Star of the world’s longest-running film series, and showing no signs of retiring from service any time soon, James Bond captured the imagination of the cinema-going public with Dr No in 1962, and has never let go. A combination of sex appeal; fast-paced action; exotic locations such as Phang Nga Bay , featured in The Man with the Golden Gun, or Tangier in The Living Daylights; mind-blowing stunts and witty dialogue has firmly established Ian Fleming’s hero, named after the author of a guide to bird-watching in the West Indies, as a global phenomenon.
There are many aspects of Bond that people take inspiration from – his sense of style, his cool demeanour under pressure, his ability to crack a funny remark in the most dangerous of situations. Personally, I have always loved the way that whenever he fetches up in a new destination he’s completely at ease with his surroundings from the moment he steps off the plane, or jumps out of it.
If you’d like to travel like Mr Kiss-Kiss Bang-Bang, here’s how to go about it:
Pack Like a Professional
You never see James Bond waiting by the baggage claim. He’s out of the airport doors and into his chauffeur-driven within moments. Why? Because even though he may have an open-ended mission that could last days, or months, he knows how to pack a bag.
Key points to remember:
– if you want to travel hand-luggage only, you need to make the most of the space you have, and take just the bare essentials. Roll up clothes to save space and avoid wrinkles. Pack socks and any other small items into shoes, and place rolled-up belts in the collars of your shirts to keep them in shape. A packet of washing-powder, and a piece of string with some clothes pegs, will allow you to keep your wardrobe fresh for weeks at a time. And if like Bond, you never travel without a suit, make tracking down a good dry-cleaner the first thing you do on arrival.
Gadgets – assuming you don’t have your own Q-branch at home, you’ll have to arrange your vital gadgets yourself. A multi-purpose charger, a universal plug, and a travel modem so you can easily set up your own private VPN for your laptop or modem, should cover the basics. Wrap cables around pieces of card to keep them from getting tangled, and if you’re going to the beach, always bring a sealable plastic bag for your phone.
Security – don’t be that person who frustrates everyone else in the queue by arriving completely unprepared and holding everything up. As you approach security, go through your clothing and put anything metallic into one pocket. Wear slip-on shoes so you can quickly whip them off, and if you are travelling on Her Majesty’s Secret Service, be sure and ask for an upgrade.
A defining characteristic of Bond is his ability to think on his feet. Whenever a mission goes off the rails, he’s able to come up with a workable Plan B on the move. If you’re the type of person who prefers to know what they’re doing every day on holiday, then you run the risk of being caught out if events turn against you. Being adaptable is the key to a relaxed holiday.
Get A Fixer
Another staple of the Bond franchise is that whenever he arrives in a new destination, he’ll usually have someone waiting for him with local knowledge so that he can hit the ground running. If you want to really get beneath the skin of a city, you should try and find a local resident you can trust. A homestay is a great idea for this, but you may also meet a friendly taxi driver who will show you around for a good price, or just get to know someone on the beach. If you’re looking for a good meal, don’t ask “Where should I eat?” – ask “Where would YOU eat?” Essentially – be open and friendly with the locals, and you’ll usually find good things come your way.
Whether taking part in a kung-fu class, having a ride on a space-flight simulator, or kite-surfing in the Antarctic, Bond never flinches from alien experiences. Travelling the world is a great excuse to have adventures you might never dream of back home, whether it be sky-diving in New Zealand, river rafting in South America, or ice-climbing in Scandinavia. What to do today? See where the wind takes you.
See the world
Bond’s family motto is “The world is not enough”, and for any traveller, that’s a statement to live by. It’s a great big world out there, and life’s too short to hang around. So get out there and explore, have adventures, and let tomorrow take care of itself.