What was your greatest holiday?

It's a long time since I had a bona fide holiday. The greatest one was travelling to Egypt, in my 20s, with Denise Roche (Now a Green MP).

And the worst?

Realising I'd lost my sleeping bag on the coach to St Catherine's monastery, knowing the temperature would drop drastically when night fell.


If we bump into you on holiday, what are you most likely to be doing?

Meeting locals, eating, visiting extraordinary historical sites.

If we could teleport you to one place in New Zealand for a week-long holiday, where would it be?

Somewhere pretty easy going, but naturally majestic - Muriwai would be good. Twinkly black sand, gannets and good walks.

How about for a dream holiday internationally?

I travelled throughout the Soviet Union as a child, so I would love to see how Russia has changed since the days of "the iron curtain". I'd also love to experience the wilderness of Alaska.

What's the dumbest thing you've ever done when travelling?

Not taking my passport to the airport.

Complete this sentence: I can't travel without: My passport.

What's the best travel tip you've ever been given?

Get one of those stretchy, make-shift washing lines that doesn't need pegs.

What was the most memorable meal you've had while travelling?

In the 1990s I went to Bali. I remember a beautiful lunch in Ubud. Very peaceful atmosphere outside, all I could hear was somebody sweeping a long way off, the temperature of the day was warm and gentle, the paddy fields were lush and quiet, and this wonderful cleansing burst of lemongrass in my Thai chicken.

What's the best thing you've brought back from a trip?

Memories. The sort that last a lifetime. Reflecting on four or five incidents can transport you back to that time - the smells, the heat, the sounds - re-absorbing the psyche and soul of a country, in your mind.

Favourite airport at which to land: Changi Airport is very pretty.

What's the next trip you've got planned?

The Book of Everything is touring some North Island towns and that will be like a working holiday for me. Each place has its charms - the green Waikato, the art deco world of Napier, Mt Taranaki and the Wanganui River in Palmerston North. I'm excited to be discovering these regions in autumn.

Rima Te Wiata appears in The Book of Everything, playing at Q Theatre in Auckland from February 12-25. For tickets, go to silotheatre.co.nz