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The Travel Diaries

Spencer Matthews

Season 8

Hello and welcome to the Season 8 finale of The Travel Diaries. You may have first got to know today’s guest as the bad boy of the reality TV show Made in Chelsea. Now married with three children to model Vogue Williams, who he met on the TV show, The Jump, he regularly tops the podcast charts as the co-host of the hilarious hit podcast, Spencer and Vogue, as well as entertaining listeners with his former Made in Chelsea co-star Jamie Laing, on the podcast, 6 Degrees from Jamie and Spencer. It is of course, Spencer Matthews.


Spencer has led a truly international life - not many people can say they grew up in a hotel on a small Caribbean island, and it was so interesting to chat to him about life there and how it shaped who he is today. He’ll be talking about his relationships with his old Made in Chelsea co-stars. And we also talk about Spencer’s recent time in Nepal. Spencer’s older brother Michael tragically died climbing Mt Everest in 1999, and Spencer has collaborated with Disney to make a documentary film called Finding Michael about the journey to try and find his body which was never brought home. I think this is the first time he’s spoken at length about the documentary and I was really touched by his honesty about such a monumental experience to go through and what it meant to him and his family. In fact, Spencer has taken on a number of huge challenges that we talk about on today’s episode in memory of his brother, taking him from the Sahara Desert to Arctic Sweden. Alongside that, he takes us from the South of France and Morocco to New York City and Paris.


Destination Recap:


  • Caunton, Newark, England
  • Paris, France 
  • La Colle-Sour-Loup, France 
  • La Colombe D’Or, France 
  • St Barths, Caribbean 
  • Eden Roc Hotel, St Barths
  • Sahara Desert
  • Mt Everest, Nepal
  • Namche Bazar, Nepal
  • New York, NY, USA
  • Palais Namaskar, Marrakech, Morocco 
  • The Mark, NY, USA
  • The Bowery, NY, USA
  • Katz Deli, NY, USA
  • The Select Burger, NY, USA
  • 4 Charles Prime Rib, NY, USA
  • Arctic Sweden
  • Japan
  • Argentina
  • Brazil 


If you'd like to hear more from Spencer and his wife Vogue, you can tune in to his hit podcast, Spencer and Vogue, a Global original here.

And don’t forget to check out his low- and no-alcohol drinks brand Clean Co, here.


If you’d like to hear more from the podcast don’t forget to hit subscribe or if you use Apple Podcasts to hit follow so that a new episode lands in your podcast app each week, and if you’re really enjoying it I’d be so grateful if you could leave a rating or review. 


If you want to be the first to find out who’s joining me on next week’s episode come and follow me on Instagram, I’m @hollyrubenstein and I’d love to hear from you. 

If you can’t wait til then remember there’s the first seven seasons to catch up on - that’s over 85 episodes to keep you busy there. And don’t forget that all the destinations mentioned by my guests are always included in the episode show notes and they’re also on my website, TheTravelDiariesPodcast.com 

Thanks so much for listening.

More episodes

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  • Shaggy

    34:14
    We’re kicking off Season 10 by diving into the world of one of the most iconic figures in the music industry, a Grammy-winning artist whose distinctive voice and reggae beats have seen him top the charts over the past 30 years. That's right, we’re joined today, Shaggy. “Oh Carolina”, Shaggy’s debut single, was his big breakthrough into the music industry, all the way back in 1993. It became a chart-topping hit around the world and subsequent mega-hits like “Boombastic”, "It Wasn't Me” and “Angel” all further propelled him to global superstardom.From Kingston, Jamaica where he spent his childhood and lives now, to the global stage, today we’re going to be getting to know the man behind the hits and the destinations in his life that have played a part along the way, from Japan to Italy, New York to North Carolina.Destination Recap:New York City, USAJamaicaKingston, JamaicaJapanNorth Carolina, USAIraqItalySardinia, ItalyPort Antonio, JamaicaZimbabweShaggy’s In The Mood EP is out nowWith thanks to my sponsors today …Airbnb - Visit Airbnb.com 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.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.Sunweb - Use my promo code TRAVEL50 for £50 off your booking and your ski pass included. 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’m also @hollyrubenstein - I’d love to hear from you. And if you can't want until then remember there’s the first nine seasons to catch up on, that's over 100 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, thetraveldiariespodcast.com
  • Dame Joanna Lumley

