I adore travel and discovering new places. On my last trip to Europe, I made it my objective to go to places that I'd missed when I was living in the UK. Prague: such majestic grandeur; I adore being absorbed by the history of the "old towns" in places like this; love the heritage and the way their integrity has been honoured and preserved. Montenegro: such a glorious place, an hour away from Dubrovnik. I went there in winter with one of my best friends and we just had such a gorgeous time. The people, the food, the coastline, just absolutely beautiful and now one of my favourite places. New Year's Eve in Venice was a particular highlight. Venice turns into a huge masquerade party, which was incredible to be a part of, it was just magical.
When I was acting in London in the early 2000s, I used to take any opportunity between plays to run away to Europe and explore a new place for a few days. One particular time, I took the opportunity to go to Rome and went three days ahead of a group of friends I was meeting there. I arrived, armed with my Lonely Planet and I eventually managed to find a hotel that had a vacancy but on the way to the centre of Rome on the underground - holding my pack in front of me and my handbag wound carefully around me in such a way that no one could get to it without me noticing - I became aware that a couple of people were standing very close to me. Looking back now, I had "tourist" written all over me, but as they stepped off the train at one stop, the words of a London friend rang in my ears . . . "you'll never know you've been pick pocketed until you look for what's been taken". I looked at them walking away on the platform, noticed another passenger grinning at me and realised they'd pick-pocketed me and he'd watched it happen without saying anything. Sure enough, my handbag was open and my wallet was gone. I still don't know how they did it, but I'm a feisty Taurus so I got off at the next stop and went back to the station . . . my anger fuelling my determination to find them and get my wallet back. I didn't of course, but it took a lot of gelato that day to calm down and wasn't a pleasant start to my first day in Italy!
Jacqueline Nairn stars in Anahera at Wellington's Circa Theatre until October 7. She'll also be in the new season of The Brokenwood Mysteries, returning to Prime later this year.