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Go Away With ... Craig Hurley

By Jae-Ha Kim, Tribune Media Services

Celebrity Travel by Jae-Ha Kim

9:30 AM EDT, September 30, 2013

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When Craig Hurley was in his early 20s, he seemed headed for stardom. Handsome, talented and one of the stars of a heavily hyped network series, films seemed like the next natural progression. But as detailed in his no-holds-barred book "27 And All Washed Up" (available at http://www.craighurley.tv), that's not how Hurley's career turned out. Now 44, the transplanted Midwesterner lives in Miami with his girlfriend, actress Katie Barberi. A popular voice actor (McDonald's, IKEA, M&M's), Hurley currently is editing the film "Crazy," which also marks his return to acting.

Q. What's the most memorable trip you took as a child?

A. We used to go on different family trips once or twice a year to places like Acapulco, Cancun or Hawaii. But a trip to Cancun stands out because of what eventually happened. When my family was in Cancun, the hotel manager had a 5-year-old daughter. I must've been around nine at the time. Then when she was 16 and I was 20, we were both on the same episode of "Freddy's Nightmares." And then 23 years later, we connected again and had our first date. And now we're living together.

Q. Where would you like to visit that you haven't been to yet?

A. Copenhagen, Denmark. Actually, I haven't been to any part of Europe yet. I've been to Canada and Mexico and I've been all across the United States. Even though I've obviously flown a lot for work, I'm not a big fan of flying. I don't want to be on a plane for even six hours. So I'm waiting for Richard Branson to get his spaceships ready so we can get to Europe in 20 minutes.

Q. Are you a fan of road trips?

A. Yes. I love them. As a kid, we'd drive from Chicago to downstate Lincoln to visit my grandmother. I used to sit in the backseat and bounce up and down the whole trip. I'm sure it bugged my parents. When (Katie) and I decided to move in together, she needed to be in Miami for her work. So I moved to be with her. We took a road trip and it was so much fun. We had an amazing time. We want to take another cross-country trip where there's really no agenda and we can just stop wherever we want to and go exploring and check out antique stores.

Q. Which location have you filmed at that you really enjoyed?

A. Las Vegas. I really liked it. We shot (my series) "Nasty Boys" there. It was cool.

Q. Have you been guilty of being an ugly American?

A. I hope not. A friend of mine took a walking tour of South America and visited places like Peru and Argentina. He was backpacking and staying at hostels. He said that, eventually, he stopped saying he was from the U.S., because some people were giving him a hard time about it. But when he said he was from England or Australia, they accepted him more. I love America. But we do have a reputation for being arrogant and not bothering to learn the language of the country we're visiting. Yet we expect the people there to speak English. That just doesn't make sense to me. If you're going to visit some place, try to fit in. At least make an attempt. My girlfriend is completely bilingual and I find that so impressive.

Q. Which place turned out to be better than you had envisioned?

A. Florida. I had visited Miami and Orlando before, but I didn't really like it when I was there. I thought it was too humid and smelled like the inside of an airplane. I just didn't like it at all. But now that I live in Miami with Katie, I really like it. Maybe that's because of who I'm here with and I can see the city through different eyes.

Q. What's the best thing about Miami?

A. Florida is like a completely different country. In Miami, I'm the minority. There are Haitians, Jamaicans and Latinos where we live. The food is really good, with a lot of variety. The sushi here is amazing. We go to a place called Moshi Moshi (http://www.moshimoshi.us/) in South Beach where everything is really good.

Q. Of all the places you've been what's the one place to which you always return?

A. I love Maui. I almost bought a house in Lahaina. I've been there six times and adore the place.

Q. Do you surf?

A. No. When I first moved to California, I tried the beach thing and the surfer dude stuff. I taught myself how to surf. But then a bloated dead dog floated by me and I paddled back to the shore and that was it. That's the last time I surfed. It was like it was an omen of some kind. But I do like to snorkel.

(Jae-Ha Kim is a New York Times bestselling author and travel writer. You can respond to this column by visiting her website at http://www.jaehakim.com. You may also follow "Go Away With..." on Twitter at @GoAwayWithJae where Jae-Ha Kim welcomes your questions and comments.)