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Celebrity Travel: Go Away With Erin Burnett

By Jae-Ha Kim, Tribune Content Agency on

Host of CNN's "Erin Burnett OutFront," Erin Burnett has reported from Cuba, Afghanistan and Israel. Traveling is a big part of her life and the journalist says she is close to reaching her goal of exploring 100 countries. "I've visited 90, and I know I'll always want to see more," says Burnett, who is based out of New York. "I have a folder where I save articles about places I want to go. It's full of years of clippings that I enjoy reading through every few months and imagining destinations." Fans may follow her on Twitter (https://twitter.com/ErinBurnett).

Q. What places are left to round out that Top 100 list?

A. New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Philippines. I want to hike in New Zealand and see the land of the Hobbit.

Q. What untapped destination should people know about?

A. There are several! Of the accessible places, I'd suggest: Malta and Japan. Malta is an intoxicating mix of Christian and Muslim history -- all this on a Mediterranean island. I cannot wait to return to Japan. I can still have a moment of true peace remembering visiting temples there. A few other places that come to mind that were transformational are Pakistan and Yemen. I traveled to Yemen alone after a work trip in the Middle East. I was filming there and I'll always remember the young man who befriended me and took me to eat with his friends.

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

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A. My love of travel began early. I had a great uncle who traveled the world and returned with photos and stories to share. I would listen to him for hours. When he died, I received his father's sword. He was in the Navy. I treasure it as a symbol of exploring. My first trips were with my parents and my two sisters: we traveled across the country and to Europe, because my father had spent part of his childhood in France, while my grandfather was in the Navy. I remember moments from many places. I learned to whistle in a Mississippi hotel room on the day of Princess Diana's wedding. And one of my first travel memories is learning to ask, "Ou sont les toilettes?" in French. I learned to ask, but not how to understand the reply and I got hopelessly lost (and ended up) on a construction site.

Q. Where is the most romantic destination?

A. Almost every destination has romance. One place I'll always remember is Tahiti. My now-husband and I traveled there together, arriving at something like 4 a.m. We were able to rent our car and we drove straight to Teahupo'o, the famous surfing beach. We arrived as the sun was rising and, in addition to a couple of surfers from New Zealand, we noticed a few people with professional telescopes. It turned out we'd arrived on the day of a total solar eclipse. Someone had extra pairs of viewing glasses and we watched from the shore and from a boat with a local family that took us out amidst the massive waves. There were only a few people there. It was surreal and magical, and all the more for being serendipitous.

Q. Where are your favorite weekend getaways?

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