Jet Set: Michael Roche

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 10 June, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 10 June, 2009, 12:00am

Michael Roche, executive director, Singapore Formula 1 (above)

What's your favourite seat on a plane?

I'm a window guy and I sit as close to the front as I can: it's less claustrophobic, but away from the galley and washrooms.

How can we become more airport-friendly travellers?

Don't arrive too early, but never too late; don't take hefty hand luggage; have a pre-flight foot reflexology massage where possible; shop for things you never have time to get around to in non-airport mode; make sure your luggage is easily identifiable and carries a priority tag.

What's your travel horror story?

There are many. Arriving at the luggage carousel in Hong Kong airport to find my bag with US$7,000 of personal belongings stolen. A 42-hour long run of flights from Singapore to Taipei to Los Angeles to Washington to Miami to Rio de Janeiro. The return was even longer via La Paz, Panama, San Francisco and Tokyo to Singapore. Arriving in fog-bound Srinigar, Kashmir, with bullets and bombs going off, and being stuck on a house boat for days with little food and no flight out.

How do you get the most out of a new city in a limited time?

Do your homework before arriving. Ask friends who have been before to recommend places and introduce you to people they know who live there. Walk as much as you can - you'll take in more.

What's your most memorable experience when travelling?

Again many: first time seeing the Manhattan skyline; trekking in the Himalayas, turning a corner and seeing Everest for the first time; first landing at Kai Tak at night; first visit to the Golden Temple in Kyoto; paragliding off the Rio cliffs and landing on Ipanema beach.

What's your next big trip and why?

End of the month to Los Angeles to work and meet with artists, event managers and agents and plan shows for Asia. Then on to Orlando for a Trends fashion meeting with Hard Rock International. Next stop London to meet my wife, daughter and friends, then on to Yorkshire to see more family and friends and then Paris to party.

Given HK$100,000 to travel, how would you spend it?

If I had the time, long and slow.

What kind of traveller are you?

Impatient when travelling by plane. I love to take long driving holidays in places like New Zealand. Adventurous and intrepid. Totally hopeless, I love to just sit on a beach.

Is there one country or city that has pleasantly surprised you - how?

Cambodia and Nepal for the kindness of the people and their enduring hope in the face of such adversity.