What are your strongest memories from the first overseas trip you ever took?
The first real overseas trip I took was to the UK and I went to Glastonbury Festival. I spent a week in the rain and mud with thousands of others who’d made the pilgrimage. I’d never been to such a large festival before. I slopped around in my gumboots to a band who was then relatively unknown called The Killers playing at Lost Vagueness, a debaucherous tent with trapeze artists in burlesque, and raved the nights away to The Chemical Brothers and Orbital.
What was a standard family holiday like when growing up?
My stepdad is a surfer so we’d load up the Holden with his surfboard, togs, a tent and some kai and hit the road. I loved waking up in the tent to the sound of the ocean and catching the sunrise with Mum as my stepdad went out to catch some waves.
What is the greatest trip you’ve ever been on?
I had just quit my job, had some savings in my account and zero plan, other than I was going to Europe via Bali. In Bali I met a girl from Paris who invited me to stay at her apartment while she was away (and she got me a DJ gig there), I bumped into an old friend who invited me to stay with her at her house in Southern Spain, I went sailing for a week around the Isle of Skye in Scotland, I did Rome in a day, tripped around the Amalfi Coast, couch-surfed in Berlin and went to a bunch of music festivals. I loved the freedom and spontaneity of it all.
What’s your approach to packing for a big trip?
I’m usually travelling for work and pleasure at the same time, and through multiple countries, so it’s more of a “will I have enough outfits for every situation and season needed” kind of approach.
What is the destination that most surprised you – good or bad?
Earlier this year I went to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil with a bunch of friends for a wedding. I knew from what I had seen in pictures that it would be a life-changing experience, but nothing prepares you for the beauty of the landscapes, the excitement and danger of the city and the warmth of the people. You really have to be there to fully understand what a uniquely beautiful and wild place it is.
Where was your most memorable sunrise/sunset?
I recently visited Ibiza for the first time. The sunsets were incredible and extra memorable because they signalled the beginning of some epic nights in the clubs.
What’s the first thing you do when you get home from a long trip?
I unpack my bag and do my laundry so it’s not sitting there for a week, I water my plants, and I have a long hot shower and pamper myself with face and hair masks and all the things I neglected from my routine while I was travelling.
What do you miss most about home when you travel?
My bed and my pillow. My neck is always a bit of a sore mess from sleeping in unfamiliar beds when I return home.
Where is the one destination you must see in your lifetime?
What’s your favourite thing about travel?
The memories and wisdom you gain from travelling are yours forever.
New Zealand DJ Aroha is one of five performers headlining the 2023 World of WearableArt show Beyond, on now until October 8. For more information, see arohamusic.com and worldofwearableart.com