Benjamin Kheng Reveals His Most Unforgettable Travel Experience Ever

The Sam Willows frontman and Wonder Boy movie star takes us on a journey of life and song

benjamin Kheng

Photo: Courtesy

What has been your most memorable trip?

A mission aid trip to East Timor in 2010. We spent two weeks in a rural, mountain-top village, running sports days for children, and providing basic healthcare and medicine. We had simple lodging, and a bucket for a shower. At night we’d creep out and lay on our backs, catching the most ridiculously star-lit sky and the Milky Way.

What song best encapsulates this particular experience?

I remember having Sigur Rós on high iPod rotation, and particularly, “Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust” (loosely translated as “with a buzz in our ears we play endlessly”). It was the ultimate soundtrack to the six-hour uphill drives. Pairing post-rock instrumentals with miles and miles of Mother Nature was a really smart move.

benjamin Kheng

Photo: Courtesy

benjamin Kheng

Photo: Courtesy

What is the best music event you’ve performed at?

SXSW 2013 in Austin, Texas, stands out the most because it was our first and craziest overseas festival experience. The food, the multitude of bands, crazy 3am street parties, Dave Grohl’s keynote speech… we also did a ton of flyer runs and busking on the street to lead up to our performance. It was tough, but such a good experience.

How often do you travel?

I’m out of town at least eight to 12 times a year. Most of these are work trips, but when I get to cut loose, I’m pretty spontaneous and adventurous. I’m definitely more of a suburban guy; I love heading out of the city to explore a little bit. And I’m such a sucker for treks.

How would you describe your jet-set style?

It’s functional above anything else, but I love dressing down, especially if I’m going to be doing tons of walking. I’m not trying to perpetuate the tourist stereotype, but fisherman pants and a trusty bandana are an absolute yes. Cold countries are also just a fantastic reason to layer on the tweed, and all the other textures we’d never get to work in the tropical heat.

benjamin Kheng

Photo: Courtesy

Three words that describe your ultimate holiday.

Food, randomness and wifi. All essential elements. I think the cardinal sin in travelling is over-planning; you’ve got to dare to go with the flow!

What’s your favourite time of the day?

Unpopular opinion maybe, but mornings are when it’s at. You know how good a city is for you if they do breakfast right. Starting your day well is so important. Waking up at 2pm just ruins things in my opinion.

What songs are on your current holiday playlist?

“Bad 4 Us” by Superfruit, “Minimum” by Charlie Cunningham, “Paris 12” by Linying and “Looking Too Closely” by Fink.

Benjamin’s Travel Essentials

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