    01:02:44
    On today’s season finale we're joined by a national treasure, and a name synonymous with travel, Dame Joanna Lumley. Joanna's appetite for adventure was deeply engrained from childhood. She was born in Kashmir in the last days of British India, the daughter of an army officer who served with the Gurkhas. Throughout her childhood her parents lived in Asia, moving to Hong Kong and Malaysia, while she spent term times at school in England.From her early days as a fashion model, gracing the covers of magazines and strutting down runway, Joanna Lumley was destined for greatness. But it was her iconic role as Patsy in the hit TV series "Absolutely Fabulous" that truly catapulted her into the hearts of millions. I love Wikipedia’s description of Patsy - “an alcoholic, a chain smoker, and a frequent recreational drug user. She carries drugs with her at all times, storing joints in her trademark beehive."After surviving solo on a desert island, on the groundbreaking show Girl Friday, Joanna soon became as synonymous with travel as she was with Ab Fab, setting off on epic journeys that would make even the most seasoned globetrotter green with envy, from Japan and India to the Caribbean and the Silk Route. What makes her so remarkable is not just her fearless spirit but her genuine love for the people she meets along the way. She champions causes close to her heart, advocating for the rights of the Gurkhas, supporting endless charities, and shedding light on the important issues affecting our world.So, fasten your seatbelts and get ready as we embark on a journey through the extraordinary life and awe-inspiring travels of Joanna Lumley, from Malaysia to Uzbekistan, Italy to Indonesia.Destination Recap:Kashmir, India Hong KongMalaysiaBatu Caves, Selangor, Malaysia MadagascarDelhi, IndiaUzbekistan Tash Rabat, Kyrgzystan Sienna, ItalyBanda Islands, IndonesiaSudanRomaniaJoanna Lumley’s Spice Trail Adventure starts on 5th July at 9pm on ITV1 and ITVX.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 season come and follow me on Instagram I’m @hollyrubenstein, and you’ll also find me on Twitter and TikTok as of a few weeks ago, also @hollyrubenstein - I’d love to hear from you. And if you can't want until then remember there’s the first nine seasons to catch up on, that's over 100 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, thetraveldiariespodcast.com
  • Ben Fogle - From The Archives

    57:15
    Today we’re uncovering another favourite episode from The Travel Diaries archive, now that we have over 100 episodes to pick from, as we build up to our big season finale with Joanna Lumley next week. It was so hard to choose, but when I reflected on the episodes that sparked the most wanderlust in me, from the most seasoned travellers, I thought it had to be Ben Fogle. Ben’s episode was recorded back in the Covid days, during season three, when no one really knew what was going on with the future of travel, and his tales of epic physical feats, wilderness living , going to the most remote parts of the planet, really inspired me at the time.Ben is an award-winning broadcaster and one of the UK’s most prolific adventurers. He has rowed across the Atlantic Ocean, swam from Alcatraz to San Francisco, run the Marathon Des Sables (a 6 day ultra marathon across the Sahara Desert), raced across the Antarctica to the South Pole and most recently climbed Mount Everest. He’s written nine best-selling books - many about travel - and has the enviable title of the United Nations Patron of the Wilderness. And speaking of the Wilderness, he has travelled to every corner of the globe while filming his long-running hit TV series, New Lives in the Wild, a notion that feels particularly relevant right now during lockdown. Get ready to be transported to Guatemala, the top of Mt Everest, Ethiopia, the Canadian Wilderness and…Ayia Napa.Destination Recap:Taransay, Outer Hebrides, ScotlandLake Chemong, Ontario, CanadaBritish Columbia, CanadaAlgonquin Park, Ontario, CanadaLatin America Quito, EcuadorAntigua, GuatemalaBolivia Pitcairn Island, South PacificPleistocene Park, SiberiaThe Atlantic OceanMt Everest, Nepal Cornwall, EnglandEthiopiaLalibela, EthiopiaAyia Napa, Mallorca, SpainHaitiThe Great Wall of China, ChinaThe North PoleThe South PoleThank you so much for listening today. If you haven’t yet left a rating or a review, why not do so now? Your support is so greatly appreciated and most importantly, helps others to discover the podcast. Don’t forget you can listen on Spotify, Apple podcasts, Castbox, Stitcher and pretty much all other podcast apps. Hit subscribe and every week a new episode will appear in your library.To find out who’s on next week’s show come and find me on Instagram. I’m @hollyrubenstein and I’d love to hear from you. And visit TheTravelDiariesPodcast.com for everything podcast-related.
  • Simon Reeve - From The Archives

