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Go away with Lisa Ling

After Lisa Ling gave a speech at Tufts University, students asked her what advice she had for young people. "The best education I have ever received was through travel," said the California-based journalist. "You'll become more conversant, poised and smarter." Ling — who is the executive producer and host of "Our America with Lisa Ling" on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) — has traveled extensively for her work, reporting from the Congo, India and Uganda. Ling and her husband, Dr. Paul Song, are the parents of a baby girl, Jett. Read more about Ling at, or follow her @LisaLing.

Q. Have you taken your baby on any trips?

A. I just took Jett across country to New York. Overall, she was really good, but I was a stress case on the plane. I was concerned that passengers would berate me every time she made a peep. I can't wait to tote Jett around the world. I look forward to sharing Nepal with her. It's one of my favorite countries and I just love the Himalayas. It's going to be a while before I take her, but one of these days.

Q. What is the most romantic destination?

A. Santorini, Greece. The city of Oia is the most magnificently romantic place I've ever been. It's a city at the top of a steep slope and has the most unbelievable views. All of the cafes and restaurants are built into the cliff. It is romance personified.

Q. What untapped destination should people know about?

A. People are starting to know more about it, but I was blown away by Almaty, Kazakhstan. It's like a future Swiss Alps. It has the potential to be an extraordinary ski resort. It is a city with beautiful mountain scapes.

Q. What was the first trip you took as a child?

A. I don't remember my first trip, but I do remember when my mom took me to Disney World in Orlando. It wasn't the rides, but Epcot Center that most fascinated me. It made me want to see those countries that are represented there for real.

Q. What's the most important thing you've learned from your travels?

A. To be open minded and try everything.

Q. Where are your favorite weekend getaways?

A. Palm Springs, San Francisco and Napa.

Q. If you've ever gone away for the holidays, which was the best trip?

A. Fourth of July in Napa was my favorite. Best fireworks show I've ever seen.

Q. What are your favorite hotels?

A. The Mansion ( in Savannah, Ga.; the George V ( in Paris; the Park Hyatt ( in Shanghai.

Q. What are some of your favorite cities?

A. Austin, Beijing, Kathmandu (Nepal) and Bogota (Colombia).

Q. Where have you traveled to that most reminded you of home?

A. Sydney, Australia. Sydney is a lot like where I live in that it is laid-back and people seem so outdoorsy. I really felt at home there. Everyone was so nice.

Q. Where would you like to go that you have never been to before?

A. Morocco. Mongolia.

Q. When you go away, what are some of your must-have items?

A. Hand sanitizer, ear plugs, cleansing wipes, Kindle.

Q. What are your favorite restaurants?

A. Bazaar ( in Los Angeles, Zuni Cafe ( in San Francisco, Sushi of Gari ( and Basta Pasta ( in New York, Din Tai Fung ( all over the world.

Q. When you're on the road, what is your guilty pleasure?

A. Chex Mix and online shopping.

Q. What kind of research do you do before you go away on a trip?

A. I usually ask people who've been.

Q. What is your worst travel memory?

A. Having my luggage lost in Pyongyang, North Korea, sucked. I had to wear communist garb for a week.

(Jae-Ha Kim is a New York Times bestselling author and travel writer. You can respond to this column by visiting her website at You may also follow @GoAwayWithJae where Jae-Ha Kim welcomes your questions and comments.)

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