By Jae-Ha Kim, Tribune Media Services
Celebrity Travel by Jae-Ha Kim
9:30 AM EDT, September 30, 2013
Born in Texas and raised in Florida, Candice Accola is best known for her portrayal of Caroline Forbes on the CW series "The Vampire Diaries." An avid traveler who counts her passport as one of her prized possessions, the 25-year-old actress says, "I don't think I could have a genuine relationship with someone who didn't love to travel and appreciate new foods. Traveling is a big part of my life, and I want to share that with the people close to me."
Q. What is the one thing you can't live without when you're on vacation?
A. Sunscreen. I burn very easily, so if I forget sunscreen, I will be a tomato by the end of the day. I'm very big on sunscreen and hats. I grew up in Florida and I love the beach and I think it's healthy to get a little bit of color. But especially with this show, we can't really get too sun-kissed in our off time.
Q. Did your family travel a lot when you were younger?
A. I was very fortunate to grow up with parents who love to travel, so I traveled from a young age. My dad's a heart surgeon and goes to conferences all over the world. By the time I was seven, I traveled outside the country for the first time. We went to Paris. The next year, we went to London, and then Brussels. My parents weren't able to travel when they were younger, so they really wanted my little brother and me to have that experience.
Q. Where won't you go?
A. Honestly, I'm up for anything. I just want to travel and explore. Even in the job that I do, it's taken me to different cities where I want to know everything. And even if it's not the most glamorous place, I still want to see everything. I explore Philadelphia like I do Tahiti. There's so much to see no matter where you go.
Q. Have you dated people who don't share your love of travel?
A. Yes. I've dated people where we traveled horribly together and if one thing went wrong, it was horrible for them. Then I've been fortunate enough to have great traveling experiences where everything lined up and even when things went wrong, you just laughed about it. You learn so much about yourself when you're traveling with someone. It's also a huge reason why they say that you shouldn't get married to someone until you've traveled with them. Being in close confines like that for an extended period forces you to explore different sides to yourself.
Q. How are you at hitting the road by yourself?
A. I'm fine with it. I've traveled by myself and gotten lost and I could sit there and pout that I didn't reach my destination. Or, I could say, "I'm lost, but I can appreciate that I'm here anyway." It's so good for the soul and mind. I traveled for a month by myself in 2011. I went to this amazing, charming bed and breakfast in the middle of nowhere in Santiago, Chile. I was the only guest there and the woman who owned this house was Romanian. I didn't speak Spanish or Romanian and she and her brother didn't speak English. It was fine. Sometimes you just have to go with it. I walked around the vineyards and had dinner with people I didn't know. Sometimes, the best thing you can do is get lost.
Q. What are some of your favorite memories from your past trips?
A. I remember as a kid eating mangoes in Manila. I love the crazy busy streets of Bangkok. I love the cafes and croissants in Paris. The people in Spain are so passionate and their happy hours are fantastic. I remember walking down the cobblestone streets in Prague. I was in Costa Rica this past summer and love how you live by the sun. I saw some of the most beautiful sunsets there.
Q. Where would you like to go that you have never been to before?
A. I want to get to Machu Picchu and hike and explore Peru. I've never been to Africa and want to spend a chunk of time there. If I was told to take two months off for a dream trip, I would use it there. I really want to get to Japan. And I've been to Prague, but it was only for 24 hours so it doesn't really count. I really want to spend time there.
Q. What untapped destination should people know about?
A. One of the most incredible places I've been to was Costa Rica. My boyfriend and I made a last-minute decision to go to the Osa Peninsula. It was one of those trips where you take a plane into the rain forest, and then you hike through this jungle. It was incredible, seeing all these big trees, different kinds of monkeys and species of birds.
(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.)
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