My Holiday: Mal Lakatani

Mal Lakatani, middle, with Niuean locals. Photo / Mal Lakatani
Mal Lakatani, middle, with Niuean locals. Photo / Mal Lakatani

What was your greatest holiday? Going back to my island home, Niue, the Rock of Polynesia. I remember heading there with my sisters and it being a special time walking on our home soil, the place where my grandparents grew up, and the place that I belong to. I also went there with a film crew to do presentations showcasing Niue lifestyles.

If we bump into you on holiday, what are you most likely to be doing? I could be having QT with family, or sitting in the water enjoying the sun. Or sleeping in the shade near a pool, Or sipping drinks at the pool bar. Or jamming along with local hotel bands.

If we could teleport you to one place in New Zealand for a week-long holiday, where would it be? Queenstown. The sights of New Zealand are incredible down there in the South Island. My family would love the gondola rides, adventures to Arrowtown, the little lolly shop and other places like the maze at Puzzling World in Wanaka.

How about for a dream holiday internationally?

There are a few. Firstly, the ultimate family trip home to Niue with all of the family for a family reunion. It would be a full day-to-day plan with adventures and activities for all of us. It would be huge experience to share as some of my family have never been to Niue, and I would love the opportunity to share with them the spirit and love of Niuean people.

What's the dumbest thing you've ever done when travelling? One of the most embarrassing moments would have to be forgetting my passport at the accommodation. We were filming a programme and I thought they would edit it out, but no.

What is the most memorable meal you've had while travelling? The Koru Lounge food buffet set-up for travellers. All of the fresh food and drinks. This was before hopping on a plane for Australia. And then getting another feed on the plane - ha ha ha! One of my travels took me to France where I tasted something that looked like raw lamb meat with green salad. It wasn't the best of experiences and I won't forget the look on my bandmates' faces.

What's the best thing you've brought back from a trip? An eight-string ukulele from Rarotonga. My best friend was married there and all the guys were contemplating getting a tattoo marking the special occasion. I was keen on a tat but there wasn't enough time, so I thought I'd get a uke.

Favourite airport to land at? Wellington Airport. The scary air turbulence before landing always gives me giggles.

What's the next trip you've got planned? There are places like maybe Cambodia or Vietnam that I would love to visit because I love their food and find their culture interesting. But I think in reality, it would be that family trip to Niue for 2017, fingers crossed. I am really excited, as my children will get a chance to see their island home.

Mal Lakatani is a finalist in the Best Pacific Song and Best Pacific Language categories at the Pacific Music Awards, on June 9 at the Vodafone Events Centre. ticketdirect.co.nz

- NZ Herald

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