What I Pack: Garth Cartwright

Garth Cartwright. Photo / Supplied
Garth Cartwright. Photo / Supplied

Do you travel light or heavy?

Light to minimalist.

Cattle or first class?

Sigh. Cattle. When I write that best-seller I'm going to sit with the toffs and sip champagne. But, for now, I remain among the great unwashed.

I can't travel without ...

An old canvas hat. It protects from sun and rain and has proved to be an effective bug-swatter.

What's always in your hand luggage?

As I only travel with hand luggage, everything!

What's the best thing you've brought back from a trip?

A Czech girl called Dana. We met in Prague and remained friends for a few years before she decided to spend a summer in the UK with me. We travelled from Cornwall to the Orkney Islands. But she went home when autumn arrived. That was 1996 and I still think about her.

Favourite or most exciting airport to land in?

Auckland. Bright, friendly, great coffee. And home.

Best packing tip?

Toothbrush and paste - airplane breath is not a pleasant way to greet a new land.

Most memorable trip?

Sitting on the roof of a bus driving through the Pakistani Himalayas. To be surrounded by such wild beauty while roaring through fields of stone and across mountain passes was near enough a spiritual experience.

What do you do while on the plane?

I tend to skim through the tunes on offer to reinforce my prejudices about what passes today as popular music. If, on a flight, you notice a headphone-wearing passenger muttering and moaning, well, that could be me.

* Garth Cartwright is a music and arts writer based in London. His latest travelogue, Sweet As: Journeys in a New Zealand Summer (Allen & Unwin) was released in October.

- NZ Herald

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