Paul Hudspith, British Airways cabin crew member, has been making videos of his travels every week since 2004. Paul always travels with his (very cool) Brompton foldable bicycle, cycling even under the sweltering sun of Saudi Arabia. The Mad Traveller’s videos can be found on his YouTube channel bromptonglobetrotter.
While Paul had already been to Riyadh earlier in 2011, he most recently made a video on his visit to Jeddah where he talks about the scorching weather, the beautiful architecture, the open-air art museum around the Corniche and his visit to Balad. We were very lucky to catch hold of Paul and speak to him about his travels, his videos and his visit to Jeddah.
Paul, you work for British Airways. Is this what inspires your love of travelling?
I’ve worked as a cabin crew with BA for nine years now and yes, the job does inspire me a lot but it’s mainly exposure to nature programmes as a young child that really gave me a huge appetite to explore the wider world around me. The job is really more of an excellent tool to enable many of my dreams to become a reality.
Of all the Mad Traveller videos you’ve made around the world, which is your favourite?
I’ve been making videos ever since my first trip as crew – which was to Warsaw, Poland on an extremely cold winters’ day in January 2004. Since that first not-so-confident presentation, I’ve developed my shows to the programme format you’ve seen.
Choosing a favourite is always tricky but I would say my top three are: Hong Kong, San Francisco and Tokyo. India is also a fascinating place.
You mentioned some myths and preconceptions about Jeddah in your video. What surprised you the most?
The myths and preconceptions I mentioned referred to Saudi Arabia in general and I would say that the biggest surprise so far has been how amazingly peaceful the cities are. There’s an eerie sense of calm everywhere you go. The allowing of men to wear shorts also came as a surprise.
Your favourite part of Jeddah?
My favourite spot in the city was the coast (Corniche) – beautiful clear waters and an easy ride along the shore line, and some very quirky public displays of art!
How long did it take you to film the video?
The video took around 6 hours to produce and included the time it took to cycle from Jeddah airport to the hotel. The second half was then filmed in the evening.
How did you come to choose Jeddah as one of your destinations?
It wasn’t solely my idea to come to Jeddah – I was rostered to operate the flight as crew. I’m randomly rostered to fly to an average of any 4 global cities served by BA from London per month which could be anywhere in North or South America, Asia, Africa or the Middle East.
And finally, here is the final Mad Traveller video, This Week in Jeddah: