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CELEBRITY TRAVEL CORNER - JIM CUDDY
 
(2014 - Winter/Spring Issue)

Writer: CHRIS RYALL



Strumming and travelling strike the right chord with Jim Cuddy.

When Jim Cuddy was 10 years old and received his first guitar he had a simple dream—to follow in the footsteps of cowboy crooner Roy Rogers. With decades of strumming under his belt, Cuddy has achieved this and much more. Blue Rodeo, the band Cuddy co-founded and still performs with to this day, was awarded a coveted star on Canada’s Walk of Fame in 2009 and was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 2012. As of 2014 now he can add the Order of Canada to his long list of achievements.

Cuddy has never looked back after forming the group with band mate Greg Keelor and playing their first gig as Blue Rodeo in 1985 at the Rivoli club in Toronto. Almost 30 years later Blue Rodeo has sold more than four million records, released 12 studio albums as well as two live albums and a greatest hits collection, picking up 11 JUNO awards in the process. Whether he’s performing as a solo artist or with Blue Rodeo, travelling and strumming are two constants in his life, along with his wife Rena and his three grown children.

Life is a highway for any musician as well as an airstrip however, for personal travel, Cuddy loves nothing more than travelling with family and exploring new cultures—ideally with a glass of fine Italian wine in hand.

Q&A

Why do you travel?

I like the disconnectedness and seeing with fresh eyes every day. I especially like touring places where I don’t necessarily know the language and have to figure out how to navigate through the day.

Do you prefer a relaxing or active holiday?

My wife is an experience-everything, zip-lining type of person and I’m not a chill-out guy. We prefer to experience all we can so we visit places where we’ll see and do a lot. I’m a huge wine connoisseur therefore I want to learn about the wine as I tour the country. Wherever I go, morning runs are part of my regimen, so early mornings are spent exploring. 

Any travel pet peeves?

Passengers who put their seat back too far on a plane. Or once the aircraft has landed, they have their bags and rush up right beside you so you’re confined to your seat and can’t get your bag out.

What’s your favourite spot in Canada and internationally?

I love our Rocky Mountains. If I could choose only one place it would be Italy, because of everything—especially the wine and the landscape.

Any embarrassing travel experiences?

I fainted twice in-flight. Once returning from Austin, Texas. I was exhausted. I am very self-reliant so when I felt light-headed I tried to get to the washroom. Before I knew it, an airline attendant was bent over me and trying to hook me up to an oxygen mask. As I struggled to get up, I said, “No, I’ll get up,” to which she replied, “I guess you’re getting too old to rock.”

What are your must-have travel items?

Probably my headphones and iPod.

Do you have a favourite hotel?

The Fairmont Palliser in Calgary is my favourite. A long time ago, I stayed at the Oberoi in Agra, India, which had beautiful French doors from which I could look down on the Taj Mahal.

 
 
 
 
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