PRINT HEAD: A LIFE IN TRAVEL
Where was the first overseas trip you ever took, and what are your strongest memories from it?
To India by ship in 1966. The excitement of travelling with my family to a new country. I remember crossing the equator, sailing into Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) then, arriving into then Bombay - the Gateway to India.
I have boyish memories of Rudyard Kipling's Riki Tiki Tavi, elephants, tigers, Bollywood and the Taj Mahal.
Who has most inspired your travels?
Jane my wife. For example, at Fantasy Basel – the amazing huge Comic Convention in Switzerland - where I got to talk about The Hobbit and Blue Moon and even sing; basically, have a whole lot of fun signing autographs and meeting zany, friendly, excited people who love to be entertained. But the point is that Jane did all our pre-planning outside of the convention on places and points of historic importance in Basel. So, Jane is my tour planner and inspiration.
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What is the greatest trip you've ever been on?
Probably the premieres of The Hobbit 1; Wellington, New York, London, with all the madness that went with it. Red carpeting in Courtenay Place and Leicester Square and staying at Claridge's in London and The Waldorf in New York was insane. Just for a moment I believed all the hype.
And the worst?
A bus trip in 1975 with the RNZN Band all the way from Auckland to Waiouru for a parade in the middle of winter. I had to dip my fingers in my tea to be able to push the valves on the trumpet, it was that cold.
Where was the most memorable sunset/sunrise?
Sunrise, dawn at Gallipoli in Turkey singing the national anthem for the ANZAC commemorations and it was probably the quietest, most reflective moment of my life. It was beautiful, sombre and bittersweet. I literally could hear my heart beating. There will never be another dawn like that again.
What's the first thing you do when you get home from a long trip?
Have a cup of Kenya Bold tea. Followed by a piece of original Vogels with Pic's peanut butter and Arataki Honey.
What do you miss most about home when you travel?
I miss the family, everyday routines, the food I like and golf.
Where is the one destination you must see before you die?
There are so many but one in particular, is Crans-sur-Sierre golf course in Switzerland. The 7th hole is one that God probably designed. No one ever scores well, because of the spell-binding surroundings and view. Dreams are free; one day somehow or someone may get me there.
What's your favourite thing about travel?
The excitement prior to leaving and then just before you embark. An ecstatic moment that. The beauty that different cultures offer is hugely engaging and, in some instances, life changing.
Mark Hadlow stars in Auckland Theatre Company's world premiere of Winding Up by Roger Hall at ASB Waterfront Theatre, February 11-March 8. atc.co.nz