    58:56
    We're revisiting one of the podcast's favourite episodes today, from back in Season 3, and we're joined by one of travel’s most familiar faces. Known for his TV series tracing the Equator, the Tropics of Cancer & Capricorn, following the world’s sacred rivers and pilgrimages, travelling the length of the Americas, and deep diving into destinations like Burma, Russia and Colombia, visiting over 130 countries along the way. It is of course the adventurer, author and broadcaster, Simon Reeve. If you’ve watched Simon’s shows, you’ll know they’re not your typical travel programmes. He’s known for digging beneath the surface of a place, and telling the stories - both good and bad - that need to be told. What you may not know is that Simon is really very experienced when it comes to digging a little deeper as he began his career as an investigative journalist, and went on to become a NY Times best-selling author, all before he even appeared on our TV screens. Simon has undertaken numerous extraordinary journeys, but none of them are quite as extraordinary as the journey his own life has taken. I think you’ll be both amazed and inspired by it. Destination Recap: Studland Bay, Dorset, England Istanbul, Turkey Hagia Sophia Grand Turkey, Istanbul, TurkeyGabonMadagascarBangladesh Somaliland West Country, England JapanNew ZealandSenegalMali The ArcticThe AntarcticParaguay Thank you so much for listening. If you haven’t yet left a rating or a review, why not do so now? Your support is so greatly appreciated and most importantly, helps others to discover the podcast. Don’t forget to hit subscribe so that every week a new episode will appear in your library.I’m @hollyrubenstein on Instagram, and I’d love to hear from you. And visit TheTravelDiariesPodcast.com for everything else podcast-related.This episode was produced by Holly Rubenstein
  • Megan Hine, Survivalist & Explorer

    56:26
    Megan Hine is a survivalist and wilderness guide who has carved her path in the fiercely competitive world of adventure travel, producing some of the biggest adventure and survival shows on TV around the world. Her big break came working alongside Bear Grylls on his hit show Man vs Wild, and from there, she’s led talent and film crews in the world’s toughest environments for over 20 years. A seasoned adventurer, Megan also possesses an insatiable hunger for exploration. Armed with her unwavering spirit and an arsenal of survival skills, she’s led expeditions around the world, from the arid deserts of the Sahara to the icy tundras of the Arctic. Her remarkable ability to adapt to the harshest conditions and think on her feet has earned her the admiration of both novice adventurers and seasoned experts alike. Whether it's scaling treacherous cliffs, navigating dangerous waters, or braving bone-chilling temperatures, Megan continues to push boundaries.She is also a qualified resilience coach, and combines intimate knowledge of wilderness survival, a degree in psychology and a fascination with the psychology of survival to help clients overcome mental health struggles. Many of these techniques feature in her best-selling book 'Mind of a Survivor’, which we talk about today.So, fasten your seatbelts, and ready to embark on an unforgettable journey with us today, full of heart-stopping adventures, invaluable life lessons, and the transformative power of travel. From Panama to Tibet, New Zealand to Mongolia, let’s get started.Destination Recap:Pearl Islands, Panama The Maldives Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, China?ScotlandIcelandNew ZealandSnowdonia, WalesNewborough Beach, WalesBlack Rock Sands, WalesMongoliaLlŷn Peninsula, WalesTibetAntarcticaAlaska, USAYou can follow Megan on her adventures on Instagram at @Megan_hine and read her book, Mind of a Survivor. 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 Twitter and TikTok as of a few weeks ago, also @hollyrubenstein - I’d love to hear from you. And if you can't want until then remember there’s the first eight episodes to catch up on, that's over ninety 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, thetraveldiariespodcast.com
  • Clive Myrie

