Travelling like a rock star

Travel Tips

Kahn Morbee is the lead singer of South African rock band The Parlotones. The band has achieved multiplatinum-selling status – and this month they release a new album, Journey Through The Shadows.

How widely have you travelled?

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TRAVELLING MAN: Parlotones lead singer Kahn Morbee. Picture: Ian LandsbergSUN AND SEA: The sun sets at Santa Monicas palm-lined Palisades Park. Visitors are spoiled for choice in California, says Morbee. PICTURE: AP

“Being a member of The Parlotones means I have travelled quite widely. But due to intense schedules we don’t often get to truly immerse ourselves in the cities we visit but we have always made sure we try do something beyond performing.

“We have spent a great deal of time in the UK, Europe and the US. We also had brief tours to Japan, eastern Europe, South America and parts of Africa.”

Where was your favourite?

“The place I liked the most, outside SA, is California. It has so much to offer, from winelands to beaches, to snow skiing, to mountain ranges, all in relatively close proximity. And the energy in cities like New York, London, Berlin and Amsterdam is always awesome.”

Your worst experience on a holiday?

“A beach holiday ruined by rain means most of the day is spent indoors or at malls… Booooooring!”

Your funniest experience?

“Hanging out in Japan. The language gap is so wide that both parties think that speaking louder with exaggerated gestures will help the other party understand.

“It was quite an experience trying to order food – we were scared we were going to end up with dog or shark. But after a few tequilas everyone spoke the same language – gibberish. And we understood each other.”

What do you avoid on holiday?

“Routine and doing stuff that I could do at home. The idea of a holiday is to have new experiences and break your usual routine. This means that I am so busy that I need a holiday after my holiday just to recover.”

Your favourite restaurant and food during your travels?

“This is one of my holiday pleasures. I love food, and wining and dining. I pretty much like any sort of cuisine. I’ll always try something that is a traditional local dish. I would say I’m most partial to the healthy cooking styles of Asian dishes like Thai and Vietnamese. When I’m at the sea, seafood is always a must – in abundance.”

Your favourite place to have sundowners on your travels?

“I’m a sucker for views, parks, the bush and the seaside. I’ve enjoyed sundowners on a rooftop garden in New York. I’ve had many a beer in a beer garden in Berlin in summer when the sun only goes down at 11pm. Cocktails and wine on the many beautiful South African coastlines.

“But my favourite would have to be a sundowner session watching Bright Eyes at SXSW festival in Texas two years ago.”

Can you share some travel tips?

“Save some space in your bag for stuff you may buy. Buy a Kindle or some e-reading device, reading feeds the mind and kills all that waiting time. Drink red wine to help you sleep on the plane, red wine has melatonin in it – the same ingredient used in sleeping pills. The benefit is red wine usually induces a good mood and its packed with anti-oxidants.

“If you’re visiting a city try to immerse yourself in the culture – buying McDonald’s in Hong Kong is not immersing yourself in local culture. Have fun and lighten up.” - Weekend Argus

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