Relaxing in a bath of wine is not, in fairness, a routine day at the office for Jennifer Reoch. Not yet, anyway.
She may have travelled around the world but she found her dream job, presenting a TV holiday show, right here at home and was tempted to enjoy the therapeutic benefits of a dip in vino while filming in Spain.
“We went to the old city spa in Seville where, at one point, I found myself sitting in a bath of wine,” she said. “You don’t drink it, thankfully, but you are supposed to benefit from all the antioxidants. It was certainly a novelty.
“It has always been my dream to do a holiday show. When I was younger, I used to watch Jill Dando’s holiday programme.
“And I realised then that was what I wanted to do. If you told 10-year-old Jennifer she would one day work on a holiday programme, she would have lost her mind.”
Jennifer is the face of BBC Scotland’s first holiday programme, Getaways, which sees her travel across the globe to seek out this summer’s best holiday destinations.
Travel is a passion that first began for Jennifer 10 years ago, while studying law and French at Glasgow University.
“I spent a while living in Lyon and it was amazing – and so accessible for the rest of Europe,” she said. “We would go for a wee jaunt over to Rome, or to Geneva for the day and it was so easy to do on a student budget.”
Since then, Jennifer confesses she’s been bitten by the travel bug.
“I love a holiday. In fact, I’m the sort of girl who will take any excuse to get away,” she said. “I’m happiest with a map in hand going out to explore. In the last few years, I’ve made travelling one of my top priorities. I’ve been to so many places, but there are still so many adventures on my bucket list.
“The last year has been pretty full-on. I started 2019 flying out in January for three-and-a-half weeks in Peru, doing the Inca trail and seeing Machu Picchu and trekking through the Andes.
“It was amazing, absolutely brilliant. I went into the Amazon rainforest and did sandboarding in the desert. It was incredible.”
The trip signalled a year of travel opportunities for Jennifer, a former Miss Scotland, and she couldn’t be more delighted.
As well as finding the best Philly cheese steak in Philadelphia, chilling in the small towns of Rijeka and Opatija in north Croatia and soaking up the sun in Seville while filming for Getaways, she also celebrated her 30th birthday with boyfriend of eight years, Jamie Hunter, in the south of France.
“The destinations for Getaways were such a fantastic experience, largely because we relied on tips from family, friends and people on social media so we knew the best places to go,” said Jennifer. “And in Croatia, we stayed in a boatel – basically a boat that has been converted into a hostel. It was one of those places you wouldn’t really come across unless someone told you about it. It’s often these wee nuggets of information that really make a trip. There is no better travel guide than experience.”
And when it comes to travel, Jennifer is certainly experienced. In fact, she’s had so many memorable holidays, she struggles to keep track.
“One of my favourites was at the end of 2015, when I went to Australia for three weeks with my sister Catriona,” she recalled.
“It was a chance to spend some quality time together and have a holiday experience that will stay with us for a lifetime. We saw Brisbane, Melbourne and went snorkelling with turtles and clown fish on the Great Barrier Reef.
“But the best bit was seeing in the New Year in Sydney. We managed to get a prime spot where we could see the Harbour Bridge and Opera House… watching the fireworks go off was one of those really big moments. As were our family holidays when I was a child.
“We did a lot of caravanning in the likes of Pitlochry and Arran, but every couple of years we would go abroad somewhere sunny and just spend a week or two by the pool.
“I was a huge fan of kids’ club, where we would spend our days playing games and nights at the mini disco. I can still remember the songs now, even after all these years.”
Jennifer also has fond memories of a break in South Africa with Jamie back in 2014. “That was pretty special,” she said. “We did Table Mountain, Cape Town and followed the route up the east coast to do a safari. It was quite magical.”
It was actually a shared love of travel that brought Jennifer and Jamie together.
“Jamie is from Edinburgh and I’m from Glasgow, but we actually met at a summer camp in West Virginia,” said the TV presenter.
While there are no wedding bells ringing just yet, turning 30 last year has inspired Jennifer to just let whatever is going to happen, happen.
“I wasn’t looking forward to it (turning 30). I thought life as I knew it would be over. But now I’m officially old and it’s actually not too bad. I think I’m just going to try to relax more and not stress.”
Japan and Cuba are next on Jennifer’s list. But, just like Dorothy in The Wizard Of Oz, the Glasgow girl says there’s no place like home.
“As much as I love travelling, there’s nothing like coming back to Scotland,” she said. “If the weather was better, I would never leave.”
Jennifer added: “Getaways couldn’t be airing at a better time. It’s warm and fuzzy TV, which is perfect for January when we are all a bit cold and wet and miserable after the festivities.
“I might actually retire because I don’t think it can get much better. I have peaked. But I might need to wait until I win the lottery for that.”
Getaways, BBC Scotland, Thursday, 8pm
Enjoy the convenience of having The Sunday Post delivered as a digital ePaper straight to your smartphone, tablet or computer.
Subscribe for only £5.49 a month and enjoy all the benefits of the printed paper as a digital replica.Subscribe