    43:28
    Today’s guest is a familiar face to millions all over the world as a BBC newsreader and foreign correspondent, with a career spanning three decades. He’s covered some of the biggest stories of our time from Hurricane Katrina, to 9/11; reported fro the front lines of conflicts in Africa, the Middle East and covered wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and most recently, Ukraine, reporting for BBC News from the roof of a hotel in the capital of Kyiv when the war broke out in February last year. He’s the host of Mastermind, and most recently swapped the BBC studios for sun-drenched Italian countryside, with his first travel show, Clive Myrie’s Italian Road Trip, a 15-part series, which follows Clive as he embarks on a captivating journey around the country, immersing himself in its culture, rich history and local cuisine from its heel to its top. We of course chat about this as well his hugely varied career which has taken him to over eighty countries in itself. Destination Recap:JamaicaItalyVerona, ItalyPuglia, ItalyMatera, ItalyTokyo, JapanHokaido, JapanUkraineWest Coast of USAEast Coast of USAHome Counties, EnglandCape Town, South AfricaVenice, ItalyWashington DC, USAAfghanistanSt Petersburg, RussiaSri LankaA huge thank you to Clive. What an interesting life he has led. Clive Myrie’s Italian Road Trip is available on BBC iPlayer.With thanks to today's sponsor, 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.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 Twitter and TikTok as of a few weeks ago, also @hollyrubenstein - I’d love to hear from you. And if you can't want until then remember there’s the first eight seasons to catch up on, that's over 100 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, thetraveldiariespodcast.com
  • Sam Branson

    51:41
    Today’s guest will reignite your sense of adventure and reaffirm your love of nature. I’ve had over 100 guests now and I can safely say that this guest is up there in terms of the passion and love he shows for travel - the power of it, the importance of it and its symbiosis with nature and our planet.  Sam Branson is a very busy man indeed. He’s one of those people where the list of things that they do in their bio goes on for so long you question what you’ve done with your own life! Adventurer, Film maker, Singer/Songwriter, Charity Founder, Business Leader, Social Entrepreneur and much more. As an adventurer - his feats match some of the greatest names in the field. He’s spent 3 months crossing the arctic on a dog sled, he’s climbed epic peaks, he’s kayaked treacherous stretches of water, he’s set numerous world records, including - curiously - running the London Marathon attached to 33 other people. None of it was done without a wider cause though with the primary charitable focus - Big Change - which he also founded! He’s raised several million pounds to date. He’s also hugely passionate about our planet and many of the challenges he’s undertaken have been to raise awareness and create action around climate change. He speaks with such warmth about nature. This has transcended to his new venture - music. He’s just released his debut album - Under the Static - which is a love letter to mother nature under his musical name Waves Rush In. The perfect soundtrack to summer. Alongside all of this - which is making me exhausted just thinking about it - he’s found time to co-found and run a documentary production company alongside Hillary and Chelsea Clinton.Now - obviously - a lot of this opportunity has come from being born into the Branson family - being the son of Sir Richard Branson - and we discuss this privileged upbringing in the episode and how he’s strived for his own self identity since. All of this makes it a really fascinating listen. I hope you enjoy it. Destination Recap:British Virgin Islands Necker Island, British Virgin IslandsMenorcaAnegada, British Virgin IslandsThe Willy T, Norman Island, British Virgin IslandsAustraliaByron Bay, AustraliaArctic expeditionBali, IndonesiaUluwatu, Bali, IndonesiaUbud, Bali, IndonesiaKomodo Island, IndonesiaSri LankaChamonix, FranceMont Blanc, FranceMentawai Islands, Sumatra, IndonesiaUnder the Static, Sam’s debut album which is released under his musical alter ego Waves Rush In, is out in June. 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 Twitter and TikTok as of a few weeks ago, also @hollyrubenstein - I’d love to hear from you. And if you can't want until then remember there’s the first eight seasons to catch up on, that's over 100 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, thetraveldiariespodcast.com
  • Family Travel Special - 6 months & under, travel tips & more

