Where was the first overseas trip you ever took, and what are your strongest memories from it?
I was 13 and my parents took my oldest brother, my older sister and me to the Gold Coast to visit my other brother who was working over there. We didn't have a lot of money so it was a real treat for us to all go away as a family like this. My strongest memories are going to DreamWorld and going on a hydroslide for the first time, eating at one of those cheap family restaurants with all the gimmicks and thinking it was amazing, staying in Brisbane at our cousin's house and seeing cane toads in the swimming pool. There was a lot of "don't touch the cane toads!!" that holiday.
What was a standard family holiday like when growing up?
Every summer our family rented a caravan and awning down at Opunake Beach in Taranaki, about a 15 minute car journey from our house on the farm. We had the same spot every year, next to the same people, who were usually close family friends who were also from our district. It was the highlight of our summer. We would pack up everything into our car and trailer and set off down the beach.
Because there was a row of us families altogether it was like a little community. At night we would always be having parties. Our parents loved a drink! There would be lots of group singing of old songs on the guitar, while us kids ran amuck around the campsite and onto the sand dunes. One year a piano was even brought down on the back of a trailer and set up - that's how big the singalongs got.
Us kids usually had to check in every half an hour or so to make sure we weren't injured or up to no good. One high pitched whistle from Dad across the campsite, and we knew it was time to call it a night.
Who has most inspired your travels?
I have been lucky that the majority of my travels have been through work so rather than a 'who' - it's a 'what' that has inspired me, and that's music and movies.
I've seen a lot of films where iconic city skylines or beautiful beaches have left me frothing to visit those places.
I used to live in the UK so I would be booked to play lots of different places in Europe each weekend, and most years I went to America to play. It was always amazing to go away to new places like Paris, Tokyo or Moscow, but my time was always limited and orientated around playing shows.
Nowadays I try to take the time to travel to places I want to go to because I want to actually holiday and spend time there. Or, I tack on some spare time during my work trips in order to make the most of my foreign experience.
What is the greatest trip you've ever been on?
Myself and DJ SS were booked to play Mexico and that was incredible because after our show in Mexico City, we got taken to visit the pyramids just outside of the city which are amazing. We then stayed a bit further up the coast and played another show in a small town, and the following day the locals took us to the jungle to go swimming in the Senotes - which are these huge, crystal clear underground spring pools, formed in the middle of the jungle. I jumped off the cliffs into the water, and swam underground into these caves where shafts of light fell from holes in the ceiling of the rock, lighting up the water a brilliant blue. It was incredible.
Other beautiful places that I have visited that stay etched in my mind are Santorini in Greece, Ibiza with my husband (which is also where he proposed to me!) and Costa Rica.
And the worst?
Okay, so this trip started out bad - but through my faith in the universe and trusting in the goodwill of people it ended up being pretty cool. I got stranded in Boston city on the way to play a show in the city of Buffalo - due to a huge blizzard.
Every hotel in the nearby vicinity was fully booked and with flights not until the next day, I was stressing about what to do. There were groups of people offering others like myself to camp in with them in hotels where they had managed to get bookings, and as crazy as it sounds, I took up one of these offers from a complete stranger - a guy named John.
Thankfully he wasn't some weirdo serial killer - but a perfectly decent guy who let me sleep in the hotel bed and him on some cushions on the floor. (Mind you, I did still sleep with one eye open and John snored like a freight train as well). The next morning all flights were still cancelled going north.
Having missed my gig in Buffalo I was hoping to make my next show in Toronto, but with there being no flights, John decided to hire a car to drive to New York City, and offered to take me there with the hope of me getting a bus or train onwards, even though it was rather out the way for me.
We got to the hire place and were talking to some other customers in the line and it turned out a guy named Les was driving to Buffalo. I knew if I could get there I could get a bus onwards to Toronto, so I kind of told Les he had to take me in his car, and we drove 5 hours through NY state to Buffalo! Les was a lovely family man who rode motorbikes, had a tonne of grandkids and to this day we are still friends on Facebook.
After making it to Buffalo and waiting a further three hours, a bus arrived to take us all into Canada. Everything in Toronto went to plan, but the next day I had to fly to Miami, and I, being so tired, fell asleep at the airport and missed my flight. The airline graciously put me on the next one, but when I got to Miami my luggage had been lost.
I spent the next four days in Miami without my suitcase until my second-to-last day when frustrated with waiting for the call, I went out to the airport and found it sitting in a massive line of bags. From there my trip turned around, for my last two nights in Miami I was moved from my hotel due to overbooking, but ended up getting booked into a 5-star hotel right on the beach, and my bill was paid for by a friend as a surprise gesture of kindness (or pity). That trip certainly restored my faith in people, and taught me humility and patience.
What's your approach to packing for an overseas trip?
I am an expert packer after 18 years of travelling and touring. I plan all my stage outfits in advance, and then pack day outfits around that with a few extra bits for emergencies thrown in. I hate having an overstuffed suitcase and especially if I'm going somewhere where I know the shopping will be good - I try to leave a bit of space. The most difficult trips to pack for are those where I am going from a cold climate to a hot one - winter clothes tend to take up most of the room.
I dress in comfy clothes for the plane and always take snacks, a good book, and a huge scarf that wraps around me and doubles as a blanket.
What is the destination that most surprised you – good or bad – and why?
Before I went to Ibiza I just thought it was all clubs and tacky tourism, and while there is some of that (avoid San Antonio at all costs - no matter what you read about how good the sunsets are supposed to be there), I was surprised by the beautiful beaches, olive groves, and cliff top walks.
The first time I went to Bali I found it a little full on and quite dirty, but I felt I needed to give it another chance. The second time I went I loved it way more - I knew what to expect and where to go, and therefore had a great time.
I also played a show in Azerbaijan - in the city of Baku right on the black sea. The whole place smelt like oil, and was quite a conservative Muslim city, but it was also beautiful with its historic ruins and the people were very friendly.
Where was your most memorable sunrise/sunset?
Santorini is certainly a beautiful place to watch the sunset as you are up so high on the cliff tops, and the ocean below lights up like a shimmering piece of gold leaf. A more recent sunset that will always be remembered was at the Bluemoon Festival in Rarotonga with good friends on the beach. The palm trees glowed pink and the sun was a huge fiery orange.
What's the first thing you do when you get home from a long trip?
Make a cup of tea, cuddle my cats and take a long hot shower.
What do you miss most about home when you travel?
My bed and pillow. And my husband and cats. And the beautiful scenery of course.
Where is the one destination you must see before you die, and why?
I would like to see the Northern Lights before I die, so I guess that involves going to Scandinavia or Iceland, both places I am still yet to visit. I would also like to camp out in a yurt under the stars in the desert in North Africa, so I guess I'm going to Morocco.
What's your favourite thing about travel?
I love immersing myself in new cultures, speaking different languages and trying new food. I think travel opens your eyes and your mind and heart to seeing the world from other perspectives, and that can only enrich your life and way of thinking.
Tali will perform as part of the all-female line up at this Sunday's Milk & Honey Music Festival at Auckland's Silo Park, to celebrate International Women's Day.