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Excess baggage

Monday 13th January 2014

Travel. You might do it to explore;  you might do it find time to reflect or reconnect with someone you care about; you might do it to relax and break free from life’s routine.

Hopefully you had time for it over the Christmas and New Year break, or at least get to have some time away soon. That free time is precious and most of us don’t get it very often.

If you’ve got an overseas trip coming up, particularly if you're going somewhere where you’ll be carrying a tramping pack and need to be vaccinated, The Wireless producer Elle Hunt has a guide to getting hyper organised

“My biggest fear – which came to border on an obsession in the lead-up to my departure as I struggled to reconcile the facts that I a) find physical exertion distasteful, and b) was about to spend four weeks lugging a 60-litre pack in 85 to 100 per cent humidity – was that I would over-pack,” she says.

Sometimes even the best laid plans can go wrong and when you’re travelling this is almost inevitable. Maybe you forget your tent poles when you’re camping, or the only hotel with a room available has TripAdvisor reviews warning of bedbugs and lice, or you arrive at the airport without a passport because you didn’t think you needed it to get into Australia.

If you’ve got good company then these bumps on the road usually aren’t more than potholes (some of them, anyway). But travelling can bring out all the stresses and strains in a relationship. You don’t have to have been a contestant on the Amazing Race to know that. 

Playwrite and comedian Joseph Harper had his romance with his first serious girlfriend wither on the sun drenched tracks of Abel Tasman National Park

“By my side would be this beautiful young woman who’d barely set foot on the mainland before. I’d been with Julia for almost a year now. I saw us eating sandwiches and pitching our tent in every town and every last honesty box campsite, rubbing each other down with sunscreen and insect repellent. Making love in Hinds! In Ranfurly! In Brunner!”

The trip was due to peak at their final destination, amongst the trees and beaches, but cracks had begun to show.

Anyone who’s had love drown on a rainy day in Melbourne or London, or smothered in the jungles of Vietnam or Peru will relate.

Then again, travelling solo isn’t clear sailing either, as Gabrielle Mentjox can attest to after a hellish 96-hour bus ride through South America, which you can read about on The Wireless later in the week. 

And if you’re looking for a good time some place out of the ordinary, Jack Barlow will be sharing a story about a road trip through Lousianna’s Cajun country for a zydeco festival.

We also have a story about life in transit from Hamish Parkinson, who attempted to spend 24-hours in Christchurch International Airport. 

On Friday, we’ll be reporting live, with Radio New Zealand’s Music 101 team, from the Big Day Out, which is back after a one-year hiatus.

Thanks for checking in.