Five things travel taught me: Comedian Urzila Carlson

South African born New Zealand resident and multi-award-winning stand-up comedian Urzila Carlson is touring her new show, Token African in 2020. She was recently appointed Norfolk Island Tourism Ambassador, promoting the holiday destination to Australians and New Zealanders. See


Two years ago my wife and I took our kids on a mammoth three-month holiday including to the US, where I used to live, Scotland where my wife's family is from and Africa. To see how much the kids loved it and how they clicked into seeing relatives all over the world just warmed my heart. Of course, taking the kids to Disneyland is the one thing that stood out for them, more than seeing elephants in the bush …


Melbourne feels like a "home game" to me. I go there so often and I take my family with me often, I know where all the good bars and hidden food gems are that all the locals go to hide out from the masses. I filmed my Netflix special in Melbourne in December and with me were 25 of my closest family and friends, not only for the recording but also to enjoy everything Melbourne has to offer. Again, it's Luna Park that stood out for the kids.


Being a comedian is like being a gypsy with a tight calendar. I know where I'll be this time next year and who else is booked in to do what I'm doing. Travelling and meeting up with friends from all over the world in places like Montreal, Edinburgh, Adelaide, London, Johannesburg – that's part of the joy of the job. Not only do I get to travel and experience what the world has to offer, I get to do it with friends.


I'm on social media like most people reading this and one thing I've concluded in all of that, is that it's clear who never travels. The racist, narrow-minded fools online usually never leave the place they are in. Travelling teaches you about other people and to not just tolerate differences but to celebrate it. How extremely lucky are we that we're not all the same.


I'd just like to say that I don't do adventure. I like to chill, relax and enjoy, not to get my heart racing, being scared shitless. That said, the most exciting thing that has ever happened was in 2017 when an elephant sat on our rental car. We were driving through the Kruger National Park and a van load of tourists spooked a young bull and he ran towards our car. Luckily for us he was in musth so he just felt frisky and when he got to our beautiful blue Ford rental, decided to slide along the side. It was extremely scary and we got away unharmed but the car, not so much.