By Jae-Ha Kim, Tribune Media Services
4:09 PM EDT, October 25, 2011
Born in Illinois, raised in Hawaii and now a resident of British Columbia, Canada, actress Sarah Wayne Callies stars as Lori Grimes on the hit AMC series "The Walking Dead." A longtime supporter of the International Rescue Committee, Callies will be traveling to Southeast Asia soon to offer aid in refugee camps.
Q: What is your favorite vacation destination?
A: I'm from Hawaii, so visiting the Big Island is one of my favorite places. It's the most relaxing place for me to go and kick back. My aunt's house is there, and I like to get back as much as I can.
Q: Do you prefer to have an itinerary or kind of wing it?
A: I'm someone who really enjoys experiencing a new culture. I like getting lost. The first time I took my husband to Paris, we just wandered the streets for four days. I'm more interested in the people than the monuments and tourist attractions. The older I get, it's less about where I go than knowing someone is there who can help me experience the real culture and steer me away from the tourist traps. I was never interested in taking a Waikiki bus tour-type of thing. When I lived in New York, I never went to the Statue of Liberty. It was more fun for me to explore the neighborhoods and the restaurants and just see what was there for myself.
Q: Has traveling for work become a burden?
A: No. One of the great gifts of my line of work is that they send me all over the place. I got to go to Dubai last year to promote the show. As soon as I got there, I talked to the people in the hotel and found out where to eat, and it turned out that someone's brother owned a great restaurant where they had the most delicious food.
Q: But certainly people are likely to be more welcoming to a well-known actress than your average American Joe.
A: Maybe, but I really don't think that's true. I've traveled all over the world with lots of people of all ages, and one of the most beautiful things is how open people are to other people.
Q: Why is traveling such an important part of your life?
A: We hear in the media about what's happening in the world. You read the reports and see on the news about something happening in Africa. Then you go to Africa and talk to the people and, while there might be a lot of different circumstances, at the end of the day we're all people. As stupid as it sounds, travel is good for world peace.
Q: Which American cities speak to you?
A: I absolutely love New York City. To me, it's like doing Disneyland! There's so much great food and art. I loved living in Chicago. It was such a marvelous place to be. San Francisco is great. I love Oakland. I've lived in Washington, D.C. It was an incredible adventure. Atlanta is a really great city.
Q: Are you adventurous with dining out on the road?
A: I love food. It's one of the things I love most about New York. I can eat Malaysian for lunch and Ethiopian for dinner without having to go out of my way.
For more from the reporter, visit jaehakim.com.
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