Who are you?
I’m Cat, founder of Cat Turner, a British brand of boutique-style summer dresses, ethically made in London and with a focus on sustainability.
I live in London and am married.
What is your favourite country?
Having extensively travelled and lived as an expatriate in fantastic places like Barcelona and Singapore, this is nigh on impossible to answer.
As a solo traveller, I would say New Zealand had a profound impact – its natural beauty is simply breathtaking.
Travelling as a couple, my heart has been captured by the dreaminess of Italy…it has such incredible charm and beauty and there are so many destinations in that one country that I could happily go back to again and again, without even talking about the food…
What is the best food you ever had?
I am a complete and utter foodie and love all kinds of food. One of my biggest foodgasms though has to be experiencing an authentic raclette in France. You literally have a massive chunk of cheese melt in front of your very eyes, thanks to a hot plank and are surrounded by potatoes and charcuterie
What was the best trip you ever had and why?
So many to choose from, but two would be my round the world trip solo, which was such an adventure and gave me such a feeling of liberation and achievement. The countries I saw, the people I met and the experiences I had will always stick with me. I skydived and swam with wild dolphins in New Zealand (not at the same time I hasten to add!) and gate-crashed Vin Diesel’s private party in Las Vegas.
My first trip with my (pre) husband was to Lake Como and it was truly magical.
What is the worst travel experience you had and why?
I’d say one of my least successful trips was embarking on a solo weekend trip to the capital of Batam, an Indonesian island off Singapore, and coming back 24 hours later after spending all day in my incredibly basic hotel room. Nothing bad happened, I just didn’t feel comfortable there at all.
From experience, I would like to advise women though, to think responsibly and sensibly when they travel alone and don’t have someone reliable watching their back. You need to think twice about going ahead with more risky adventures, destinations or experiences. Sometimes our sense of adventure can get the better of us!
How much do you go on holidays per year?
We try and go 3-4 times, allowing some time for visiting family members in Switzerland and France, time to properly discover a completely new destination and time to do a road trip where we get to see as many places as possible in a short period of time.
Solo or group travel?
What is your dream holidays?
Discovering and exploring exceptional places, enjoying great food and drink, sharing it with people you love and having the odd adventure or surprise…ideally without the crowds. Japan, Oman and Sicily are on the hitlist.
If money wasn’t an issue what kind of trip would you do?
I haven’t yet managed one of the more luxurious beach escapes like to the Maldives or the Seychelles and would love to experience that.
Favourite part of travelling?
Travelling to a destination is my least favourite part. My favourite part is actually being there, soaking it all up, indulging in the food and drink, connecting with people and the joy of the escape.
More hotel, Airbnb, guesthouses or hostel type of traveller?
Travelling solo I have been more hostel – and absolutely loved it – it’s the best place to meet people.
Travelling with friends it has been more hotel.
Travelling with hubbie, it has been more Airbnb, but we also enjoy the odd hotel escape.
Backpack or luggage?
Once upon a time it was a backpack, now it’s luggage.
Same holidays or always new?
Usually always new as there are too many places to see in the world. The only three places that have lured me back, aside from somewhere you’d expect like Paris, have been Bali (4 times), Lake Como and the Amalfi Coast.
Best travel advice?
I have always been quite organised in my travels, using tools such as Lonely Planet and TripAdvisor to make sure I go to the best places. My father and husband have more of a “follow your nose” approach and through them, I have definitely learned how to put down my book or phone and appreciate their way of discovering places. Sometimes you fall on some real gems and have incredible travel experiences by simply taking life a little slower, not planning as much and “following your nose” .
“Of all the books in the world, the best stories are found between the pages of a passport.”