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#Trailblazer: Mikey Walsh: ‘I spent a whole day in New York looking for the Ghostbusters set!’

#Trailblazer: Mikey Walsh: ‘I spent a whole day in New York looking for the Ghostbusters set!’

He’s the handsome, enigmatic author of the best-selling and often heartbreaking memoirs Gypsy Boy and Gypsy Boy on the Run.

Here, born traveller Mikey Walsh – voted number 70 on the recent Independent On Sunday Rainbow List – shares his experiences on the road: from Christmas at London’s Borough Market to the ‘patchwork quilt’ view of a dream-like, mountain-top Italian village he’s forgotten the name of…

Where’s your dream destination?
I really want to go to Estonia where the Goonies was filmed! It’s the Goonies 30th anniversary next year, and they’re having a big Goonies weekend on June 4 – I really want to go!

Where’s your next holiday?
Hopefully Estoria!

What has been your best holiday?
New York, I went recently. It was my first time there so I spent the entire time thinking of it as a film and TV set. I spent a whole day finding the Ghostbusters place, and Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City’s stoop. There’s a chain on the front, so we sat two doors down!

What’s the most random place on earth you’ve visited?
Being a gypsy I spent most of my youth moving from place to place every week or so, so you get to see quite a lot of random places. Setting up home on the side of a busy motorway, I guess is pretty random. And walking outside the trailer in the morning and finding yourself surrounded my pigs… I miss the travelling life. Very much.

Where’s your favourite place in the UK?
London – it’s got Mary Poppins, Bedknobs and Broomsticks… I love Borough Market in the winter. There truly is nothing more Dickensian than walking below those arches around the food market as that brass band plays. When we used to drive through London when I was a little boy, I always dreamed I’d get out and sit between the paws of one of the big iron lions at Trafalgar Square. I find that I do that a lot now. It’s a place I like to go and regress, take time out, and breathe in the city. I also love Judy Garland’s house in Belgravia. It’s small, grubby, and terribly unspectacular, but there’s always someone outside, paying respects, putting down flowers, or just sitting there, as if it were an altar.

Where’s the most remote place on earth you’ve visited?
I was in a small town in Italy with an unpronounceable name for a music event, and it was incredibly remote and not a tourist in sight. The town sat on top of a mountain and at the peak of it was a church, with a view that made the world look like a patchwork quilt. I had never felt more alive just looking out at it.

Have you ever experienced homophobia abroad?
No. I wouldn’t even consider some of the countries that I know are quite hardcore [when it comes to LGBTI rights] – I’ve experienced enough homophobia here in the UK.

Visit Mikey’s official website here