Five Miles Up with … Usain Bolt

Greg Keraghosian
CompassMay 29, 2013
five miles up

Usain St. Leo Bolt. The proclamation following that name – World’s Fastest Man. The Jamaican-born track and field star claimed six Olympic gold medals and broke the 100m world record three times and the 200m record two times. His impressive stats: 100m in 9.58, 200m in 19.19 and 4X100 in 36.84. Of course, breaking all those records involves traveling the globe; this year alone to Rio, Grand Cayman, Paris, Moscow, Zurich and Brussels. Bolt’s itinerary rarely includes sightseeing. “Sadly, my competition schedule didn’t allow me to visit anywhere in London during the 2012 Olympics.” So where does the fastest man on earth like to vacation? Far from the maddening crowds where Twitter feeds can’t find him.

What’s something you never fail to pack in your suitcase?
I always pack my sweater/coat, because I hate being cold.

Carry-on or check-in?
Definitely carry-on.

Window or aisle?
Oh, must be a window. The only instruction I give to my travel agent when I’m flying is that it must be a window seat.

What’s your idea of the perfect vacation?
Doing absolutely nothing but relaxing and getting a lot of rest.

Tell us about a vacation you’ve taken that’s come close thus far.
After this year’s Olympics, I went to a private villa in Jamaica where no one had access to me for a week and just relaxed.

What’s the worst vacation you’ve taken?
I honestly can’t recall ever having a bad vacation.

Where’s your favorite destination for practicing your sport?
There are quite a few, but wherever the energy is great from the crowd, I usually enjoy the meet.

What's the most unusual souvenir you ever came back from your travels with?
I was given a lucky stone on vacation in Australia.

Ever try a food you wished you hadn't?
Anything with onion, I always regret it.

Favorite hotel, resort, yurt, train, boat you've ever stayed in/on?
Stayed at a hotel in Paris after the Olympics. I can’t remember the name, but it was the best room I’ve ever had in all my travels.

Biggest regret you've ever had while on vacation?
I tweeted where I was staying and that’s when the vacation ended. People turned up every day to see me.

The one thing you're willing to splurge on above all else.

Three songs (or artists) on your travel playlist?
Jay-Z, Rihanna and a lot of Reggae/dancehall music.

Where would you take someone visiting your hometown for the first time?
I would take them to experience rafting on the Martha Brae River in Falmouth, Trelawny. It’s an exhilarating river ride on a 30-foot handmade bamboo raft that’s piloted by a trained “raft captain” who will glide the raft upstream through the lush Jamaica countryside.