    54:29
    Welcome our first ever Family Travel special. I had my first child back in October last year, and it’s been you the listeners who have reached out to me in such overwhelming numbers asking for a dedicated family travel episode because there isn’t a ton of advice out there for new parents travelling with a baby, where to go what to pack - it can be quite overwhelming. So here we are! Obviously, this episode might not appeal to everyone. So if you’re one of those regulars, please tune in next week, we’ll be back with a great celeb guest.So how’s this going to work? My current plan is to release a family focussed episode each season that loosely tracks my own experience as a mother. Today we’ll be chatting with a bit of a focus on travelling with a baby up to around 6 months. Next season will then probably focus on 6 months to the toddler phase and so on. It won’t follow the usual 7 chapters but focus on things like travel tips, the best recommendations and bucket list destinations for that specific age group. I’m delighted to be joined by two seasoned family travellers to guide me through this. Kate Leahy is an acclaimed travel journalist who spent ten years working in-house at The Sunday Times and now contributes to The Telegraph, The Guardian, The Times, and much more. Prior to a career in journalism, Kate spent five years working as British Airways cabin crew, often observing the logistics of parents travelling with children. Now mum to two-year-old twins, she's putting everything she has learned along the way into making her own family travel memories.Joining her is Frankie Collinson, who is the co-founder of the family travel start-up Tiny Travelship which provides vetted recommendations across all price ranges for both family specific and family friendly spots across the globe. They’ve just launched a new booking website and their Instagram has inspired a lot of my own Family Travel Bucket List!Destination RecapGreeceMonastery Estate Retreat, Crete, GreeceCaserio del Mirador, Alicante, SpainAlmyra, CyprusDaios Cove, Crete, GreecePuglia, Italy Ikos ResortsMartinhal, Sagres, PortugalMartinhal, Lisbon, Portugal Marbella Club, SpainCretan Malia Park, Crete, GreeceCosta RicaCasa Pineta, Elba Island, ItalyAustraliaWith thanks to...Roarsome - Head to roarsome.com and use the code TRAVELDIARIES for 20% off all clothing, events and adventures in 2023.Forte Village, Sardinia - Forte Village is the perfect place for your holiday in Sardinia, a beautiful corner of paradise 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 Twitter and TikTok as of a few weeks ago, also @hollyrubenstein - I’d love to hear from you. And if you can't want until then remember there’s the first eight seasons to catch up on, that's over 100 episodes to keep you busy there. All the destinations mentioned by my guests are included in the episode show notes here on your podcast app, and listed on my website, thetraveldiariespodcast.com
  • Alex Polizzi

    52:20
    Today, I’m joined by Alex Polizzi, who you might know best as TV”s 'Hotel Inspector’. Alex has used her decades of experience working in hospitality to advise struggling hoteliers on how to turn their businesses around on the hit Channel 5 show. And on today’s episode we take a deep dive into what makes a great hotel, a great holiday and our ultimate pet peeves. Alex’s passion for travel and hospitality is something that runs in her blood. She’s part of one of travel’s most iconic family dynasties, the Forte family, Her grandfather was the legendary hotelier Lord Charles Forte, an Italian immigrant who opened a milk bar on London’s Regent Street in the 1930s and turned it into an empire of over 800 international hotels. Her uncle Rocco, established his own chain of luxury hotels, the Rocco Forte hotels. Her mother, is the hotel designer Olga Polizzi and founder of the Polizzi Collection (three hotels across the south of England), the third of which, The Star in Alfriston, she opened jointly with Alex in June 2021 to rave reviews. I spoke to Alex in one of her family’s most iconic hotels, Brown’s in London. Her travel diaries today take us from Cambodia to the Caribbean, from Portugal to Puglia, all across Italy and much more. Destination Recap:Browns’ Hotel, London, England, UKDona Filipa Hotel, Algarve, Portugal CambodiaHong KongHotel Endsleigh, Devon, England, UKVenice, ItalyBelmond Cipriani, Venice, ItalyProvidenciales, Turks + CaicosTorcello, Venice, ItalyMurano, Venice, ItalyThe Coral House, Providenciales, Turks + CaicosVilla Igiea, Palermo, Sicily, Italy Pompeii, Naples, ItalyIschia, Italy Masseria Torre Maizza, Puglia, Italy Lecce, Puglia, ItalyOtranto, Puglia, Italy The Priory Hotel & Restaurant, Caerleon, WalesIndiaJapanWith thanks to today's sponsors: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.Masseria Torre Maizza, a Rocco Forte Hotel - Be inspired by Alex's travel diaries, and discover an oasis of luxury in the heart of the Apulian countryside, Masseria Torre Maizza.If you’d like to hear more from the podcast don’t forget to hit subscribe or if you use apple podcasts to hit follow so that a new episode lands in your podcast app each week, and if you’re really enjoying it I’d be so grateful if you could leave a rating or review. If you want to be the first to find out who’s joining me on next week’s episode come and follow me on Instagram, I’m @hollyrubenstein and I’d love to hear from you. And if you can't want until then remember there’s the first eight seasons to catch up on, that's over 100 episodes to keep you busy there. And don’t forget that all the destinations mentioned by my guests are always included in the episode show notes and they’re also on my website, TheTravelDiariesPodcast.com