If you’re a die-hard 80s music lover, chances are you’re locked on to the Lite Breakfast Show on the radio whilst getting ready for work weekday mornings, the familiar sound of Shazmin Shamsuddin’s (or simply ‘Shaz’) distinct voice twittering in the background over random musings in between soundtracks to the childhood and lives of Gen X Malaysians.
Apart from being a presenter, the mother of three is also producer of the popular morning segment. And though she’s spent more than two decades in radio, Shaz still gets a kick out of her job, which requires waking up way before dawn, and a perpetually effervescent spirit. “Early mornings, interesting guests, every day is different, and I learn something new – it’s great!” shares the PJ native.
Join us as we chat with Shaz about her passion for travel, top destinations on her ‘bucket list’ and faves and pet peeves (and more!)
Share with us some of your favourite holiday destinations, foreign and local.
Shazmin Shamsuddin (Shaz): Locally, it’s Langkawi, and all the islands on our East Coast. I love Tioman and Kapas as well. I’m a beach person. I’ve been to the pink sandy beaches of Bermuda. I loved Prague and Paris, but London is one of my favourite cities, as I have friends there.
Do you have a favourite destination that you never get tired of visiting, even if you’ve been there numerous times before?
Shaz: I’ve been going back to Langkawi Island since I first started going there on my own in the mid 90s. Now, with my own family, we go more than twice in a year sometimes. It’s the beauty, the serenity, and if I’m honest, the familiarity of the place. I’m very relaxed when I’m in Langkawi. It feels like coming home. Who knows, maybe one day it will be my home!
What are the top 3 destinations on your ‘Bucket List’?
Shaz: Only three??? Just off the top of my head … Greece, the Nordic countries and Amsterdam. Yeah, can you believe it – I totally haven’t been to Amsterdam! Always wanted to go, always got waylaid!
What do you love most about travelling? And what do you hate most?
Shaz: Seeing new things, experiencing new food and the different climes. I love visiting markets, museums and bookshops. I hate long lines at immigrations and being subjected to the third degree at the border.
What’s the first thing on your itinerary when you visit a brand new destination?
Shaz: Usually I hunt down a decent cup of coffee and something good to eat!
What are some of the travel essentials that you must have with you during your travels?
Shaz: I carry medication with me, so it’s really important that nothing gets left behind. Also, the usual – extra cable, chargers, a battery pack and extra underwear! Books or my kindle.
Share with us at least ONE of your travel quirks.
Shaz: I have anxiety, so the only thing I can do is prepare for all eventualities. I make lists. I pack waaay in advance. It drives my family nuts but it’s what I need to do, so I do it.
Shaz: My husband and I were going on a short overnight cruise once. We didn’t think we needed our passports, so we didn’t bring them. Luckily, we arrived to board quite early, so we did a very speedy run home to fetch the passports!
Are you an adventurous foodie? Share with us some of your most memorable culinary experiences.
Shaz:I love food and will try anything once. I must say, there’s not much I don’t like, even if it looks like a plate of crap – which is what French Canadian poutine looks like. That said, I LOVE poutine, so haha! I’ll still eat badly presented food.
What services and facilities do you find most appealing at KLIA or klia2?
Shaz: I love that the toilets are fairly clean and that each stall has its own toilet roll dispenser. Some places take things like this for granted.
Do you have any pre-boarding rituals?
Shaz: I just let family and friends know I’m boarding and my flight number. And pray.
How do you handle flight delays?
Shaz: I always have a book or gadget on me. I’ll read the back of a chip packet if I have nothing to read! If I’m inspired, I’ll jot an ode or ideas for a story into my phone. There’s always something which can inspire a story when I’m people-watching.
How do you keep yourself occupied on long layovers?
Shaz: I catch up on my reading, go shopping or find some place quiet to catch a snooze.
Photos © iStock by Getty Images.