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Celebrity Travel: Go Away With Seamus Mullen

By Jae-Ha Kim, Tribune Content Agency on

The author of "Real Food Heals: Eat to Feel Younger and Stronger Every Day" (Avery, $35), Seamus Mullen was also a finalist on the Food Network series, "The Next Iron Chef." Based out of Brooklyn, New York, Mullen has been able to marry his love of cooking and traveling by pairing up with DuVine Cycling + Adventure Co.'s "Chef on Wheels" tours through Italy. Fans may stay in touch with Mullen via Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/seamusmullen/) and Twitter (https://twitter.com/SeamusMullen).

Q. What is your favorite vacation destination?

A. While I do like going back to places I love, there is nothing more amazing than discovering new places. I'm not so good at the lay around and do nothing vacations, so most of my trips are very active. For outdoor water activities, I love going back to Hawaii. I just got back from a quick trip to the Mani Peninsula. It was an incredibly wild and beautiful part of the world with rugged, untamed severe cliffs falling away to hidden coves and undiscovered beaches. I would go back in a heartbeat.

Q. What untapped destination should people know about?

A. Pantelleria. It's a small island off the coast of Tunisia that's actually considered part of Sicily. It's a remarkable, remote and wild island in the middle of the Mediterranean. The landscape is unlike any other and the waters are as pristine as they get. Sicily, in general, is an amazing and often overlooked part of Italy. I (recently) got back from a week of cycling with DuVine Cycling + Adventure Co. through the southeast of Sicily and it's the real-deal Italian experience. Cycling through this destination is an incredible way to see the culture. It has some of the most amazing food and landscapes I've ever experienced.

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

A. Car camping trip through the United Kingdom. I remember the flight being awful on a cheap charter plane. But once we got to London, I was so excited to explore and see so many new things. I loved exploring castles and ruins. We drove from London to the Lakes District in Scotland, stopping and camping along the way. I remember it raining for most of the trip, but I didn't care. I was so excited to be in a foreign place.

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

A. To be curious, to ask questions, to smile, to make an effort. Even if I don't speak the language, showing an interest in local culture, local cuisine and local history goes a long way in making friends. I've also learned to appreciate wherever I am for its own beauty and not to try to compare it to other places. I try to stop myself from saying, "This looks just like..." because each place is unique and, in reality, it doesn't look just like any other place.

Q. Where are your favorite weekend getaways?

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