Working in TV, radio and on the stage as a writer and performer in Australia and New Zealand, Auckland-based Melanie Bracewell's stand-up show, The Rumours are True, is on at Melbourne International Comedy Festival from March 26 – April 19. See comedyfestival.com.au
It's one of those things you don't think is that necessary in the days of payWave and all that jazz. You just think you can turn up somewhere and get some cash at the airport if you need it. Nope. Nope. Nope. I hopped off the plane at LAX (with a dream and a cardigan) and little did I know my bank had just entirely shut down. Nothing was working. No EFTPOS, no Uber linked to my card, no cash out. I've never been so stressed in my life. Luckily I had a back up plan: call up my Mum and cry. She helped me out. Success.
I'm a single gal. I don't have an Instagram boyfriend to follow me around and take candid photos of me. I've done a lot of travelling alone. But I kind of love it. If I want a midday nap, I'm damn well taking a nap. I get to go in the single riders line at Disneyland. I get to choose all my activities. It is a little less exciting to go to Buckingham Palace and go: "Oh hey, look at that," to no one. But there's nothing wrong with talking to yourself. I'm great to talk to.
Sport is a great conversation starter. If you're bored talking to yourself, a great way to meet people is through sport. I made so many friends just by sitting next to someone at a bar and watching the NBA. Go the Brooklyn Nets.
I always make sure I have internet access wherever I go. I've accepted I'm generally hopeless. I would do terribly at The Amazing Race and I'm okay with that. I'll never be a great navigator and that is why I praise the Google Maps God for its guidance.
I'm very pale. I'm like milk personified. I always remember to pack SPF 50+ sunscreen. My tip for the pale ones out there: get yourself a fake tan before you go away, or even when you arrive. Then you won't be tempted to bake yourself just to make it seem like you've been on holiday. I can't risk being called Melanie and getting Melanoma.
I've learned to not overbook myself. It's easy to get in another country and think you need to pack in as much activity as possible. Free time is wonderful. I'm actually writing this while sitting on a sun lounger in Vietnam. It's incredible. If you're jumping from activity to activity you're never going to appreciate it. You just spend the whole time thinking "Wow, my feet are pretty sore". My feet feel fantastic. Be lazy. It's fun.