My travel life: Stacey Alleaume, opera singer

Opera Australia singer Stacey Alleaume, will perform in La Traviata Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour from March 27 to April 26, and has played principal soprano roles in The Marriage of Figaro, Rigoletto and The Turk in Italy.

Number of countries visited 17

My worst passport mishap was after much trouble arranging my working visa for Austria, I arrived at Zurich airport one day earlier than the date on the visa and they were not going to grant me entry. I was on the verge of tears. Luckily, after the customs officer made a call to her supervisor, she stamped my passport and off I went to make my European debut.

I got my first passport when I was 23 in 2009. My first trip was to Japan with my boyfriend who is now my husband.

My passport photo is a definite improvement from my last one. I learnt from experience.

I can't stop going back to New York. It's such a fabulous city, with so much to offer, especially in the arts. I absolutely love going to see musicals on Broadway and operas at The Metropolitan Opera.

My last travel destination was a five-month international work trip. I started in Austria to make my European debut at the Bregenzer Festspiele singing Gilda in Rigoletto. This was followed by a mini-break in Santorini soaking up the sun, and then off to Oman to perform Frasquita at The Royal Opera House Muscat. It was a whirlwind trip.

My next travel destination is Sydney, from my home in Melbourne, to perform the leading lady role Violetta in La Traviata.

I'm really looking forward to singing on my birthday, suspended from a giant 3.5 tonne chandelier covered with 10,000 crystals with fireworks overhead.

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What I really want from my next trip is good weather during the performances and big, enthusiastic audiences.

I love to travel because It's exciting to discover and explore new places. I enjoy immersing myself in different cultures, learning about their history, architecture, art and music and trying to practise my language skills. I have started a tradition of making photobooks after every trip which is a really nice memento of the adventure.

My travel philosophy is to settle in. Spending as much time as possible in one place rather than city-hopping is so much more rewarding.

The one travel mistake i always make is overpacking. Every single time.

The one thing i really do get right when i travel is waking up early to avoid the crowds and getting that perfect photo.

If I had to sit in the middle seat the other passengers I'd want on either side of me would be [tennis player] Roger Federer, because I would love to meet the 20-time grand slam champion, who shows great passion and determination in his profession. On the other side, [former First Lady] Michelle Obama, because she always displays such grace, she is incredibly smart and has strong values on empowering women.

The one famous traveller i really admire is fashion illustrator Megan Hess. I am so inspired by her artwork and she always looks stunning and stylish.

The one famous person I'd like to travel with is [actor] Nicole Kidman because I think she is a very successful inspiring woman, plus she is down-to-earth and funny.

Airline food is not to be recommended. I eat before I fly, and I usually buy some snacks to nibble on.

Airport security is absolutely necessary. It can be stressful if you are trying to make a connecting flight in the big hub airports (I missed a flight by a few minutes once) but I would rather they do the screenings and searches so we are safe.

Hotels are a place to relax, wind down and recover for the next day of work or adventures. Normally, when I travel my days are pretty jam-packed so I don't tend to spend much time in the hotel for anything other than sleeping.

I've always wanted to go to Machu Picchu in Peru or walk the Camino de Santiago.

I've never wanted to go to nowhere. I love travelling, however, winter destinations that are freezing are not my preferred choice.

Aisle or window and why? I change depending on the type of flight. For a domestic flight, I like the window, because I am usually on an early flight and it's great to get a little nap in. If it's a long-haul flight I always choose the aisle as I like the freedom to move around. I don't like feeling boxed in or having to climb over people.

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