Holidays can teach us many things - about a destination, about other people, and about ourselves.

MATT WHILEY

I would say 75 per cent of my travels are for work. I count myself very lucky to be able to travel doing something that I love.

Initially, this was through playing cricket: winter adventures playing in New Zealand and Australia, to tours of South Africa and Kenya. Now it's bar tending doing bar takeovers in Europe, Taiwan, Singapore, Macau, Sydney and seminars in Bangkok, New Orleans and Scotland. I have learnt a lot of valuable lessons along the way.

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I remember my first solo trip like it was yesterday. I was 17. I had an eight-month trip away playing cricket just outside Palmerston North. I was beyond excited. I got out everything I wanted to take on my travels and tried to get it all to fit into my case and kit bag and it was an epic fail. This single moment taught me how to pack my things. Some days I have no idea how it all fit but it's all about the thickness of your clothes with rolls and folds. One big exciting jigsaw puzzle.

UK mixologist Matt Whiley's first solo trip was Palmerston North as a 17-year-old. Photo / Destination Manawatu
UK mixologist Matt Whiley's first solo trip was Palmerston North as a 17-year-old. Photo / Destination Manawatu

The next thing everyone always asks is how do you deal with jet lag? My tips start with the flight. I don't drink any alcohol and I drink lots of water. Stock up on bottles of water before you board and keep really hydrated. This will help you massively when you arrive.

I also don't eat on the flight - this helps me with being able to sleep. I feel I can rest much easier when I simulate how I sleep when I'm at home. I start my sleeping patterns on the flight based on the local time of arrival. And, last but not least, when you land, always move: hit the streets and move your body to get some energy pumping.

Award-winning UK mixologist Matt Whiley has five award-winning bars in London, including "Talented Mr Fox" and his very own boutique liquor brand. He is in Auckland for Eat Drink Love Ponsonby - a month-long restaurant festival taking place in more than 50 Ponsonby restaurants and bars. He will be hosting five-course cocktail degustations at Clipper in Ponsonby on July 26 and 27. For further information, head to: eatdrinkloveponsonby.co.nz