What was your greatest holiday?

Oooh, can I choose two? One would be riding an Enfield 350 motorcycle over the Himalayas with my then-boyfriend. We had a huge pack strapped to each side of the bike and my guitar and ukulele strapped to the back. It was such an incredible way to see North India, and only twice did we nearly die. The other was taking my now-hubby and daughter on a house concert tour through North America. We toured through earth homes and permaculture farms, staying in people's homes. That trip was incredible.

And the worst?

Being eaten alive by bed bugs in a dodgy Airlie Beach backpackers.


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

Cooking, having big family dinners and catching up on sleep. Plus exploring with my kids, finding local playgrounds, markets, swimming pools and libraries. You know, all the important stuff.

If we could teleport you to one place in New Zealand for a week-long holiday, where would it be?
Stewart Island in summer. The water is so clear. I love throwing a hand line off the rocks in hope of a blue cod for dinner. At night you can hear the kiwi calling.

How about for a dream holiday internationally?

I would love to take my family on the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage trail in Spain. You can walk from town to town and stay in homes of locals as you go. I feel really drawn to this adventure.

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

Lost my last $50.

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

... an instrument.

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

Don't be afraid to leave some things to chance. That's when you can expect to have an adventure.

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

It was a single ravioli served by the ocean on the Cote d'Azur. It was shaped like a flower and when I cut it, it somehow managed to look like it was blooming. It tasted awesome, too.

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

A fiance.

Favourite airport to land at?
Coolangatta. The humidity and tropical blast that hits you as you walk off the plane instantly brings to mind evening promenading and swimming.

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

We're off to a friend's wedding in Northland. I've never been up there. I can't wait!

Anna van Riel is a finalist in the 2016 Children's Music Awards for Apra Best Children's Music Song and Recorded Music NZ Tui for Best Children's Album. The winners are announced on August 9.