What I love about travelling is waking up in a new place for the first time. I always wake up before everyone else, and love looking out the window, enjoying the potential of the trip. It's so exciting to know that you're about to explore somewhere brand new, and to wonder what you're about to find. 
 
When I was a kid my holidays included coming home to Ireland because we lived in America. My parents would do their best to scrape together the airfare, and then we'd be shipped around from relative to relative for about six weeks. One summer we stayed in the States and drove to Camp Jellystone in Illinois, which had Yogi Bear-themed activities. I remember having a great time there, but I think my parents' perspective on it is a little different.
 
My best travel experience was when I arrived at my pensión in San Sebastian to find the best mother/daughter hosting team the world has ever seen. These two women gave us a hand-drawn map identifying all of the best pintxo bars the city had to offer, as well as what to order in each place (mother speaking in Spanish, daughter speaking in English - somehow, in that moment, I understood both languages). They had connections everywhere; telling us to tell the people in each place Leire and Carmen had sent us! As a result we ate the most incredible food and had a brilliant time.
 
My worst travel experience was when I headed over to France on exchange for a couple of weeks when I was 16. I was going to stay with a family my mom had au paired for, so I was on my absolute best behaviour, terrified I was going to destroy a relationship that had lasted decades. I had to get a connecting flight from Paris to Lyon in Charles de Gaulle, but no one had told me that there were different terminals. I was sitting in Terminal 1 wondering why my flight wasn't up on the board for ages before I asked. Needless to say, after a desperate dash to the correct terminal and a harried conversation with a nonchalant Air France employee, I missed the flight. It was all fine in the end but at the time it was awful.
 
The world's best city is London. I love everything about it. I love the accents; I love the theatre, the food, the atmosphere. I never, ever want to leave, and when I'm there I always feel like anything could happen at any given moment. I also have to mention Barcelona, which I absolutely adore. How can you complain about a city that beautiful, which also has a beach option?
 
The strangest thing I have experienced while away was a strangely wonderful moment on New Year's Eve in London. My friend and I had lost our other friends and wound up wandering aimlessly around Shoreditch at around 4:00am when we ran into a guy wearing only white fur and body glitter. We started chatting and he bundled us into a taxi and took us to an amazing party, which went on well into the next day. It was a bit of a magical moment.
 
If I won the Lotto I would buy apartments in Dublin, New York, London and Barcelona, and spend a significant portion of the year on a yacht. 
 
The best hotel I have ever stayed in is The Drake in Chicago. It's a beautiful and iconic hotel with views of Lake Michigan and loads of history. Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio carved their initials into the bar of The Cape Cod Room, its seafood restaurant, and you can still see them there. The host at that restaurant is (or was) an Irishman named Michael who has been there for years, seen everything and met everyone. It's a special place. 
 
My favourite place in Ireland is Galway, having lived there from 2007 to 2010. It's such an amazing city with great people and atmosphere. I feel deeply connected to it.
 
My favourite travel book is A Room with a View by E.M. Forster. It made me desperate to go to Florence and see the red roofs and gaze across the Arno. 
 
My next holiday is unplanned as of now. I can't travel at all at the moment because I'm sick, and if it's possible to have cabin fever in a country, I definitely have it. I won't be able to venture far, but I think once I'm given the go-ahead to travel I'll head somewhere warm where I have to do very little. Either that or London, which will be the opposite.
 
I always bring back very little these days. The restrictions on luggage mean I'm always trying to do a holiday with carry-on only and therefore there's little room for souvenirs.
 
The craziest thing I have seen on holiday is a massive brass band sitting on the ground, playing a gig in one of the tiny laneways of San Sebastian's old town.
 
I never go travelling without books. Even if I've been going through a bad literary patch at home, I always really enjoy reading while I'm away.
 
Louise McSharry is a broadcaster and journalist. She presents The Louise McSharry Show on RTÉ 2FM and is a columnist with Insider Magazine in the Irish Independent. She likes food too much, the internet far, far too much, and exercise too little.