Where are your strongest memories from the first overseas trip you ever took?

It was a big deal. I nailed it in my final year exams in primary school and my mum took me to the Philippines. Then we headed up to the hills into Baguio. It was 21C in the day and 15C at night. Having lived in Singapore, where it's 30C most of the time, it was my first experience of cooler weather. Or what felt like to me, the freezing cold.

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What was a standard family holiday like when growing up?

A rented chalet at East Coast Park beach in Singapore. The whole family would go and there would be great food. The kids swam and kayaked and played football. The men would drink whiskey and the ladies would complain to each other about the men.


Who has most inspired your travels?

I was a nomad throughout my 20s. New Zealand is the fifth country I've made a home in. Thankfully my wife and daughter have a very healthy nomadic streak. They're up for anything, so going anywhere with them is awesome.

What is the greatest trip you've ever been on?

My daughter's school choir toured Europe, taking part in competitions and performing in some of the most historic buildings in that part of the world. Budapest, Vienna, Prague, Salzburg, Nuremberg and Munich. It taught me so much.

And the worst?

Cayo Ensenachos, Cuba. A "wedding cake" resort hotel-filled island, created by the Cuban government to entertain Canadian tourists that arrive directly into it and pretend they're in Cuba.

What's your approach to packing for an overseas trip?

The night before is fine for me. I keep it pretty tight.


What is the destination that most surprised you — good or bad?

Texas. A friend and I drove across it over two-and-a-half days - country music radio stations and wide open planes. The stories in the music unfolded with each horizon. That's when I fell in love with country music.

Where was your most memorable sunrise/sunset?

Sunrise from the base of Mt Agung in East Bali, through the valley.

What's the first thing you do when you get home from a long trip?

Tell my family how grateful I am to be living in New Zealand.

Eat Well For Less NZ co-host Ganesh Raj in Munich. Photo / Supplied
Eat Well For Less NZ co-host Ganesh Raj in Munich. Photo / Supplied

What do you miss most about home when you travel?

If I'm travelling with my wife and daughter, nothing. If not, my wife and daughter.

Where is the one destination you must see in your lifetime?

Samburu in Kenya. A friend of ours is a photographer there. She lives with the local tribe. The tribe runs the animal sanctuary and has created a thriving example of conservation and commerce. My wife and I talk about it all the time.

What's your favourite thing about travel?

Meeting locals and learning about their life, and hopefully getting a taste of all things local.


Restaurateur Ganesh Raj (owner of The Tasting Shed, co-owner of The Māori Kitchen) co-hosts Eat Well for Less NZ, premiering on TVNZ 1 tonight at 7.30pm.