries. This was one of the most fascinating interviews I’ve had the pleasure of hosting on the podcast. Among many things we cover the claustrophobic Subterranean cave training in Sardinia that prepared him for life on the space station, we deep dive into his take on the existence of extra terrestrial life, he shares his views on the future of space tourism, and the innovations that are just around the corner taking place on the space station that could revolutionise healthcare, but most interesting I found was his view of the earth and how that in turn has fuelled his wanderlust. I really hope you enjoy this one. Destination Recap: Briançon, South of France Sardinia, Italy Alaska, USAPrince William Sound, Alaska, USADenali National Park, Alaska, USAInternational Space StationSahara DesertPatagoniaMadagascar BahamasSpaceNepalIndonesia Fancy seeing Tim live? He is heading on tour with his show Astronauts: The Quest To Explore Space which will bring the awe and wonder of space travel past, present and future to 25 venues across England, Scotland and Wales this autumn.As thank you to you my lovely listeners, I have one more rather epic competition for you to enter. This is to win a stay at one of the most iconic British hotels, Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa in the beautiful New Forest in England. Head over to my Instagram @hollyrubenstein to find out how to win an irresistible Eat, Sleep, Retreat overnight stay with a spa treatment, lunch, three course dinner, and breakfast the next morning. I’m so excited for this one, good luck.With thanks to my sponsors today - Airbnb - Visit and find out more. Prospective Hosts can learn more about how much they can earn sharing their space through the What’s My Place Worth Tool.

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  • Magnificent Malta - Destination Special, Bonus Episode

    On today’s bonus Destination Special episode, we are heading to the sun-soaked Mediterranean archipelago that is Magnificent Malta.Nestled in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, about 3 hours direct flight from England, Malta is a stunning island nation with a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. Imagine rugged cliffs overlooking crystal-clear waters, stunning beaches framed by ancient fortresses, and bustling towns adorned with colourful balconies and cobblestone streets. Geographically, Malta is composed of three main islands: Malta, Gozo, and Comino. Each island has its own distinct character which we discover on our episode today with the help of someone who is perfectly placed to bring Malta to life. Uwern Jong is a journalist, editor and inclusive-tourism advocate, who co-founded OutThere magazine, a luxury travel magazine and essential resource for LGBTQ+ travellers, nearly 15 years ago. We head on a journey from the bustling capital city of Valletta with its UNESCO-listed fortifications to the tranquil countryside of Gozo and the serene beaches of Comino. Whether you're a film aficionado, a foodie, an adventurer, or simply looking to soak up the sun on a stunning beach, Malta has something for everyone. So join us as we uncover the hidden gems, local secrets, and unforgettable experiences that make this island nation truly magnificent.Destination Recap:Cugo Gran Macina Malta hotel Valletta Three Cities St. Julian'sGozoThe Blue Lagoon CominoIniala Harbour House hotelIon at Harbour House restaurant Kempinski Hotel San Lawrenz Malta, Gozo Thirtyseven hotel, GozoSeafood Beach Shack, MġarrMdina Rabat Ancient Ruins, Gozo and Malta island If you’re now desperate to find out more about Malta, don’t forget all of your favourite travel publications will have guides online, as will the tourist board website, which is always a great resource, which is 
  • Yolanda Edwards, Travel Editor - YOLO Journal

    On today’s episode I’m joined by a titan of the travel industry, Yolanda Edwards.Formerly the creative director of Condé Nast Traveler in the US, Yolanda went on to launch the critically acclaimed Yolo Journal, a quarterly travel lifestyle magazine, which showcases real finds from interesting people around the world, not just industry insiders. Its accompanied by a weekly newsletter, which is a huge favourite among in the know travel lovers.She also has the prestigious title of US and Canada Academy Chair for the World’s 50 Best Hotels which we discuss a bit on this episode - as a hotel enthusiast it was really fascinating to hear which properties stand out to her. The story behind Yolanda falling in love with travel is a really interesting one that I didn’t know before this chat. She had a sheltered childhood where travel really wasn’t on the agenda, and it was a transformative cultural immersion program on a remote Greek island where Yolanda’s innate curiosity and love for travel was truly ignited. And the rest you could say was history, as nowadays Yolanda is non stop travelling the globe. Her travel diaries today take us on a grand tour around Europe through the highlights and hidden gems of Italy, France and Greece. So fasten your seatbelts as we explore the fascinating life and career of a true travel trailblazer.Destination Recap: Rome, Italy Milan, Italy Mykonos, Greece Kalymnos, Greece Medoc, France Il Pelicano, Port Ecole, ItalyLa Colombe D’Or, Saint-Paul-de-Vence, FranceCap Ferret, France Lynch-Bages, Frane Tulum, Mexico Palazzo Durazzo, Genoa, Italy IndiaCheck out YOLO Journal and follow Yolanda on Instagram here. With thanks to my sponsors today - Citalia - Discover the real Italy with Citalia, the UK’s leading Italian holiday specialists. Let the Italy Experts craft the perfect holiday for you and experience Italy like a Citalian.Airbnb - Visit and find out more. Prospective Hosts can learn more about how much they can earn sharing their space through the What’s My Place Worth Tool.
  • Trevor Nelson's Saint Lucia - Destination Special

