Braden Currie: Travelling with the Curries

3 mins

When it comes to international travel, the Curries are professionals. They're well-versed in living out of a few duffels while Braden trains for international competitions. Read about how they keep busy & what they don't travel without. 

Braden’s career requires him to be away from home for at least 4-5 months a year. From the early days when we first had our son Tarn, we decided that we would always go together. Braden doesn’t like travelling by himself so much and part of what motivates him as a high-performance endurance athlete is his family. The experiences both in life supporting their dad as he trains and competes as well as the travel adventures we get to experience during the process are things that both Braden and I value as parents. We think our kids will be better kids for it. And although the Insta glossy version looks unbelievable if I do say so myself, enjoying the experience for everything it offers demands a resilient mindset. We often turn up in places we have never been where we do not know anyone. We then have to quickly adapt and make the place feel like home. We work out how we lay out our days to make sure everyone gets a bit of what they need to stay inspired and motivated, but also get done what we need to get done in the background. For me, that's work on my computer as I wear a lot of hats, and for the kids, they still have to get their schoolwork done. 

Finding the balance, and also just learning to quickly adapt and feel comfortable no matter where you are is something I think we have become really good at. 

As an example of a not-so-pretty experience, we went to Milwaukee for a race on the way to Europe this year. We were there for 7 days in total. We booked a cheap Airbnb and on the first night, we realised we were situated one block away from one of the most dangerous suburbs in Milwaukee. Tarn also googled Milwaukee after he heard something in the night, it turns out it's one of the USA’s most dangerous cities. Being active is usually what we do to pass the time while we're away, and it all of a sudden became a lot more intimidating. We settled on tennis as a safer active option. The kids and I aren't natural tennis players, but the goal for the week became tennis. In honesty, we were ducks out of water. We had a huge amount of downtime in an uninspiring and largely intimidating place and at the same time, Braden was trying to prepare to compete against the best in the world at his first individual PTO race. We had jet lag and struggled to find fresh, whole foods. There was not a lot to get excited about but we all stayed positive and we made the most of it. We played lots of cards and tennis and that was our week.

The next stop was St Moritz in Switzerland. Clearly, I was in charge of the itinerary as St Mortiz has to be one of the best adventure playgrounds in the world and also the most beautiful. It’s also super expensive so to pull off any time here we needed some flatmates and a really good deal. We got both. Hannah and Nick Berry shared 3 weeks with us in St Moritz. We all got athlete cards from the local tourist centre and that gave us either free or half-price gondola tickets which enabled the kids and I to go exploring every single day. We also met a guy called Bart from NZ who leant Bella a mountain bike and Els Visser also offered a lend of her gravel bike to me. 

We shopped locally at the supermarket and ate out only once on our last night. The kids also cook three times a week each while we are away. That allows them to earn some pocket money that they can then spend on things they love. For Bella, that's horse riding. We managed to go horse riding in about 5 countries throughout our trip. That was a massive highlight for her. Tarn, he loves mountain biking and had some epic adventures in Switzerland, France and the Dolomites. 

I get to crack into some work while the kids are cooking or studying but outside of that, the focus was solely to make sure we did not miss one minute of opportunity. We tried to do everything we could as we simply never know when these opportunities will dry up. We know we are lucky, but we also have worked hard to get to where we are, so we can appreciate the value of what our life now offers us. The same goes for the kids. There have been times when finances were tough and I was telling Braden that he had to win the next race so that we could even make the race after that one. We are so proud of the life we live and the adventures we get to experience and our kids know exactly what's involved. They know it’s not on a plate for them to enjoy. They help out wherever they can and Tarn is one of Braden’s biggest helpers in all areas. Bella is the best cook though. 

While we're away we share 3 Macpac Duffle bags. Braden takes his bike in a bike box so there is only room for 3 other bags and one is dedicated to everything Braden needs to be a triathlete. We have to be minimalists. I still found a spot for the tennis rackets, much to Braden's disapproval. But ultimately we live with a few pairs of shorts, a run/hiking pack we share, and one pair of running shoes. By the time we get home, we are pretty much ready to burn everything we had with us as it’s not pretty.

But it’s really fun living with so little. Life seems way simpler, although at airports it doesn’t look that simple. 

Our favourite and top things we take on every trip are:

  • 15litre amp running pack
  • Macpac packing cells. Although it's way quicker to just jam it all in, we get a lot more bang for our buck if we pack from the onset into the cells. 
  • 120-litre wheeled duffel bag. We also stuff a 50-litre duffel bag in Braden's bike box just in case we end up with way too much stuff and have to buy an extra bag on any of our legs. 
  • Braden loves his Macpac 40-litre pursuit bag that he uses as hand luggage. It’s so lightweight, and only one extra compartment at the top where he can put small items for easy access. The yoga mat fits where an ice axe usually would on alpine missions. Braden likes having a stretch between flights - and what's an extra 1-2kgs on the travel bag? 
  • The men's hooded icefall jacket is Braden and Tarn's favourite all-round jacket that they use everywhere including the plane
  • I like taking a silk liner to sleep in on the plane as I can’t sleep if my toes are cold
  • We also all take geothermals as no matter where you go, if you are in the mountains you are going to need a warm layer. The geothermal weighs nothing so it’s a good overlayer too for running. 
Sally Currie
Sally Currie
Wife of Macpac ambassador and multi-sport athlete Braden Currie, Sally is an adventurous spirit, determined to raise outside kids
Explore More
Braden Currie and his son adventured to the West Matukituki Valley in Mt Aspiring National Park to hike up Cascade Saddle.
4 mins
The story of Sally Currie and her 13 year old son, Tarn, running the epic Tangariro Alpine Crossing.
Whether you're going overseas or discovering your own backyard, here's a gear checklist for your big trip.