Go Away With ... Reggie Lee

Celebrity Travel by Jae-Ha Kim

Born in the Philippines and raised in Ohio, Reggie Lee currently splits his time between Los Angeles and Portland, where he has a co-starring role as Sgt. Wu on the NBC hit series "Grimm." Lee's film credits include "The Dark Knight Rises," "The Fast and the Furious " and "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End." Lee says he loves shooting on location in Oregon, but he's looking forward to doing some traveling soon. "I generally like to stay home and be with family for the holidays. But, right after Christmas, I'm headed to London and then Paris for New Year's." Fans may follow the actor on Twitter at https://twitter.com/MrReggieLee.

Q. What is your favorite vacation destination?

A. Italy, specifically Tuscany.

Q. To someone who was going to Tuscany for the first time, what would you recommend that they do during their visit?

A. Eat, eat, eat! Find out where the locals go to eat and dine there. Take a cooking class, if you can. Go to a vineyard.

Q. What untapped destination should people know about?

A. Iceland. It's the most majestic scenery I've ever experienced.

Q. Where are your favorite weekend getaways?

A. While I'm filming in Portland, a weekend getaway to Mount Hood and Timberline Lodge for some skiing is great. Also, I love to go to Bend, Oregon. And I love going to the Oregon coast as well!

Q. What was the first trip you took as a child? And did you love it ... or not so much?

A. As a child growing up in the Philippines, I remember taking a road trip to Baguio, a tourist destination in the Philippines. I remember the bus trek being quite treacherous, because it was up a steep hillside, but it was exciting! I think I was 4 years old and the idea of vacationing was already implanted. Needless to say, I've carried through and more!

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

A. That there's more to life than just work. That vacationing and travel leads to a more balanced, healthy life.

Q. Have you traveled to a place that stood out so much that you felt compelled to incorporate it into your work?

A. I've worked and relaxed in Kauai and, each time, I've learned so much from the laidback Hawaiian lifestyle and how much that sense of calm can yield much more productive work and life results.

Q. Where is the most romantic destination?

A. Italy.

Q. What are your favorite hotels?

A. Wow. So many! I'm a hotel freak! Specifically boutique hotels. I loved the J.K. Place Hotel in Florence, Italy -- sleek, great views and homey at the same time. Hotel Ranga in Iceland -- luxury and one of a kind and in the middle of nowhere. And the St. Regis Princeville Hotel in Kauai, which sits right on Hanalei Bay and is pretty spectacular and has an amazing brunch! I could go on and on!

Q. What are your five favorite cities?

A. Portland. New York City. Florence. Vienna, Austria. Amsterdam.

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

A. The Hawaiian Islands.

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

A. Greece.

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

A. My iPhone and iPad, a restaurant guide, comfortable shoes and a good pair of jeans.

Q. What would be your dream trip?

A. Renting a villa in the South of France for a month or a cottage in Ireland.

Q. What are your favorite restaurants?

A. Pok Pok and Piazza Italia here in Portland. Babbo in New York City. Blair’s and Bottega Louie in Los Angeles.

Q. What is your guilty pleasure when you're on the road?

A. Wine. Oh, and chocolate.

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

A. Restaurants and hotels on tripadvisor.com. Aside from that, I basically am not a "see tourist sites" kind of person. I'm more a "live amongst and experience the locals" type.

Q. What is your best and/or worst vacation memory?

A. Best: renting a villa in Chianti and waking up at 6 a.m. to cook breakfast while the sun was rising. Worst: none, because vacationing is the best!

(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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