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My Travelling Life

Just roll with it: actress Lucy Tops on how to have happy travels

There's no point in stressing when you travel - just make memories, and enjoy every second, advises 'Significant Other' star Lucy Tops

27 May 2018 - 00:00 By Elizabeth Sleith

My family moved to South Africa from the UK so I have early memories of visiting the family. We also lived in Spain for two years when I was little. I was fascinated by the women and the way they danced (flamenco).
I have a memory of us going to a festival in a forest with all the people dancing in their full flamenco gear, live music, horses, and ox wagons with their colourful details. It definitely added to my love for music.
For a perfect holiday, I need down time to read and sleep, plenty of outdoor time, and good food and company.
I went on honeymoon to Phuket, Thailand. If  has so much to offer with its beautiful beaches and landscapes. The people are really friendly and I could eat Thai food every day.
My husband Alex and I would hire a scooter and just set off in any direction, jumping in the ocean now and again, passing elephants, stopping at clifftop bars.
We happily ate the street food like spicy chicken or a jalapeño on a stick, or drank from a freshly cracked coconut.  The Phi Phi Island tour is a must especially if you’re a movie fan like me and wanted to go to The Beach.
I came home sunkissed, full of love and special memories.My best holiday ever was my most recent one - New York, which was a dream come true. It was Christmas time and it all felt so magical. I loved just walking around looking at all the buildings and feeling that "energy" everyone talks about.
We watched some amazing shows on Broadway; we took the free Staten Island Ferry and waved at the Statue of Liberty; we rode the subway; and went to the Rockefeller Centre, Moma and the Museum of Natural History. Of course, we had to have bagels and coffee for breakfast.The highlight, though, was ice skating in Central Park and we even played ping pong in a basement jazz club. Times Square, as touristy as it is, still is magical and full of amazing characters: "Hey lady, lemme read ya fortuuuuune!"
My most relaxing destination was Vilamendhoo Island in the Maldives. What an absolute treat that was - we felt like royalty.
It’s hard to name my favourite restaurant. There are so many great places. One place that comes to mind is in Cape Town: Nonna Lina on Orange Street. Their pizzas are amazing.
I also love that when you arrive they give you complimentary bruschetta - and do save a little space for their tiramisu.My favourite city is New York.China was pretty adventurous for me. I was straight out of theatre school and spending time there in a hotel as a lounge singer.
I befriended a lot of the staff and we went to Nanjing and found these natural hot springs. I also ate insanely deliciously street food from back alleys, which I never would have tried alone.When people travel, they should talk to people who live there, who have grown up there. Learn about the history. It's one of the most enriching things you can do in your life. Don't worry if things don't go to plan, just roll with it.
Also, keep a diary. It's so precious looking back and reading journals from the years gone by.
Don't forget how lucky you are to be there. Many people never leave their own zip codes and just fly away in books.
I always travel with Stugeron — I suffer awful motion sickness, as well as lip balm, chewing gum and plenty of water. So that’s more than one but all essentials!
On my next holiday, I will be spending Christmas in Abu Dhabi with family.
• Lucy Tops is starring in 'Significant Other' at the Fugard Theatre in Cape Town from May 30 2018...

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