    On today’s destination special, we are embarking on a journey to the jewel of the Caribbean, just 27 miles long and 14 miles wide, adorned with a tapestry of turquoise waters, golden beaches, and emerald-green rainforests. The enchanting island of Saint Lucia. Having visited many Caribbean islands myself, Saint Lucia is one that truly sets itself apart, in part because of its enormously diverse landscape. The famous Piton mountains, a UNESCO World Heritage site, frame a lush rainforest that cascades down to meet the powdery sandy shores below.And let's talk about the warmth of its people. St Lucia isn't just a destination; it's a welcoming embrace from the moment you arrive. With easy year-round access from the UK, including daily flights from London Gatwick and seasonal options from London Heathrow, getting there is a breeze.You're spoiled for choice with accommodation. From the unparalleled luxury of Jade Mountain, featured on BBC's Amazing Hotels, to the romance-infused retreats of Sandals, and an array of cosy boutique hotels and villas, there's something for every traveller's taste and budget.And let's not forget the vibrant culture pulsating through St Lucia's veins, with events like the Saint Lucia Jazz & Arts Festival and Carnival adding rhythm and colour to the calendar year-round.And our guest today knows a thing or two about the music scene. I am truly honoured to be joined on today’s episode by an institution of British music culture, Trevor Nelson. Trevor’s parents are both from St Lucia and though he grew up in the London, he has travelled there throughout his life, and has a home there where he spends a lot of time. Not only does he help bring his favourite island to life, we also get to hear all about his illustrious life and career along the way. So let's get ready to set sail for paradise. Here’s Trevor Nelson’s St Lucia. Destination Recap Reduit BeachThe Landings Resort & SpaJade Mountain ResortCap EstateCabot Golf CourseThe Coal Pot Restaurant, Castries The Pink Plantation House, Castries Rodney BayPigeon Island Marigot Bay Sulphur Springs For more information about St Lucia visit
  • Susannah Constantine

    Susannah Constantine first burst onto our TV screens in the late 90s, alongside her partner-in-style, Trinny Woodall. Together, they revolutionised the way women approach fashion with their ground-breaking show 'What Not to Wear’, as the iconic duo Trinny & Susannah. The series not only garnered international acclaim but also became a cultural phenomenon, empowering women to embrace their bodies and dress with confidence, taking them all over the world from The Oprah Winfrey Show to the Oscars red carpet. This, we discuss, was just one chapter in Susannah’s fascinating life. In her 20s she was in a long-term relationship with Viscount David Linley, the son of Princess Margaret, and we chat today about her travels with Princess Margaret and how she viewed her very much as a mother figure in her life. Susannah is also a bestselling author, and a very successful podcaster - her podcast, My Wardrobe Malfunction, has had 9 seasons, and the most incredible guest lineup from Elizabeth Hurley to Nile Rodgers.Travel quite clearly means a lot to Susannah and she evokes the destinations in her travel diaries today, from Cornwall to Canada, Pakistan to Antarctica, so vividly, and emotively.Destination Recap:Holly - Four Seasons Ritz Lisbon, PortugalSusannah - AntarcticaGassin, France St Tropez, France Olhão, Portugal MustiqueVancouver Island, British Columbia, CanadaClinton, British Columbia, CanadaPakistanHelford Passage, Cornwall Cairngorms, Scotland Soverato, Calabria, Italy Nairobi, KenyaAntarctica Susannah was on a Viking cruise to Antarctica, and Viking provides destination-focused journeys on rivers, oceans and lakes across all seven continents and destination-focused expeditions in Antarctica, the Arctic and North America’s Great Lakes. And you can find Susannah’ podcast my wardrobe malfunction wherever you get your podcasts. Thanks so much for listening today. If you'd like to hear more from the podcast don’t forget to hit subscribe, or if you use Apple Podcasts to press follow so that a new episode lands in your podcast app each week. If you want to be the first find out who is joining me on next week’s episode come and follow me on Instagram I’m @hollyrubenstein, and you’ll also find me on Threads and TikTok - I’d love to hear from you.And if you can't want until then remember there’s the first ten seasons to catch up on, that's over 110 episodes to keep you busy there. Don't forget that all the destinations mentioned by my guests are included in the episode show notes here on your podcast app, and listed on my website,
  • Phil Rosenthal

