Colin Jackson is a busy man. He may have retired from competing at the highest level, but he’s constantly on the move commentating on sports for TV, appearing in BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing or promoting his charity, Go Dad Run – set up to raise both funds and awareness about men’s health issues. We managed to catch up with him when he was setting forth on more travels, this time to the Caribbean.
Here, there and everywhere
The first thing that Colin stresses is that his professional life and his travels often allow him take some time out in some fantastic destinations. He explains, ‘So, I mean, I’m lucky enough that most of the places I work in or I go to for work, tend to be very glamorous, and you could always find a couple of free moments of spare time. So, it does seem like I’m always on a holiday.’
When talking to kids in schools about his life he often asks,‘How many countries do you think athletics has taken me? And they never get it. There are over 200 countries on the list that are possible, and I’ve only been to 56. So, I haven’t been to that many. And then I think, and realise, 56 is quite a lot!’ And out of all of those countries, Colin recommends that people go on holiday to Croatia. He loves this destination ‘because it’s beautiful. It has everything that Italy has for half the price.’
But, when asked about his favourite country, the speedy response is, in fact, Italy. Colin tells us, ‘I love to go to Italy. It has everything that you want on your doorstep – wonderful beaches, exquisite shoes, beautiful culture, and mountains for skiing. Everything that I enjoy, Italy has on its doorstep. So, when I talk about Europe, Italy’s got to be the place where I would always choose to go on a vacation.’
Another on Colin’s list of fantastic destinations is Florida, this destination conjures up an ideal holiday: ‘I’d most probably head for somewhere where there’s a funfair, lots of junk food, because I feel I could let my hair down properly then.’ It’s reassuring to hear that an elite sportsman unwinds when on holiday, and Colin certainty does. He tells us Florida is perfect for the ‘great weather, the roller-coasters and the shops. That works for me!’
The sportsman first started travelling when his athletics career took off at the age of 16. Long haul flights, short overseas hops – you name it he’s done it. In common with most people, Colin has his packing rituals, and stays close to the things he can’t travel without. When asked what he considered an essential item surprisingly, the answer came back as, ‘I must take a bag of candy. I love our British sweets. They’ve got to be either American hard gums or wine gums. They have to go in the bag!’
Colin may have retired from sport but this doesn’t mean that he is leading a calm life. He loves the outdoors lifestyle in Canada, and is an avid snowboarder and skier. France, Switzerland and Austria are among his top destinations for winter sports and when asked why he liked these destinations he replied simply, ‘for being pure.’ He adds, talking about Switzerland, ‘The lakes are just fantastic with the beautiful mountainous backdrop, it’s just wonderful. So, you know, either of those places, to me, work.’
If you could pick one of the destinations Colin has travelled to, which one would you choose? Let us know in the comments below.