For me any travel is always a hit whether it's going overseas, around New Zealand or even just the odd weekend away somewhere close by. Even when things don't work out as planned, it's all part of the adventure; breaking that routine, getting out of your comfort zone. I often have that saying "a change is as good as a rest" going around my head when I travel because I've always found it to be true.

It's amazing how you can be tired and stressed and just feeling like blobbing in bed for the rest of eternity, but then you whisk yourself off to some new place with crazy sights, sounds and smells, and all of a sudden you have this incredible energy again just by being among it all.

Personally, I love anything with a little bit of adrenaline: rollercoasters and theme parks especially. A definite highlight this year was when my partner made me do the Canyon Swing over the Shotover River in Queenstown. It was so intense!

But for a more peaceful trip it's hard to go past Vietnam. So beautiful, the people are lovely and friendly, it's cheap, it's easy to travel around, and the food is among the best I've ever had.



As a vegetarian I found it quite hard to find meat-free main courses in Japan - vegetarianism just isn't as much of a thing over there. But when I finally got to my happy place (Tokyo Disneyland) I thought, for some reason, things might be easier as it's such an international franchise.

Oh how wrong I was.

After looking at every menu in every single eatery in the whole park, I had only found one item - a "vegetarian curry" in Frontierland. Unfortunately, when it arrived, it had meat in it.

So I got out my note that a friend back home had written in Japanese explaining I was a vegetarian. Someone came over with an official-looking iPad to check the ingredients.

"Sorry, it has pork," he said. "Maybe we can do just vegetables on rice for you?"

"Perfect, thank you!" I said.

"Ah wait, the vegetables are cooked with fish sauce, maybe just some rice . . . ?" he asked. "Oh, the rice is cooked in fish broth too."

I ended up having popcorn for dinner.

Sam Bunkall stars as Boyd Rolleston in Shortland Street, weeknights at 7pm on TVNZ 2. The show's final episode of the year screens on Monday, December 19 returning in mid-January.