A Life in Travel
The Chilean-born actor on his favourite travel memories
What do you miss most about travel right now?
I was about to start a national stand-up tour the week we went back into lockdown so I’m missing getting paid.
What are your strongest memories from the first overseas trip you ever took?
My first overseas trip was coming to New Zealand with my family from Chile when I was 6. I remember missing my grandparents and extended family heaps but was also really excited about the new life we were about to begin living in New Zealand. Best move we ever made.
What was a standard family holiday like when growing up?
We never took any big trips overseas but we did quite a few family road trips. We’d go to Taupō a lot. We went to the snow once but I couldn’t enjoy it because I’d broken my ankle and had a cast on. My dad ended up sawing it off that day so I could enjoy the holiday, much to the doctor’s disapproval.
Who has most inspired your travels?
My family and food. I’ve been back to Chile to visit my family quite a bit since we moved here and pretty much every other country I’ve been to was more or less because I watched a cooking travel show about it.
What is the greatest trip you’ve ever been on?
In 2011 I went to Chile to make a documentary with a few of my best friends. The volcano cloud had just happened so we ended up staying way longer and insurance covered everything. I got to see my family for longer and hang out with my best mates in my home country in a flash hotel that cost us nothing.
And the worst?
We got the worst food poisoning in Peru and spent about five days bedridden then flew to New York where my partner ended up going to hospital because of it.
What’s your approach to packing for a trip?
I’m big on rolling my clothes instead of folding. And I’m paranoid about getting robbed so I have a bumbag around my chest with my passport and cash in it.
What is the destination that most surprised you — good or bad?
I went to Japan a few years ago — Tokyo and Kyoto. I knew Tokyo would be crazy and futuristic and intense but I didn’t know how completely different other parts of it would be in comparison, like Kyoto. It was like we travelled 1000 years into the future to Tokyo then 2000 years back in time to Kyoto.
Where was your most memorable sunrise/sunset?
Buenos Aires, Argentina. Amazing sunsets followed by thunderstorms every night we were there.
What’s the first thing you do when you get home from a long trip?
Go see my daughter, Freddie.
What do you miss most about home when you travel?
Where is the one destination you must see in your lifetime?
I’ve always wanted to go to Somaliland. It’s a self-declared independent state but technically still part of Somalia. It has a huge history and is less troubled than Somalia. I read about it a few years ago and have been obsessed with it since.
What’s your favourite thing about travel?
Food, people and being out of your comfort zone.