By Jae-Ha Kim, Tribune Media Services
Celebrity Travel by Jae-Ha Kim
9:30 AM EDT, September 30, 2013
"Travel is one of the best ways of knowing that we're all one as human beings on this planet," says actress Frances Fisher. "I grew up traveling. When I had my baby (Francesca Eastwood), it seemed natural to take her everywhere with me. She loved it!" Fisher, 60, may be seen in the film "The Host," which is based on "Twilight" author Stephenie Meyer's novel of the same name. Fans may follow the actress on Twitter (at)FrancesFisher.
Q. Shooting on location -- boring or fun?
A. I've always loved going on location to shoot a film and get to live in a new city for a while. I just was in Atlanta for three weeks to shoot a pilot for a new television series. Hopefully, it'll get picked up. It's a great show, but I also would love to live out there!
Q. What have you learned from your travels?
A. On a basic level, I learned to live without prejudice. I had an international upbringing, living with people of all different races, who spoke different languages and had different customs. I was able to see beyond the surface and saw firsthand that people really all want the same thing. They want to love and be loved, to have food in their bellies, to have shelter and to have their children be safe. I want meaning in my life, and I think travel provides that in many ways. It's so important to travel, so that you don't grow up thinking that the way you live is the only way to live in the world.
Q. What is your favorite vacation destination?
A. I used to go to Kauai a lot. I love being on a lush island that has little pollution. I thought it was an extremely romantic place. The combination of the mountains, ocean, sunset and beaches made it pretty spectacular. I also love the desert and sky of New Mexico. I was there last year filming "The Host," and it was great being there. It reminded me of the times I'd been there before and that I need to get back again soon.
Q. Did you travel a lot when you were a child?
A. I lived in many different countries growing up. I loved it! I was born in England, but lived in many places, because my father was a construction superintendent supervisor who built all over the world. Let's see, I lived in Bogota, Colombia. I lived in Texas. I started first grade in France. I lived in Iowa. We moved to Rio de Janeiro. When I was in the seventh grade, we lived in Turkey. I lived in Italy and also in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Those are the main places I can think of right now.
Q. Are you fluent in any foreign languages?
A. No, unfortunately. I did learn to read and write French, but then we went to Rio and French went out of my head and I spoke Portuguese. One of the things on my bucket list is to go back to all these countries we lived in and immerse myself in learning the languages again. It's a little sad, because there's less incentive to learn a foreign language for a lot of English speakers. Forty or 50 years ago when I moved around so much with my family, you had to learn the native language to communicate. But so many people speak English in foreign countries now. I was in France a couple years ago and it seemed like everyone spoke English.
Q. Do you look forward to the day when you retire and can just take a long trip without having to rush back to work?
A. My feeling is that I'm probably going to be working forever. But, in my profession, there are down times, which I consider my temporary retirement between jobs. That's when I do some traveling, or clean out a closet, or take a class. So I feel as if I've interwoven retirement throughout the year. I love my work and I love to work, so retirement isn't something that's my goal.
Q. Was it important to you to give your daughter an international upbringing as well?
A. Yes! I've taken her everywhere that I've gone. She has had a passport since she was three months old. I took her to Paris when she was about nine months old. She's been to Mexico with me. I took her on location to Atlanta, Savannah, Vancouver and Quebec. Now that she's a grown woman, I'd love to take her back to France and Mexico for a vacation. She's a seasoned traveler. She always says, "Mom, thanks for teaching me how to travel and pack light!"
Q. What is your secret to packing light?
A. I learned that whatever you pack, you can take half of it out and you still won't wear all the stuff that you pack. Stick to a good base color with a couple of accessories and layer, and you can get away with a lot less than you'd think. People are hesitant to wash their clothes when they're traveling. I say go for it. Wash it in the sink, hang it up in the shower overnight and you've got something clean to wear the next day. And bring along a scarf. It can change your look. I've used my larger scarves to carry some of my purchases when I didn't have a big bag with me.
Q. What are some of your favorite cities?
A. New York, Paris, Rio de Janeiro and Taos, New Mexico.
Q. Where have you traveled to that most reminded you of home?
A. My first time when I went to New Orleans, I felt that way, especially in the French quarter and the areas around there. I felt very at home. I felt as if I had been there before. I can't quite explain it. I've always loved it there.
Q. When you go overseas, are you an adventurous eater?
A. I like to eat what the locals eat and I'm not a fussy eater. I could very happily survive on rice and beans if I had to. My general rule of thumb is to stay away from fast food and eat the locally grown fresh food. When I was in France, I was eating a loaf of bread a day with cheese and wine. I was eating a lot of really good food and I didn't gain an ounce. It also helped that we did a lot of walking and that the portions you're served there aren't three times what your stomach can hold.
Q. What would be the best of both worlds, when it comes to your work and traveling?
A. I would love to do a movie that would film on location in seven different parts of the world. Then I would be able to work and see some places I haven't yet. There's a whole world out there to explore. I still want to get to Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, where I have cousins. Actually, I want to see all of Africa.
(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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