A life of fun, fashion and travel

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iol travel july 2 jomaldives.JPG2 SUPPLIED FISHY FUN: Jo-Ann Strauss enjoys the clear blue waters of the Maldives.

Model and television presenter Jo-Ann Strauss is a inspirational speaker and businesswoman who won the Miss SA competition in 2000. She is best known as a presenter on the TV programmes Pasella and Top Billing.

She has interviewed many international stars, including Donatella Versace, Elton John, Katie Melua, Roger Federer, Richard Branson, George Clooney, Antonio Banderas and Charlize Theron.

Her work has taken her to various destinations.

When she’s not in front of the camera, she loves to explore different countries. She shares some of her experiences.

How widely have you travelled?

I’m on my fourth passport, so I have been very fortunate to have travelled quite extensively.

iol travel july 2 jomauritus HIGH JINKS: The crew having fun in Mauritius. SUPPLIED

Where was your favourite holiday or time spent abroad?

I enjoyed the mountains just outside Munich for skiing or, more recently, the Maldives for its gorgeous clear waters and abundant marine life.

Your worst experience on a holiday?

I was stuck for hours in a humid airport where there was one café and it took them two hours to make me the most chewy (and expensive) toasted cheese sandwich ever.

Your funniest experience?

There are so many.

iol travel july 2 jozambia MEETING THE PEOPLE: Getting friendly with the locals in Zambia. SUPPLIED

On my first skiing lesson, I was doing well until the instructor told me that I had the whole slope to myself and that it would be impossible to hit the one red obstacle that lay far to the left and wrap myself around it with so much open space to enjoy.

Well, to me, impossible is nothing. There was a pre-school of five-year-olds also learning to ski.

They watched me as I hit the obstacle and laughed incessantly.

What do you avoid during a holiday?

My BlackBerry and my laptop. I switch them off!

Best meal abroad?

I loved the seafood risotto at a restaurant on the river in Florence with a glass of chianti.

Your favourite place to have a drink on your travels?

The first glass of champagne on the plane always makes me very happy.

What have you learnt from your travels?

There are gorgeous places everywhere on Earth, but coming home to SA makes you realise how blessed we are to live in this slice of paradise.

Ideal travelling companion?

My husband.

Culture vulture or adrenalin junkie?

Adrenalin junkie 70 percent and culture vulture 30 percent.

Greatest travel luxury?

My Louis Vuitton carry-on luggage. I saved up for it for quite a while.

Holiday reading?

Wilbur Smith books and also Karen Swan – she does the chick-lit genre proud. I download lots of books. - Weekend Argus

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