Kiwi musician Miles Calder reveals his favourite holiday memories
What do you miss most about travel right now?
Exploration and inspiration. Forcing change in myself and getting out of routine. Travel often comes with a lot of music listening and songwriting for me on planes and trains.
What are your strongest memories from the first overseas trip you ever took?
A family holiday to Phuket, Thailand when I was 15. I remember the sea was beautiful, the food so delicious (and spicy), but I was struck by how poor people were on backstreets just off the tourist path. My brother had been living in London for about 2 years and he met us in Thailand. That’s something great about travel I still love; the opportunity to rendezvous with old friends and family in interesting places.
What was a standard family holiday like when growing up?
Usually a bach in Kāpiti, Hawke’s Bay or seeing family in Nelson. Always beaches with sandcastles, barbecues and boogie boarding.
Who has most inspired your travels?
Watching and reading Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer had an effect on me early on. Also my partner, Robyn, is a great firestarter for booking trips.
What is the greatest trip you’ve ever been on?
I absolutely loved a road trip I did at Easter last year with my partner in our Toyota Hiace converted campervan. We hit Hawke’s Bay, Mahia, Gisborne, East Cape, Mt Maunganui and Coromandel. It was just perfect no-frills exploration and waking up by the ocean.
And the worst?
The travel from New York City back to New Zealand, running through LAX between terminals with late luggage and minutes to spare, sweating to death before a 13-hour flight.
What’s your approach to packing for a big trip?
Efficient, just enough, with some room to buy stuff. One good warm jacket, one pair of the right shoes, notebooks, pencils, camera, books, good headphones.
What is the destination that most surprised you – good or bad?
London was surprisingly boring, but I think I did it badly – only there for a week, mostly spent on the tube going from one side of town to the other to visit people I knew from NZ, with the occasional site like the Tower Bridge thrown in.
Where was your most memorable sunrise/sunset?
Mahia. We took our surfboards out for a paddle in some small waves at sunset and there was no one else in the whole bay. The full moon rose over the bay and the moonlight lit up the waves so we could carry on surfing.
What’s the first thing you do when you get home from a long trip?
Cuddle the cats.
What do you miss most about home when you travel?
Friends and musical instruments.
Where is the one destination you must see in your lifetime?
I’d love to visit Greece. My partner got to go there a bunch when she was growing up and recalls how the food, the smells, the ocean and climate is all so unique and beautiful, so I’d love to get to explore the Greek islands with her.
What’s your favourite thing about travel?
A feeling of exploring and freewheeling it with no set agenda…