Kiwi author John Cosgrove shares his life in travel
What do you miss most about travel right now?
I miss the mystery of it - never knowing where the day is going to take you, whom you are going to meet, and what you are going to see (or eat).
Where was the first overseas trip you ever took, and what are your strongest memories from it?
As a child, my brother and I woke up one Christmas morning with nothing but a slip of paper at the bottom of our stockings. That slip of paper turned out to be a ticket to Disneyland LA, and we left at 10 that night.
We had Christmas with family in New Zealand, boarded the plane and landed in LA on Christmas morning again, in time for the Disneyland Christmas parade.
What was a standard family holiday like when growing up?
My parents are huge travellers, and standard family holidays were generally an adventure of some kind - sleeping in swags through the Tablelands of Cairns and surfing the west coast of France for my 16th birthday.
Who has most inspired your travels?
Eight years ago, a friend passed away in a freediving accident. The way he travelled to far reaches of the planet and dived deeply into new cultures has greatly inspired the way I travel.
What is the greatest trip you've ever been on?
After getting married in Hawaii, my wife and I went on a one and a half year honeymoon through Central and South America, volunteering with various non-profits along the way, including Sea Turtle conservation in Costa Rica, tribal projects in the Amazon, and schooling projects in Mexico. It was a beautiful experience, and I was incredibly lucky to share it with my best friend.
And the worst?
Cancun, Mexico for New Year's Eve, 2019. Not my bag.
What's your approach to packing for a big trip?
I buy these packing cubes to separate my clothes and proceed to jam them with far more clothes than I'll ever need to wear.
What is the destination that most surprised you – good or bad?
Oaxaca City, Mexico, is the most beautiful city I've seen on the planet. It reminds me of a quiet Paris with a rich art scene, vibrant culture and unbelievable food.
Where was your most memorable sunrise/sunset?
I shared a sunrise with a close friend in the Ecuadorian Amazon after a night-long tribal tea ceremony. Listening to the rainforest wake up while that big, hot ball of flame sent streaks of red and yellow through the sky above the jungle canopy is a memory I won't forget in a hurry.
What's the first thing you do when you get home from a long trip?
Buy a decent coffee. I'm yet to be convinced that anywhere else in the world makes coffee quite like Kiwis.
What do you miss most about home when you travel?
The sound of tūī singing.
Where is the one destination you must see in your lifetime?
Egypt. There is a depth to its history that fascinates me.
What's your favourite thing about travel?
The utter freedom of it.
Bay of Islands writer John Cosgrove won first prize in the Outsider category at the 2020 Unpublished Contest run by Book Pipeline for his debut novel The Black Space Behind Our Eyes. The contest connects writers worldwide with publishers, agents, and the film industry. To order the book, go to johncosgrove.net