What Travel has taught me

There are many lessons — big and small — to be learned from travelling. Some notable Kiwis share theirs.

The life of a touring musician can be pretty hectic. On my last tour of Europe, I flew for two solid days — three flights and then a two-hour train ride to the AirBnB, arrived late at night and had a 4am call time for a performance on German breakfast TV, followed by 20 shows in 22 days. I take any stolen moment I can for self-care: Facetime with my family, a 20-minute massage in an airport, a manicure between soundcheck and the show, all those things allow me some much-needed alone time when travelling with a band. In addition, a few things I can’t live without on the road are:

Humidiflyer: Invented by an Air NZ flight attendant, this little face mask keeps you hydrated, protects from nasty airplane germs and helps manage jet lag so I can hit the ground running when I arrive. The All-Blacks use it, as well as many professional singers. You look a bit weird, but, I wait for the lights to go off and then slip it on.

Trtl Pillow: This is a lifesaver on tour — it allows you to sleep anywhere while seated: planes, trains, greenrooms and tour vans. It looks like a scarf, but has a brace sewn inside that holds your neck upright. Paired with my Bose noise-cancelling headphones, I can grab much-needed rest on the run.

Sea-Legs tablets: I’m prone to motion sickness, which isn’t ideal for a person who travels for a living.

A book: I am a bookworm and always have one on the go. Great for those long waits in airports and train stations.

— Tami Neilson plays the North West Wine, Beer and Food Festival on Saturday 9 February at The Hunting Lodge, Waimauku. Tickets on sale now at Eventfinda.

Whilst I am the type that needs to be at the airport or train station way, way too early, once the journey begins I am super relaxed and pretty much turn off until I arrive … however my brain doesn’t rest or sleep so I am constantly scribbling things down that come to mind.

Upon arriving at the destination I am wired 24/7, there is so much to explore and see. Everyone thinks I travel to see food, food and more food. Whilst this may be true in most instances, I find so many inspirations in people, culture, design and of course food. The real secret is to ensure you capture them, as you never know when you will need to be inspired.

My one piece of advice for anyone travelling is: keep your eyes wide, wide open — there is something to learn every step of the journey.

— Dean Brettschneider

Travel has taught me that a cure for a broken heart is perspective. If you’re sad, the elevation of a plane ride can literally and figuratively lift you out of one way of being and into another. That new outlook — whether from another city in your own country, or on another continent, has a kind of alchemy that turns sadness and loss into adventure and discovery.

I went to Greece for a week with one of my friends. I met her, standing on a jetty where her ferry arrived, on a tiny island in Greece called Spetses. We were both lovesick and confused. We spent a week running amok, drinking beer, eating the best food I’ve ever come across, and reading old paperback books. In the space of days, our hearts were lifted by the blue sea and the warm laughter of strangers, and our cheeks were flushed like the bougainvillea that bloomed everywhere we walked.

— Joel Shadbolt is the lead singer for L.A.B., who have a new album out and will support John Butler Trio at The Hunting Lodge on March 3. Tickets on sale now at Eventfinda

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