Photos: Joanna Goh
Video: Philip Ang, Charlene Chong
DIRECT FROM AUSTRALIA: The cast and crew of Toggle web series The Distance Between embarked on the ‘road trip’ of their lives when they had to travel across three states in Australia within a span of six weeks to film the 13-episode series.
They battled all sorts of weather elements during their time Down Under, from strong winds and hailstorms in winter to sudden torrential rain. And when the weather turned less chilly, they had to deal with the presence of a giant fireball i.e. the harsh Australian sun.
Being constantly on the move (they rarely spent more than three nights at a single location) meant they had to live out of their suitcases too.
Just for fun, we checked in (or rather, sprung surprise room visits) on the three unsuspecting actors Chantalle Ng, Richie Koh and Shane Pow for an impromptu bag check after work hours to find out what are their must-have travelling essentials—or furry companions (yes, you read that right.)
Imagine our surprise when we discovered a brown furry toy bunny sitting prettily in the middle of Shane’s bed during our visit. We later learned that it’s called ‘Chai’ because of its colour and it’s a shared asset between him and his girlfriend, 987 deejay Kimberly Wang. Guess you can say the bunny’s a special love token (she collects them bunnies and he buys them for her), plus a pint-sized bunny doesn’t take up much space.
You know the bunny’s special when he even brings it out for ‘photoshoots’.
Until the day comes when we get to travel with our furry friends (the living kind, we mean), we’ll have to contend with cotton or bean-stuffed animals. We’re not judging him. You are.
In the hot seat this week, we have Shane and his suitcase of surprises. Watch the video below and read on for more!
#1 Bluetooth speaker
“I like to listen to music in general, especially when I'm in the hotel room alone – it gets very lonely sometimes, so I like to turn on some music. And if I want to work out, it’s very handy [too]. This is waterproof and very rugged, so I’ve been using this for a while. It’s my favourite travel companion and I won’t leave my house without it. I got this at a special discount – two for the price of one (laughs). I’ve got a bigger one at home which is even better, but this is very good for travelling because it’s light, handy and rugged.”
#2 Skipping rope
“I always travel with my skipping rope in case I don’t get to exercise, especially if I go for long holidays. If I’m only in Bangkok for three days, obviously I won’t bring my skipping rope (chuckles). But for longer work trips ehixh are more than a week, I try to bring my skipping rope. If I cannot go running, I’d skip and just exercise in the room.”
“I brought my laptop in case I need to do some stuff – like work, send emails and edit stuff [Ed’s note: we later learned Shane edited a special behind-the-scenes video for the crew to document their six-week shoot in Australia]. And sometimes if we end work early, there are certain things you can do on an iPad and on the phone – and certain things you cannot do with them, so you need a laptop. It happened a few times already, I needed to send something important so it was lucky I brought my laptop. It’s my must-bring for longer holidays.”
“Ladies and gentlemen, this is not an advertisement – not paid or sponsored… This one is from Dyson and it's super-powerful and usually with it, I can dry my hair in three minutes and go to sleep. This is very good for styling, it’s light and portable. I bring this for short holidays too – even when I’m going to Bangkok. I host travel shows and sometimes we go to places like China and some of their motels or B&BS (bed and breakfasts) don’t have hairdryer so this is my lifesaver. When we do travelogues we don’t get a makeup artist on set [too] so we do our own hair lah. But I haven’t been using this much [in Australia] since we have a hair and makeup stylist with us.”
#5 Jellycat bunny plushie
“The last item is very important. First of all – don’t judge, secondly, it’s very cute, lastly, this is its first time travelling with me [because] I usually bring the other bunnies. Ta-dah! This is Chai, (say ‘hi’). It’s very shy. This is Kim’s and I have one (that’s very big). Altogether we have about seven bunnies and she bought a new one two days ago – a blue one. So we have a lot of bunnies lah.
“Actually she’s the one who’d bring a bunny with her when she’s overseas. I forgot when it started … usually if I travel with her she’d bring one. But when I went China for the overseas studying trip, she told me to bring a bunny if not I’d feel lonely, so I brought a tiny one. But this trip I brought a bigger one ‘cos I can cuddle it… we have a few [bunnies] in different sizes. It’s quite cute lah. We call him Chai because he is coloured like Chai tea latte. So this is the latest edition to my 5 travel essentials.”
Watch The Distance Between on Toggle now!