May 11, 2021

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Author Terry Waite reveals his most memorable travels

On the move: Terry Waite has seen plenty of the world since his release from captivity in Lebanon 

English author Terry Waite has experienced a fair bit of travelling with his job as assistant for Anglican Communion Affairs for the then Archbishop of Canterbury. 

He was also held captive in Lebanon from 1987 to 1991 when he journeyed as an envoy the Church of England to secure the release of four hostages.

Here he shares some of his experiences around the globe, including explaining why he’s not a fan of Nigerian seafood.

Earliest holiday memory?

Travelling with my grandmother in an ancient charabanc to spend a day at the seaside. I must have been seven and I can still remember the excitement as I climbed aboard.

Most memorable holiday?

Memorabe for the wrong reasons. We spent a week in Llandudno and it rained every day. 

Never have we appreciated bus shelters more.

Any particular travel-related anecdote which stands out?

The time I accompanied the Archbishop of Canterbury to Canada, shortly after the Pope had paid a visit. 

The local Anglicans decided to make their own Archmobile based on the Pope’s famous limousine. 

They erected a polythene structure on the back of a pick-up truck and the poor man, along with his chaplain, almost suffocated inside it.

Where would you live anywhere in the world?

New Zealand. Friendly people, little traffic and superb scenery (right). I visit every year to write. 

My latest comic novel, about a disaster-prone cruise ship, was written there. It’s been described as the Fawlty Towers of cruising.

A firm favourite: Terry loves New Zealand for its scenery and people, and visits every year to write 

A firm favourite: Terry loves New Zealand for its scenery and people, and visits every year to write 

You’ve returned to Lebanon since you were held hostage there. How would you describe the people?

I’ve returned to Lebanon three times. The people are true survivors. They’re pressed by conflict on all sides, but they continue to be optimistic and hospitable. And their diet is one of the healthiest in the world.

What’s been a traumatic travel-related experience?

In Lagos, I was at a party given in honour of the Archbishop of Canterbury when seafood was served. He wisely declined, but I was greedy. The result? I will leave that to your imagination.

Most memorable view?

Looking over the Serengeti in East Africa, first thing in the morning.

Favourite restaurant?

I love the food at Roast in Borough Market, Southwark, South London. The restaurant is run by a friend and he delivers a superb breakfast.

What’s on your bucket list?

A rail journey through the Rockies.

Where next and what for?

To South Africa to help set up business opportunities for young people involved in a scheme run by YCare, which I co-founded many years ago. 

Then to New Zealand to complete the sequel to The Voyage Of The Golden Handshake. I loved writing as it makes me laugh and I hope will make many readers laugh, too.

Terry Waite’s book, The Voyage Of The Golden Handshake, published by Silvertail Books and available from