Melanie Blatt and mum Helene talk about taking part in Celebrity Race Across the World

Melanie Blatt and mum Helene talk about taking part in Celebrity Race Across the World

Melanie Blatt and mum Helene talk about taking part in Celebrity Race Across the World

Why did you decide to take part in the series?

Melanie: For the experience, to be out of my comfort zone, to do something that I wouldn’t necessarily choose to do on my own. I’m definitely up for challenges and pushing myself… And this is what mum does all the time!

Helene: I like to discover new things and have experiences and it’s one of my passions – travelling, having new experiences.

And have you inherited that adventurous side, Melanie?

Melanie: In a more luxury way! I love to travel, but I like to travel nicely!

How competitive are you?

Melanie: I think we’re quite competitive in our nature, but at the same time we definitely want to enjoy ourselves during this trip. So, we’ve got a bit of a mantra that we’re not going to run, so if somebody is running ahead of us, we’ll let them run!

What kind of traveller would you say you are?

Melanie: I would say I enjoy luxury… But I do also like to experience the country that I’m in. I love wildlife and nature, so that’s always part of a holiday usually too.

What made you want to do this journey together?

Helene: Our relationship is good, but to be together, we’ve never done that just the two of us. So, I think that’s the main thing, to do something that’s just us!

Melanie: Definitely! I’m very aware that anything can happen at any point, so to have this quality time with my mum, it’s to be appreciated and it’s not a given and I’m lucky to even have a mum in the first place. But we’ve not spent one-on-one time, this kind of time together intensely and already before leaving we spent a week together and there were some annoyances – I’m not going to lie!

Helene: And vice-versa!

Melanie: Exactly! We annoy each other, and we’re both deaf so we’re talking to each other and not listening and not hearing so those are the kind of things where we’ll probably drive each other a bit mad! And she [Helene] is also very used to being the boss, and then I’m also very used to being the boss, which can sometimes cause a little bit of friction!

What do you think will be your greatest skills?

Melanie: I think we’re quite open and ready and happy to talk to people and get stuck in. We’re open minded and really up for it! Mum also is French, so she speaks French, plus Spanish and English – just about! So, she’s good with languages, and she’s good with geography, well… better than I am!

How do you feel about travelling without a mobile phone or credit cards?

Melanie: That’s really scary. I haven’t had my phone since about seven o’clock this morning and it’s been an issue! I’m addicted to my phone, it’s always in my hand. Even when I’m watching TV, I’m playing a game on it. You know? Even just not being able to check the time! So, it’s weird not just being able to check the time or google something, it’s going to be so interesting to see what it feels like to just not have a phone.

Did you do anything to prepare for the trip?

Melanie: I got a sunbed! And a McDonalds! Just in case I can’t have one for a month. Jokes aside, no! Maybe we’ll regret that one later, but no we haven’t done any preparation together.

Helene: There’s not much you can do to prepare anyway because we don’t know where we’re going, and we don’t know how much money we’ll have to spend so you can’t prepare really!

Have you taken any tips from watching previous series of RATW?

Helene: Yes! We’ve watched everything!

Melanie: I actually hadn’t watched it. But mum told me about it, because mum and dad actually applied to be on it – the regular version of the show – without even telling us! But as soon as we got a confirmation that we were definitely doing it, that’s when I chose to watch it and I was horrified! So yes, we have watched it and there are a few things that we are going to do, having seen the previous series.

What do the rest of your family make of you two doing this trip together?

Helene: I think they’re happy to get rid of us!

Melanie: They just can’t wait to watch it! That’s their main thing, they’re just like, this is going to be hilarious. Also, mum and dad haven’t been apart from each other since I was about 12, so it’s going to be weird for her not having dad around!

What essentials, that you couldn’t travel without, have you brought with you?

Melanie: Wet wipes! And fags…

Helene: My Swiss Army Knife and also my compass.

Would you say you cope well during a crisis? Are you calm under pressure?

Melanie: I’d like to think so. I know mum is, and I’d like to think I am, but I haven’t really been in these kind of situations before now! I can get stressed, and frustrated perhaps, so this is a very big test for who I am, because I’m normally a very calm person but like I’ve said I’ve not really been in any scary situations.

What’s been your best ever travel experience?

Helene: I think for me, it would be swimming with hammer head sharks in the Galapagos! It would also be the scariest, it was a big surprise but it was an experience which will probably never be repeated, so it was a lucky, lucky day!

Melanie: I’m really blessed that I’ve had so many amazing ones, I’ve been really lucky. But one which is definitely one of my most amazing, is when I went on the Orient Express from Bangkok to Singapore. It was for Save The Wild Tigers and on the last night on the train, I had two of my best friends there, and one of them and her fiancé DJ’d and did this great set with Wham! and all the best tunes, and we were on the back of the train, going fast through Kuala Lumpur and just the wind, and the tunes and everybody dancing, it was brilliant!


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