Talking Travel With Singer John Paul Young

14 December 2015
Read Time: 2.7 mins

He’s one of the most iconic Aussie signers around. A 70s teen idol who cemented himself a place in music history with a string of top 10 hits alongside more than four million record sales.

John Paul Young’s journey to stardom began in the late-60s after migrating from Scotland with his family and it wasn’t long before he made a name for himself in the music world as a regular guest and performer on cult TV show, Countdown.

But it was his 1978 chart-topper Love Is In The Air that put him on the international map, leading to success in the UK and US.

Putting his singing career on the back burner to become a radio DJ, he came out of retirement in 1992 when a version of his biggest hit was used on the soundtrack to Baz Luhrmann's blockbuster, Strictly Ballroom.

 John Paul Young

He later performed the song at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and nine years later was inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame.

Now, ahead of a new series of concert dates, Flight Centre caught up with the performer to get his travel hot picks.

What’s your favourite holiday?

My best holiday was in The Philippines around four years ago. It’s such a stunning and varied place - from full-on Manila to peaceful Siargao.

However, my most memorable trip has to be my very first big adventure, when I emigrated from Glasgow in 1962 to Sydney.

I remember being on the train from Glasgow to London on New Year’s Day; it was so cold my shoes froze to the floor of the carriage and then after that, 28 amazing days at sea on board a P&O cruise ship arriving into Sydney on Australia day.

What’s your carry-on essential?

The one thing I always take with me is my emergency medical kit: band aids, nasal spray, headache tabs, ear plugs, mild sleeping pills and of course a sense of humour. The last one gets used up pretty quickly sometimes!

How do you beat jet lag?

Jet lag is something I just put up with. I’ve tried most things, but ultimately just getting on with whatever you’re doing works best.

 Cape Town - a must for any traveller

What’s your favourite city?

Cape Town - a must for any traveller. Beautiful beaches, insane fishing, wonderful wine and lots of natural wildlife.

The weather is pretty good for most of the year and a trip to the Cape Of Good Hope is a sight you will never forget.

You can actually see the current line that delineates the Indian Ocean where it meets the Atlantic. And there's the baboons - lots of 'em.

Where was your most favourite meal?

A few years ago I was in Rome with my agent on the very swanky Via Venuto. After walking up and down the place for about an hour we settled on a street restaurant with fresh fish on display and we decided to share a whole sea bream.

One fish around 700g between the two us and the bill was $300! Expensive, but tasty.

 Rome's Via Veneto - where a fish can cost $300

Cape Town's best pit stops. What To Eat And Drink In Cape Town

It's always sunny in Noumea. An Endless Summer In New Caledonia


Adventure or luxury?

I’ve done and enjoyed both. Adventure in South Africa and luxury in The Philippines. However, the older I get, the less adventurous I become.

What’s the essential ingredient for a good trip?

Where I go to unwind is almost a daily exercise. I walk down my back yard and sit by the creek and everything seems in order; drinks with mates and a decent open fire in winter do the job too.

What’s your top travel tip?

When I travel I like to be totally organised with all my documents easily accessible. Other than that, my main tip is to - whenever budget allows - travel in comfort. When I fly long haul I try to go business as often as possible - plenty of conversation and a couple of martinis really helps the time fly!

After all, we're constantly being told that it's all about the journey.

 Noumea is next stop

What’s your biggest packing mistake?

My biggest packing mistake would have to be … packing too much stuff. Travel light people! I wish I could learn to.

Where do you want to go next?

Next on my list is national travel to the Gold Coast then to Perth and next year a cruise to Noumea. Part-work, part-holiday.

John Paul Young & The Allstar Band are performing on February 20 at Sydney’s Enmore Theatre and February 27 at Melbourne’s Palm at the Crown.


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Paul Ewart

Originally from the UK, Paul has lived and worked in three different continents: from the heady metropolis of Dubai, to North America and - as of six years ago - Sydney, Australia, a place he now calls home. His travel career spans 13 years across various print and digital outlets. Until recently, he worked as a senior TV producer for Channel 7. Now, he's back doing what he does best: travelling.