Using travel as a form of self-discovery, Vic Naidoo likes to roam the globe. Restricted by lockdown (for now), he revives his wanderlust by sharing his adventures with us.
Fresh, unapologetic and inclusive, he’s the guy who brings his honest brand of humour to your airwaves between 1pm and 4pm weekdays. As a presenter on KZN’s No.1 Hit Music Station, East Coast Radio, Vic Naidoo is living his dream. The only thing that’s missing right now though is the freedom to travel – something he is incredibly passionate about and finds solace in.
“I absolutely love it! I learn so much about me whenever I travel and I come back home more connected to myself.”
If it wasn’t for the pandemic, Vic would’ve been prepping and packing for a trip to Greece or Spain this year. They are at the top of his bucket list, followed closely by Bali, New York and India, which is another mission he’s got lined up.
“I’ve been lucky enough to have travelled to many places around the world, with London, the South of France and Monaco (because I’m obsessed with Princess Charlene) being my favourites so far. The biggest cultural shock I experienced while travelling was how well public transport works in Europe! We could learn a lot. I also often like to travel overseas around my birthday – to avoid birthday calls LOL! And since my mom and I share the same birthday, I am dying to treat her to a trip to India for our birthday.”
Reflecting on some of his travel experiences, Vic recalls his first trip to Germany as being pretty horrendous. “I landed in Munich and needed to find my way to my hotel from the airport, but people were not very friendly and I struggled to find anyone who could speak English. I hopped from one train to the next, holding my breath, until well after midnight when I eventually got off and walked to a little shop where I found someone who could understand and guide me in the right direction. That was the day I learnt to read a map!”
On a trip to Thailand with his family Vic says he had a little too much to drink on the first night and tripped and broke his ankle. “For the next 10 days, I was stuck in my hotel room watching Netflix, while everybody else got to enjoy the island! Lesson learnt!”
By far the most enlightening experience Vic says he has had was in Paris. “I was going through a breakup, and took myself off to the Champ de Mars – the huge green park behind The Eiffel tower – where I treated myself to cheese and wine. I spent most of the day staring at the tower and eventually woke up to the fact that life is too short to be sad about anyone. That changed everything for me.”
Being more of a romantic and less of an adrenalin adventurer, Vic loves anything with history and says a visit to the Vatican is a must for every first time visitor to Rome. “The Vatican Museum and St Peters in Vatican City are two star attractions steeped in history and beautiful architecture that has been so well preserved over time. This really was a spiritual experience for me.
“Something hair-raising and fascinating at the same time was the four days I spent in Amsterdam. I can ride a bicycle, but learning to ride one along some of busiest streets in the world, minding buses and trains and trams on route, is a completely different ball game.”
As for the best views he has ever seen, Vic says it has to be Monaco for the sea and its magnificent sunsets. “Monaco Harbour with all its mega yachts…Monte Carlo Casino, an iconic landmark that was made to be photographed…it is simply stunning, and of course there’s the royal palace perched above it all!”
When it comes to food, he says, “the best food I ever ate on my travels was a pea soup I had in Austria. I’m not sure if it was the soup or the cold that made it so delicious!”
And as for an experience no visitor to France should ever forego, Vic says the magic of Paris’ most legendary cabarets, The Moulin Rouge is a must.
“It was the end of my holiday, I was on the last of my spending money and the show cost the equivalent of abut R3 000 at the time, but I didn’t know if I’d ever return and I didn’t want to regret not going, so I did. The show was excellent, costumes breathtaking, dancers gorgeous and the acts in-between really great. This is something that should be done at least once in a person’s life. It was worth every cent.”
Locally, Mpumalanga is one of Vic’s most loved South African travel destinations. Otherwise known as the ‘Place where the Sun Rises’, he says people are drawn to the province by its magnificent scenery, fauna and flora, and the fascinating remnants of the 1870 gold-rush era.
Being the travel enthusiast he is, Vic’s home is a shrine to all of his wayfaring adventures. Lots of colour, loads of quirks and plenty of character.
“There’s something to capture your eye in every corner. Comfort is the most important thing to me and I’ve filled my home with picture frames and mementos (crockery, TV blankets and art) from some of my favourite travel destinations to remind me of my journeys.”
The items Vic cannot travel without are his travel wallet to hold his passport, money and tickets, a good sunblock and a comfortable pair of sneakers.
He’s admittedly not brilliant when it comes to saving, but says he lives vicariously with the belief that if you want something that much, you will always make a plan, and that he does!
Text: BRONWYN FORBES-HARDINGE
Photo: PENNY KATZ PHOTOGRAPHY