On the road again

04 October 2022

Sun and Soong Chau

Soong and Sun Chau may live in a Hillsborough Heights, Auckland retirement village, but their adventure playground extends well beyond the city limits.

The self-confessed gypsies and campervan enthusiasts regularly traverse New Zealand, catching up with loved ones and exploring far-flung locales.

“We have friends and family all over the country and the best way to keep in touch with them is by motor homing,” says Sun. “It’s great. We can turn up at a friend’s house, have a drink, stay for a meal and see their children. It’s a much better way of interacting than Zoom or telephone.”

With a bach in Arrowtown, the couple frequently make the journey South, allowing plenty of time for detours along the way.

“We spend about six months of each year at Parkside Village and the other six months motor homing - every month or two we plan another trip! My wife’s forebears were part of the Chinese gold rush, and we often take the campervan off-trail to fossick around the goldmines. Meanwhile my parents were missionaries - Soong and I have been travellers all our lives.”

Throughout their careers the pair jetted the world. Sun (a retired obstetrician and gynecologist) and Soong (former senior dietician at Auckland Hospital), were often overseas for conferences and workshops.

“We travelled extensively, bringing wonderful medical research back to New Zealand. I retired 21 years ago but we’ve never stopped travelling.”

Now in their 80s, the lure of hitting the road never gets old.

“New Zealand is so beautiful, and we’re still exploring it. We’ve toured the Catlins, been salmon fishing in Tekapo and camped on the foothills of Ruapehu. We’ve also taken our motor home to Australia, swimming with the dugongs in Kimberley and marvelling at the Staircase to the Moon.”

Fully kitted out with a queen bed, shower and toilet, an oven, deep freeze and even a television, they’re never short of home comforts, and thanks to solar power, they can go off grid whenever the mood takes them. With Metlifecare’s Parkside Village as homebase, Soong and Sun have the ultimate lock and leave lifestyle.

“Life’s too short – as you get older you have to weigh up your values. We moved into Parkside Village just over seven years ago and we’ve been happy ever since. When we want to go away, we just shut the door and walk out. It’s a wonderful life.”

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