    Phil Rosenthal first gained international recognition by creating the iconic TV sitcom “Everybody Loves Raymond,” which won 16 Emmys and as we discuss on the episode today, 30 years later is still a mainstay on both US and UK TV. A self-described foodie, he has always been an ardent supporter of restaurants and food culture and his favourite saying is that “food is the great human connector”. Now he is living out his dream, travelling the world and exploring different cultures one bite at a time on his hit Netflix show, “Somebody Feed Phil” which is going into its 7th season, this time featuring Orlando, Scotland, Kyoto, Dubai, Washington D.C. and more. More than anything in this episode Phil is just such an advocate for travel for the positive power that travelling can have in broadening our perspectives on life, and he transports us today from Florence to Florida, Paris to Taipei and much more.Destination Recap:Holly --Vila Vita Parc, Algarve, PortugalQuinta da Comporta, Comporta, PortugalLisbon, PortugalPhil --New York, USACape Cod, Massachusetts, USAAtlanta, Georgia, USADisneyworld, Florida, USAOrlando, Florida, USAFlorence, ItalyKyoto, JapanParis, France Italy TaipeiShanghaiAustraliaVenice, Italy You can watch the new season of Somebody Feed Phil on Netflix now. He also has published a children’s book that he co-created with his daughter Lily, called JUST TRY IT.With thanks to my sponsors today - Citalia - Discover the real Italy with Citalia, the UK’s leading Italian holiday specialists. Let the Italy Experts craft the perfect holiday for you and experience Italy like a Citalian.Airbnb - Visit and find out more. Prospective Hosts can learn more about how much they can earn sharing their space through the What’s My Place Worth Tool.
  • Julia Bradbury

    Today we are joined by a name synonymous with adventure, exploration, and a deep passion for the great outdoors. Julia Bradbury's love affair with nature began at a young age, nurtured by family hikes and camping trips in the rugged landscapes of the Peak District.She started her career as a show business reporter for breakfast TV in Los Angeles, becoming a household name as the presenter of BBC’s Countryfile alongside co-host Matt Baker - her boundless enthusiasm for the countryside endeared her to audiences across the UK. She is perhaps best known for turning her lifelong passion for walking into prime-time TV, with shows including Britain’s Best Walks, Cornwall and Devon Walks with Julia Bradbury and Wainwright’s Walks in the Lake District. But Julia's thirst for adventure extends far beyond the borders of Britain, and over the years, she’s embarked on countless adventures to some of the world's most remote and awe-inspiring destinations. Her travel diaries today take us from Greece to South Africa, Iceland to Costa Rica. I also really enjoyed talking to Julia about health and wellbeing, she has a huge wealth of knowledge that she accumulated while writing her Sunday Times Bestseller Walk Yourself Happy, and also because of the lifestyle shift she herself adopted after being diagnosed with breast cancer for which she underwent a mastectomy in 2021. I think that you’ll find this an inspiring, energising and wanderlust-inducing conversation. Destination Recap:Agia Marina, Athens, GreeceChios, Greece Skiathos, Greece Skopelos, Greece South AfricaPeak District, England - Stanage Edge, Buxton, Mam TorLandmannalaugar trail, Iceland Costa Rica Lake District, EnglandSouth America Walk Yourself Happy is available from all good bookshops and online, and you can book her Lake District retreat, which is called Walk Yourself Happy Wellbeing Retreat on here.