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Celebrity Travel: Go Away With Tami Neilson

By Jae-Ha Kim, Tribune Content Agency on

Born and raised in Canada and currently based out of New Zealand, Tami Neilson has been on the road for three decades. "From the age of 12, I was on tour all across North America in a 35-foot motor home with my family's band The Neilsons," says Neilson, 42. "It consisted of my mom, dad and two brothers, Jay and Todd. I met and married a Kiwi and moved across the world to New Zealand 15 years ago. I am lucky enough to be a dual citizen of both countries." Singing in a style reminiscent of Patsy Cline, the country star sings about living out of a suitcase in "Hey, Bus Driver!," a track from her latest album "CHICKABOOM!" Fans may follow her on Twitter ( and Instagram (

Q. What was the first trip you took as a child?

A. I grew up in Toronto, so our summer holiday spot was Wasaga Beach, a couple hours north. It holds so much nostalgia for me. My brothers and I would play on the beach from early morning until our dinner of fish and chips. I still recall my first little purple sand pail and tiny plastic shovel, flip-flops with a rainbow strap between my toes, watching "Back to the Future" at the drive-in movies while eating ice cream.

Q. If you could only pick one place to eat, would you choose a street cart or fine dining?

A. A street cart or food truck. When I'm on tour, I see most of the world from inside a tour van or from a hotel room window and spend most of my time at the venue where I'm performing. I always try to sneak out and walk around between soundcheck and the show to soak up what I can in a couple of hours. If I'm lucky, we get a day off to explore, so I'd rather grab food along the way that I can eat as I wander!

Q. Where are your favorite weekend getaways?


A. Wellington, New Zealand. It's an hour flight from where I live in Auckland and it has the best food, fashion and music. The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa is one of my favorite places. I recently went on a weekend getaway with my husband to Melbourne (Australia), which is such a vibrant, stylish city. Colorful, artistic architecture and lovely cafes along the river and great vintage clothing shops.

Q. If you've ever gone away for the holidays, which was the best trip?

A. Going back to Canada for my first white Christmas three years after relocating to New Zealand. I'd been so homesick each Christmas, which is summer in New Zealand, decorating the tree while wearing shorts, crying as I listened to "White Christmas" by Bing Crosby!

Q. What are your five favorite cities?


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