A few years ago, a couple of months after he was made leader of the Liberal Democrats, I went to Westminster and interviewed Nick Clegg about his travels for the Guardian. I had the idea after reading a bit about Clegg’s very international background: he’s the son of an Indonesian-born Dutch mother and a half-Russian father, he has roadtripped America with the Theroux brothers, lived in Helsinki, Austria, New York, and Hungary, and has spent 10 years in Brussels as an MEP. He also speaks five languages and has a Spanish wife.
Having scoured through my computer, I managed to find the original audio, in which he talks about time spent in the Netherlands (02:22), his wife’s home town in Castilla-Leon (04:38), road-tripping through America with the Theroux brothers (08:08), Budapest (10:22), Brussels (10:59), the Alps (15:29), the UK (17:07), and the environmental issues associated with travel (20:45). *The sound improves after a few minutes*
Listening back, I wish I’d asked more, but as I mention at the beginning of the interview, at the time I was looking for nuggets of information about where he would recommend visiting – for a travel piece, not politics. Hey ho. He was a nice guy. Definitely a politician, but a nice guy. And he seemed to be a genuine travel enthusiast; noting, at the end of the interview, that “travel genuinely expands the mind”.