Actress Morgana O'Reilly shares her best and worst travel moments
In 2009 I set off on an epic OE. One of my first stops was to see my darling friend Kate, who was living in Paris. It was nearly Easter so we decided to go to Amsterdam for the long weekend. We booked train tickets for super early on Friday, but when we tried to book accommodation (this was pre Airbnb) we found that EVERYWHERE was booked out.
We emailed everyone we could think of to see if they could help, but no luck. And then it was Thursday; we were leaving the next day with nowhere to stay. I had started an account on couchsurfing.com before I left NZ, so I suggested we try that. Just before the panic set in around 9pm I checked my emails and found a message from a guy who said 'I'm so sorry, I'm not in Amsterdam this weekend, but it must be fate, I'm in Paris! So if you can meet me tonight, I'll give you the keys to my apartment and you can stay there.'
Without hesitation, we got in a cab and went to the club where he was. Shivering on the street we watched as super models pulled up out front and walked glamorously inside.
The guy came out to the smoking area with a big smile and handed us his keys across the velvet rope. We arrived in Amsterdam the next morning, went straight to his gorgeous place in Jordaan and had a magical weekend! Win!
Scroll on a few weeks. I had made plans to meet up with my best gal Anna. We had both been travelling solo for a while, so were stoked to finally have a partner in crime. I met her at the bus stop in the tiny town of Tarifa in the south of Spain with a (half drunk) bottle of sangria. It was a great start. Thrilled to have an accomplice, we decided to head to Morocco. We headed straight to Chefchaouen; a beautiful town in the mountains where all the houses are painted blue.
When it was time to go, we'd planned to meet friends in Barcelona. We took a bus from Chefchaouen to Tangiers, a boat to Algeciras, then another bus to Malaga. We stopped to have a delicious bowl of gazpacho before venturing to the train station to nab a seat to Barcelona. But by the time we got the station, poor Anna was beginning to feel a little green around the gills. It didn't help that the only seats available were in first class and mega pricey, but we'd come too far to look back and Anna was getting queasier by the second. We'd just boarded the train when Anna promptly threw-up in the small sink in our carriage . . . there went the gazpacho.
We arrived in Barcelona at dawn but decided to wait at the station for a few hours before knocking on our host's door. By now, poor Anna was not in a good way. I suddenly remembered I had a hilarious video on my camera that might cheer her up! I rummaged in my bag, then rummaged some more. My camera was not there. My stomach dropped and I realised I had left it on the very first bus we caught out of Chefchaouen. Expletives were screamed and we both sat there miserable. A miss indeed.
Morgana O'Reilly stars in 'A Streetcar Named Desire' at Q Theatre, August 24-September 16.