Travelling Makes You a Truly Richer Person
Sydneysider Nicholas Hammond is best known for his roles as Friedrich von Trapp in The Sound of Music, Peter Parker in 1977 television series The Amazing Spider-Man, and, more recently, Sam Wanamaker in Oscar-nominated movie Once Upon a Time in Hollywood—roles which have taken him all around the world since the age of 10, and ignited his passion for travelling.
We sat down with Nicholas during his first visit to Singapore at The Fullerton Hotel Singapore, to hear his unique perspectives on how travel and exploration can make you a truly richer person.
How do you think the concept of “travel” has evolved in the last 10 years? What are people looking out for when they travel today?
People are much more appreciative of whatever cultures they encounter when they travel. Instead of just trying to import their own values everywhere they go, but to actually try to learn from, listen to and absorb the culture of the place they’re in.
The very first film I did was when I was 10 years old, a movie called Lord of the Flies where I went to Puerto Rico and spent 10 weeks on a desert island surrounded by a culture that was totally unlike anything I’d ever seen before. And then I was put on a plane and flown to Salzburg to do The Sound of Music and that was a culture that was completely new to me, but it stays with me to this day.
If I ever see a photograph of Austria or a photograph of the Caribbean, instantly, what comes back to my mind is the experience I have had there, even as a small child.
You don’t have to have all the money in the world. You just have to be willing to open yourself, your heart and your eyes, ears and taste buds to what you’re going to find in whatever new part of the world you go to, and it will make you a better person. And it’ll make you a truly rich person.
I’m learning things by the hour here that I didn’t know before, and I still have the same wonder when I go to a new culture that I had going to Puerto Rico when I was 10, so I hope that never changes. I hope I never get so cynical that I don’t appreciate all the wonders and the riches that the world holds. If you are just willing to embrace them, they’re all out there for you.
What do you enjoy most about travelling around the world?
I always think what makes part of travel interesting and rewarding is to stay in a place that really reflects the culture and the place you're in. Not only the heritage of the past, but also that it's still a living, breathing part of that culture.
I love to travel, and to me, just going from A to B and actually really travelling is allowing yourself to be completely absorbed in that whole culture.
When I first got off the plane and got into that beautiful car that The Fullerton Hotel Singapore has, I immediately felt I was transported back into another time at another world. You pull in, and you see this gorgeous building, this stately beautiful colonial building, this kind of symbol of stability and power and continuity and you just feel uplifted walking through those doors and walking into that big vaulted lobby and that beautiful staircase.
It's wonderful feeling, it's inspiring. I think it does something really good for your heart and your soul to be in a beautiful building. It was a very profound and great thing to arrive here, not just the city itself but this particular place. I can't imagine wanting to be anywhere else in Singapore than here at The Fullerton Hotel Singapore.