Australian celebrity chef Hayden Quinn on his favourite travel memories
What do you miss most about travel right now?
Fortunately, we are back on the road filming Season 3 of Taste of Australia so I'm doing lots of domestic travel in Australia, which I feel incredibly lucky to be able to do.
Where was the first overseas trip you ever took, and what are your strongest memories from it?
It was actually to NZ for a school rugby tour and my memories were basically of us getting flogged by you Kiwis every game.
What was a standard family holiday like when growing up?
Pile into the van, drive up the coast, surf, sun, all the fun stuff you love to do as an Aussie kid.
Who has most inspired your travels?
A lifeguard called Geoff Gutchigen - he was an American guy that worked on my local beach at Dee Why, New South Wales. He would do summer in Aus and then summer in the US, back and forth. Growing up watching him do that made me want to do the same thing. In the summer of 2005, I went to the US to work as a lifeguard.
What is the greatest trip you've ever been on?
A trip through Central America with one of my best mates. I lost my job on a Monday and was on a plane to Costa Rica on the Thursday and did a few months exploring, surfing and having the best time.
And the worst?
I landed in Bangkok very late and jumped in a TukTuk. I didn't have any accommodation booked so was left to the whims of the TukTuk driver. I found a room, peeled back the bedsheets and the whole bed was infested with black mould from water dripping out of the ceiling on to the bed. Not good.
What's your approach to packing for a big trip?
Always pack less than you think you need.
What is the destination that most surprised you – good or bad?
Taiwan - I love that place. It is an amazing mix of the chaos of China and the organisation of Japan. The food is incredible, the people are amazing and because the island is quite small you can get around and see a lot of the country in one hit. I actually cycled around the whole country in one of my trips there; it was amazing.
Where was your most memorable sunrise/sunset?
Cooking in front of Uluru for Taste of Australia late last year. It was magical and I really felt very lucky to have been able to have that experience with my team.
What's the first thing you do when you get home from a long trip?
Go for a massage.
What do you miss most about home when you travel?
My girlfriend, friends and family; familiarity and routine. I am on the road a minimum of 6 months per year, so being home is the best feeling in the world.
What's your favourite thing about travel?
People, stories, food and never knowing what is going to happen next.
Hayden Quinn is a former MasterChef Australia contestant and the host of Taste of Australia
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