By Jae-Ha Kim, Tribune Media Services
3:36 PM EDT, August 23, 2011
Diane Farr says she got a late start in traveling and didn't leave the country until she was 15. But since then, the 41-year-old actress ("Californication," "Rescue Me," "Numb3rs") has more than made up for it by traveling all around the world, primarily alone. That exposure to other cultures — as well as her marriage to a man of a different ethnicity — inspired her to write the funny and astute memoir "Kissing Outside the Lines: A True Story of Love and Race and Happily Ever After" (Seal Press, $24.95). Farr lives in Los Angeles with her husband and three young children. Check out getdianefarr.com for information on her latest projects.
Q: When did you go on your first trip outside of the U.S.?
A: I was 15. My best girlfriend was Cuban, and for her Sweet 16, she took 10 of us to Acapulco.
Q: What are some of your favorite places?
A: Hanoi and Seoul are some of my favorite cities. Morocco is one of my favorite countries ever.
Q: Have you traveled to a place where you felt you were in danger?
A: I've traveled almost everywhere by myself. You get to Cairo and cover yourself up and are surrounded by men during the business day. But it's cultural, and you survive that one. And then you go to Zanzibar and it's the middle of the day and there are 25 children chasing you, but really all they want is to ask you what you want to eat and if they can catch a fish for you. But in Cambodia, I had 10 people knock me off a moped and take my money, and I realized that these people are hungry. They were hoodlum kids who were probably sent out to beg, and I looked like an easy target. I usually travel under the radar, renting a house in a local neighborhood. When I got to Cambodia and gave the cabbie the address, he said, "Don't stay there. My people are not bad people, but they are poor." But I brushed it off and wasn't too worried. But after the first day, I checked in at the Intercontinental Hotel.
Q: What kind of souvenirs do you bring home?
A: I went to Berlin the week the wall came down. I brought back bricks for everyone as souvenirs, and it was the best gift ever. In Morocco I filled up little canisters with sand and gave them to everyone. In India, you find those little Shiva statues that are about the size of your hand. I bought about 50 of them.
Q: Where have you traveled that most reminded you of home?
A: I went to college for two years in England, and a boy I was with there was an athlete who was getting an award from Prince Albert. So I went to Monaco with him. The beaches in the South of France looked exactly like the white sand beaches of New York.
Q: Where would you like to go that you have never been?
A: I am really dying to do Nepal when my kids are big enough to do a walkabout. Also Alaska and Japan.
Q: What's it like flying with three preschool-age kids?
A: It's hard, and we do it as infrequently as possible. We've been twice to the East Coast to see the grandparents, and I shipped a big box of things there and had my parents ship the box back once our trip was over. But it's no fun being on an airplane with very young children. My kids actually yearn for things we can drive to. Those kinds of trips work better for us.
For more from the reporter, visit jaehakim.com.
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