Born in Wales, Tom Ellis made a name for himself in the BBC soap opera "EastEnders." The actor, 35, now stars as Dr. William Rush in the USA Network's new medical drama, "Rush." He calls London home, but is currently based out of Vancouver shooting his series. "Vancouver is such a beautiful city," says Ellis. "It's unreal. I love how it's a city thoughtfully nestled within nature." Fans may follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/tomellis17.
Q. What is your favorite vacation destination?
A. The Caribbean, which is beyond beautiful and so serene. My recommendation is to do as little as possible. It's the only way to really appreciate how beautiful everything is in that moment.
Q. What untapped destination should people know about?
A. The Maldives or the Seychelles. I've been to the Maldives several times in the last five years. Of course, you relax with a massage or dip, but there are a lot of things to do. I went game fishing and caught a mahi-mahi and a chef at the hotel made sashimi and grilled my very hard work. It was delicious. In Seychelles, I stayed at a private island, which was mostly inhabited by tortoises, which my daughters absolutely loved.
Q. What was the first trip you took as a child?
A. My first trip was a road trip to Hungary with my family. I loved it. We stopped at so many places in Europe along the way. I remember at 6 years old thinking Salzburg (Austria) was one of the most beautiful places I'd ever seen, which is a funny thought at six.
Q. What's the most important thing you've learned from your travels?
A. Pack light. I'm much better at packing essential items only. I was terrible at packing when I was younger. Also, don't be afraid to talk to people, residents and tourists alike. You can learn so many great tips from fellow travelers, and who knows? They may hold the secret to your next great adventure.
Q. Have you traveled to a place that stood out so much that you felt compelled to incorporate it into your work?
A. Caneel Bay (U.S. Virgin Islands). Ever since I've been there, I've tried to convince people to shoot there. So far, no one has agreed to shooting there, but I will keep trying.
Q. Where are your favorite weekend getaways?
A. Babington House in Somerset, England, and Soho House in Canada. I look for complete relaxation -- somewhere I can sit for a good long time and feel truly happy to be alive. A weekend getaway is a short-term experience to recharge, but the memories stay with you forever. All you need is good room service, a plush robe and a lovely glass of pinot noir.
Q. Where is the most romantic destination?
A. I guess that depends on your definition of romance. For an island retreat it would be the Maldives. A romantic city would definitely be Prague.
Q. If you've ever gone away for the holidays, which was the best trip?
A. In the Caribbean, Caneel Bay for Christmas. It was the very first time I had been away from the U.K. and my family on Christmas and I was nervous I wouldn't have a good time because it wasn't going to feel anything like Christmas to me. You check into your hotel and they hand you fins and a snorkel. So right away that's an amazing start. And then your room opens up right on to the beach. You swim over a reef and turtles are floating by. It's so unreal that it's a little like a cartoon.
Q. What are your favorite hotels?
A. Shangri-la Hotel in Vancouver and Babington House in Somerset.
Q. What are your five favorite cities?
A. London, New York, Vancouver, Barcelona, Montreal.
Q. Where have you traveled to that most reminded you of home?
A. The foliage and fauna of west coast Canada, and the people's sense of humor, reminds me of home.
Q. Where would you like to go that you have never been to before?
A. South America.
Q. When you go away, what are some of your must-have items?
A. Definitely headphones. I love music. Swim shorts.
Q. What would be your dream/fantasy trip?
A. My dream trip would be trekking through the Himalayas. As a kid I was always fascinated by the highest, the widest and the oldest. Because of everything you ever hear about Everest, it has intrigued me to a point where I thought, "I would like to do that. I will need to see that someday."
Q. What are your favorite restaurants in Los Angeles?
A. Nobu. Yellowtail with jalapenos could be the only thing I ever eat for the rest of my life. Osteria Mozza. Every single pasta dish with a wine from their sommelier. And Sugar Fish. Of course, it's delicious. But I love the fact that they tell you exactly what to do with everything they serve you.
(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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