Where is it?

A small strip of beach not far from the village of Mandrem in North Goa. It used to be a very cut-off spot of coastline on the Arabian Sea where there was nothing but palm trees, cows and mosquitos, but now there is a string of huts, beach bars and ramshackle shops, as well as one or two pretty excellent restaurants.

Why do you go there?

To switch off, literally and figuratively. I don't use or even look at my phone, do no work, just read Jack Reacher-type novels, drink cold beer and jump in the sea every hour or so. We go in December, when it is 32C and dry every day – I need the Vitamin D or I am basically evil from November until April.

How often do you go?

I would live there if I had my way. But it's more like two Christmases out of every three.

How did you discover it?

We have a friend who used to decamp there every December; she was dialled into the hippy trance scene out there. I was reluctant to go to India, convinced my digestive system couldn't hack the microbes, or my squeamish constitution deal with the grinding poverty. Wrong on both counts. It was love at first sight.

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What's your favourite memory?

Last Christmas there was a full solar eclipse one morning, and for about an hour the temperature dropped by about five degrees, the morning sky went gravel-grey and all the monkeys in the trees started screaming like it was the apocalypse. Bizarre but exciting.

Who do you take?

My wife and our daughters, who run like wild dogs on the beach for a week, bodyboarding in the waves and making friends.

What do you take?

Books. Shorts. Nothing else.

What do you leave behind?

All my thoughts of the past.

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Sum it up in five words.

A million miles from anywhere.

What travel spot is on your post-lockdown wish list?

Well, I have had to postpone research trips to Istanbul, Aachen, Cordoba and Venice, as well as a holiday to Morocco. So, I already have a list as long as your arm.

Dan Jones presents Walking Britain's Roman Roads, 5Select, Wednesdays, at 9pm. Catch-up on episodes on My5