What do you miss most about travel right now?
I used to travel backwards and forwards from Sydney on a regular basis and had some exciting live shows in Australia planned for 2020 (pre-Covid). I miss the freedom of being able to jump on a plane and be in Sydney in three hours.
Where are your strongest memories from your first overseas trip?
When I was 6 or 7 I went to Sydney's Taronga Zoo with my family and apparently I was more excited about being on the ferry than I was with visiting the zoo (much to my parents' disappointment).
• A Life in Travel: Memories from Barney Walsh, son of The Chase host Bradley
• A life in Travel: Kiwi actor and director JJ Fong, creator of TVNZ OnDemand's MEME
• A Life in Travel - Eat Well for Less NZ host Ganesh Raj on his nomadic streak
• A Life in Travel: The Grove and Baduzzi restaurateur Michael Dearth
What was a standard family holiday like when growing up?
Growing up in Christchurch, we really made the most of the South Island's holiday spots. We'd do road trips and head south to Dunedin and spend our time at St Clair or St Kilda. Or we'd head north to Motueka and go back and forth to Kaiteriteri.
Who has most inspired your travels?
Music has always been one of the biggest motivators for me. I have written a lot of songs in overseas cities. It's so inspiring to be in places I only dreamed of as a little girl.
What is the greatest trip you've ever been on?
A writing trip to LA a few years ago. I stayed in an Airbnb in Laurel Canyon and every morning I would sit on the balcony and watch deer and coyote wandering past.
And the worst?
I was pretty gutted to have to cut short a six-week trip to LA and fly back to Auckland. We'd only been in LA for two weeks when the city started to shut down around us. It was a surreal time to be there.
What's your approach to packing for an overseas trip?
I usually have two bags. One has all my music-related stuff – all the things I need to sing or perform. This bag stays packed at all times so I don't have to worry about it. It's small enough for me to carry on because I can't bear the thought of this bag being lost. The other bag is for clothes, toiletries and shoes. I check this one in.
Where was your most memorable sunrise/sunset?
Malibu, California. We drove down the Pacific Coast Highway and stopped near Zuma Beach as the sun was starting to set. What a magical coastline.
What's the first thing you do when you get home from a long trip?
I haven't really had a proper home for a few years now, as my life has been divided between Sydney and Auckland. I live mostly out of my suitcases but when I do arrive back in NZ, I stay with friends – who kindly let me make their spare room my haven. I try and unpack as much as I can, so that I feel semi-normal.
Where is the one destination you must see in your lifetime?
The Pyramids. I've been fascinated with ancient Egypt since I was little.
What's your favourite thing about travel?
It gives me a feeling that anything is possible. I don't think I'll ever lose that sense of excitement, mixed with apprehension, when you first arrive in a new place. There's nothing like it.
Theia's 99% ANGEL mixtape, with new single Celebrity, is released on Friday May 15.