Travel talk: Skye Broberg

BEST? 'Egypt was the most amazing place I have visited. Beautiful and mind boggling history, art and people.
BEST? 'Egypt was the most amazing place I have visited. Beautiful and mind boggling history, art and people.

Contortionist Skye Broberg is performing in the NBR New Zealand Opera’s production of The Bartered Bride, opening in Wellington on October.

How often do you get away? For work about every month or so. For pleasure, every year – and usually to visit family.

Where was your first trip? As a child, it was to Noumea and left a great impression on me with its happy island lifestyle. It’s also where I learned how to climb a coconut tree.

Why do you travel – business or pleasure? Almost always business, but there’s always time for pleasure, too, especially in my line of work.

What is your favourite destination overseas? I think Egypt was the most amazing place I have visited. Marvelling over architecture planned to perfection, on such a massive scale and carried out 2000 to 4000 years ago. Beautiful and mind boggling. The history, art and people; it was all so wonderful.

And in New Zealand? I’ve always had a soft spot for Nelson, and if you’re up that way, go to the Mussel Inn in Takaka; it’s worth it. The weather, the beauty of the environment – and the people are something special.

Best trip ever? Touring with The Loons to London also took me to Switzerland, Germany, Greece, Egypt and Scotland. It was an epic journey with many different adventures. In the final leg, I came direct from a sunny 40 degree-plus Cairo in my Egyptian local garb (hijab, floor-length skirt and long-sleeved top) and landed in Edinburgh to a raining but busy Fringe Festival ... it was a sort of reverse culture shock.

Worst? Most recent trip to the UK, as it was only for three days before I was flying out again. I didn’t even have time to get over the jetlag. On the upside, I did break a Guinness World Record for my troubles.

If you could be anywhere but here, where would that be? That is a very difficult question ... so many options, but I would have to say Japan. I’ve never been, but will one day. The combination of ancient tradition and cutting-edge technology is a concept I love.

What is the wildest sight you’ve witnessed while travelling? In Rome, I visited a church that was decorated with the bones of priests collected over the centuries. They’d made chandeliers, wall and ceiling decorations. In fact, they’d covered rooms and furniture with them and it looked incredible. A way to honour the dead and create art.

The most heartbreaking? The most heartbreaking thing I’ve witnessed was where I live currently in Lyttelton, and Christchurch. Seeing my current home shattered and in ruins and initial confusion of the people, and the ongoing struggle with bureaucracy to get things back on track is saddening. The heart is still there, and the attitude to get on with it is what keeps it going.

Who (or what) is your favourite travelling companion? Dare I say my smartphone. Not only maps, communication and information, but also a translator ... too handy to leave behind.

Where to next? Perhaps Morocco, or Jordan? This would be for pleasure, but we’ll see what else pops up. Sometimes work presents itself in some unusual places.

... anything you’d like to add? Travel is such an important part of life, and we are lucky to live in an age where it is so achievable. Taking yourself out of your comfort zone can open your mind in ways you may never have imagined, and breaks down cultural barriers. Travel is something everyone should do. You won’t regret doing it, but you may regret not doing it.

More at

The Dominion Post