What was your greatest holiday?

It was not exactly a holiday, but my first tour to the US and Europe in 1989 was quite special. It was like a current affairs tour. We were in San Francisco the day after the huge quake there and it was spooky to be in a place where everyone had shared the same trauma. I guess the good folk of Christchurch know all about that. Then, later on, we arrived in Berlin the week the Wall came down and saw families emerging from the East in their identikit, fibreglass cars, punching the air in triumph. It was pretty amazing being a travelling freshman and stumbling across that kind of history.

And the worst?
I don't even wanna talk about that. Probably the creepiest place I've been to, though, was Nuremburg. Demonic art on the walls of the tall hallways of our haunted hotel. Statues of people screaming in hell in the middle of town. That place was Bad Vibe Central.

If we bump into you on holiday, what are you most likely to be doing?
Doing a real good impression of someone not looking lost. Trying not to look like a tourist. Scanning the unfamiliar starscape for a sense of bearing. I like bookstores too. Good bookstores you've never been to are sexy. So maybe I'm hoping the stars are steering me to one of those.


What's your dream destination?
I wouldn't describe Scotland as dreamy, but I've never got there and the Celtic side of my bloodline demands I do. Haven't been to South America either. It'd be funky to have a poke about there.

What's the dumbest thing you've ever done when travelling?
Do I get the entire supplement here? But I am fond of the time we stayed at this place in Holland and the glass on the front doors of the hotel was so clear I walked right into them, in front of everyone in the lobby. The steam where the air oofed out of me on impact left a perfect, comedic outline of my Maori lips and nose. It was nice to leave an ethnic impression on such Euro surrounds.

What will you always have in your hand luggage?
My iPod. A book.

What's the best thing you've brought back from a trip?
Probably the piece of the Berlin Wall I brought back from that trip in 1989. I gave it to my "eccentric" aunt and no one believed her when she told them where it was from. They just thought she'd grabbed it from the shed.

Complete this sentence: I can't travel without ...
Booking my tickets first through a respectable and trustworthy travel agency.

Favourite airport to land at?
That one where the plane wheels kiss the tarmac softly and sweetly. Any airport is good to land at! That, and maybe JFK, just because Manhattan is so spectacular from the air, day or night.

What's the next trip you've got planned?
To be honest, it'll probably be to the little studio in the front room of my house again, where I'm finishing the piano album I've been writing and recording for the past several months. But once I've got that sucker out of the way, I'd like, and probably deserve, to go somewhere warm and lie on a beach.

Either that, or go to Scotland.


* Shayne Carter performs with the Adults on the Classic Hits Winery Tour with Fat Freddy's Drop, Anika, Boh and Hollie and Clara van Wel, from February 2 to March 3.