By Tina Edward Gunawardhana
Ruwani Perera is an experienced television journalist in New Zealand. Currently a presenter on the Native Affairs show, she has worked for 12 years for Television New Zealand. During that time she has worked on many Consumer watch programmes, Fair Go amongst others. Here Ruwani explains her varied travel experiences.
?Why do you
My parents were avid travellers and instilled a love for globe-trotting from a young age. Exploring different aspects of a culture, from history to architecture to food has always fascinated me.
?Your favourite travel destination and why
I still have many unexplored parts of the world to visit, but so far I would have to say New York. I call it my “spiritual home” as it is has this magic about it, and being there just enlivens all the senses. Of course Sri Lanka is right up there as a close second, being my motherland.
?What do you need for a perfect
Part of what makes the ideal vacation is staying somewhere nice, so I like to splurge out on great accommodation. From there good food, a good novel and lots of glossy magazines are also essential in order to have the perfect break away.
?In which country have you felt most at home
Australia is pretty much an extension of New Zealand, so it’s always easy. It’s a short flight, they speak the same language and we have a unique relationship, almost like a big sister which makes it easy to feel almost at home.
?Most unusual souvenir you have brought home
I’m not much of a souvenir shopper, but I always try to buy clothes, shoes or handbags that remind of a place. I’m also a big fan of writing postcards and keeping travel journals.
?Favourite holiday discovery
Langkawi, off the coast of mainland Malaysia was a bit of a revelation. I hadn’t heard of the island before, but a travel agent suggested it for a winter break as there were some good deals going at the time. Great food and some stunning scenery too.
?Worst holiday or travel experience
I lost my passport in Qatar and that was pretty much a nightmare. Just finding a police station to report it missing was a drama, let alone all the bureaucracy you have to go through. Being a woman didn’t help either. Thanks goodness for the British Embassy who came through for me with an Emergency Travel Document!
?Best piece of
Taking a photo of your passport on your phone and then leaving your passport locked in the hotel safe for the duration of your holiday.
?Your top five travel destinations
New York, Tokyo, Paris, Italy, Queenstown in New Zealand.
?What has travel taught you
Travel is the single best way of learning about a culture, a country’s history and the easiest way of getting an understanding of people. I have met people over the years who don’t like to travel and I struggle to understand this. For me going abroad is one of life’s greatest pleasures.
?Which country did you taste the best ever cuisine
Totally biased, but has to be Sri Lanka. On my most recent visit there, staying at Sri Villas in Bentota, their chef Samantha’s food was sublime. Another favourite is Paradise Road Gallery Café in Colombo. Cuisine-wise Japanese food would be a close second.
?Next travel destination
Croatia is somewhere I’ve always wanted to go, as is Argentina.