MY HOL­I­DAY: MOSS PAT­TER­SON

Whanganui Chronicle - - 48 Hours/Travel -

What was your great­est hol­i­day? I was 10 years old and I can still re­mem­ber vividly the build­ing ex­cite­ment as we trav­elled up coun­try to my grand­mother’s sur­prise 70th birth­day in Tokaanu in the Cen­tral North Is­land. We sailed across heavy seas on the Cook Strait ferry, fol­lowed by bliz­zard con­di­tions on the Desert Rd, to be met by hun­dreds of my close-knit fam­ily gath­ered to sur­prise Nana at the old Tokaanu Ho­tel. The look on her face was ab­so­lutely price­less and I will never for­get the big hug she gave me fol­lowed by the week-long cel­e­bra­tion in our home vil­lage.

And the worst? It wasn’t the worst lo­ca­tion but the restau­rant was a shocker and is what we talk about still when we go there. My wife, Annabel, and I or­dered fish of the day in the Bay of Is­lands (can’t re­mem­ber the name of the place, luck­ily!) and we re­ceived a taste­less, hard­ened rub­ber mass sur­rounded by an ar­ray of off-colour, stale veg­eta­bles. There was a lot of shout­ing, some tense pauses in heated con­ver­sa­tion and we got out of there fast and never looked back.

If we bump into you on hol­i­day, what are you most likely to be do­ing? Eat­ing at the right restau­rant for a start or pick­ing fresh pro­duce for the wha¯ nau from a lo­cal mar­ket gar­den, def­i­nitely laugh­ing a lot, and ex­plor­ing in ru­ral lo­ca­tions — prefer­ably on the back of a scooter with my two beau­ti­ful daugh­ters and wife. We re­cently spent four weeks ex­plor­ing south­ern Tai­wan on scoot­ers, it was ex­tra­or­di­nary meet­ing the very friendly peo­ple of Tai­wan in their home vil­lages and learn­ing their beau­ti­ful tra­di­tions. We also spent time vis­it­ing the tem­ples in Ky­oto, Ja­pan — the rock gar­dens, shrines and tea gar­dens were just sub­lime.

If we could tele­port you to one place in New Zealand for a week-long hol­i­day, where would it be? Spir­its Bay, up north. The new camp­ground is re­ally well looked af­ter by the lo­cal iwi, with great fa­cil­i­ties for free­dom campers. The sand on the beach is so soft, the shells that line the beach are a flaky pink hue. How about for a dream hol­i­day in­ter­na­tion­ally?

I’m a bit of a ro­man­tic and spirit quest type of guy and I’d love to ex­plore the Aztec Ru­ins, the Stone Cir­cles in the High­lands of Scot­land, the tem­ples of Egypt and the Bud­dhist monas­ter­ies of Ti­bet.

Aisle seat or win­dow seat? Aisle. I can’t even sleep with my sleep­ing bag zipped up or sheets tucked in.

Com­plete this sen­tence: I can’t travel

with­out . . . my wha¯ nau. A well-known di­rec­tor’s fi­nal ad­vice to me many years ago was to take your wha¯ nau with you as much as you pos­si­bly can and try not to sweat the ex­tra costs. The mem­o­ries will last for­ever and keep­ing your wha¯ nau close is key to a healthy fam­ily unit. What’s the best travel tip you’ve ever been given? Drink plenty of flu­ids on the plane and try not to eat too much of the starchy plane food be­cause it bogs you down on ar­rival af­ter long-haul flights. What was the most mem­o­rable meal you’ve had while trav­el­ling? If you have the chance to travel Busi­ness Class at least once, give it a go — it is awe­some and the meals are way bet­ter! What’s the next trip you’ve got planned? Taipei for a week. Look­ing for­ward to spend­ing time again in this funky, fast-paced, creative city.

Chore­og­ra­pher Moss Pat­ter­son.

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