The French for Rabbits musician Brooke Singer reveals her favourite travel memories.
What do you miss most about travel right now?
The moments of wonder visiting ancient forests, flowering deserts, breathtaking coastlines, and standing beneath glimmering skies in Iceland. Plus the unexpected friendships and experiences that aren't part of the every day at home.
Where was the first overseas trip you ever took, and what are your strongest memories from it?
A family holiday to Australia when I was 5 or 6. My most vivid memories are of bunches of tiny bananas, and almost drowning in the hotel swimming pool. That was my only overseas holiday growing up.
What was a standard family holiday like when growing up?
Camping in Duvauchelles, boating and eating fish and chips in Akaroa. A classic Kiwi holiday!
Who has most inspired your travels?
Most of my travelling coincides with French for Rabbits touring. Our first international tour was totally DIY, and inspired by the wonderful Tiny Ruins. We saw her doing it and she made it feel possible, paving the way.
What is the greatest trip you've ever been on?
There are many individual moments, including making life-long friends while working on surf camp in Portugal, playing at Iceland Airwaves Festival, and opening for Agnes Obel at L'Olympia in Paris, a place steeped in musical history.
And the worst?
Once we got stuck on the ring-road around Paris for several hours after missing the turnoff more than once … and this was after our tyre burst driving on back roads trying to avoid the motorway toll. Many. Excruciating. Hours.
What's your approach to packing for an overseas trip?
To pack very light, because the piano and guitar take up most of my luggage allowance. Lots of socks and undies, and only clothes that don't get crinkles.
What is the destination that most surprised you – good or bad?
New York. It is a place of opportunity, but it felt like a crumbling city. The run-down trains, a giant car-sized hole right in the middle of the road, and suddenly all the cliches from TV shows were coming to life in front of me. It was wonderful, overwhelming, and a wee bit sad.
Where was your most memorable sunrise/sunset?
Waikuku Beach, New Zealand. It's always special, and my Dad sends me a picture of it often.
What's the first thing you do when you get home from a long trip?
Normally I need a good nap, I binge-watch a TV show and avoid leaving the house for a day (or a week) because I'm an introvert at heart.
What do you miss most about home when you travel?
My partner, my own pillow and cooking!
Where is the one destination you must see in your lifetime?
I've always wanted to visit Nepal and the Himalayan mountains to experience the music and culture I studied at university. For others, I recommend the giant redwood forests in California - majestic and ancient.
What's your favourite thing about travel?
The opportunity to appreciate this amazing world we live in. Travelling is a privilege, and I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity through music. I feel like we need to balance that with concern for our environment, though.
Brooke Singer performs with her band French for Rabbits at the Auckland Arts Festival on March 18. aaf.co.nz