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Celebrity Travel: Go Away With Stephen Marley

By Jae-Ha Kim, Tribune Content Agency on

Grammy Award-winning musician Stephen Marley has many memories of performing with his family. But one of his favorites was when he traveled to Zimbabwe with his father, the late reggae icon, Bob Marley. "It was really eye opening," says Marley, whose latest EP is "One Take: Acoustic Jams." "I was probably about 9 years old. My brother, Ziggy, and I performed with him to honor the nation's independence at the time. This was the moment I realized music is way more than just music." Proceeds from his latest tour benefited the Ghetto Youths Foundation, which aids communities in need. Marley's live show dates are updated on his website ( Fans may stay in touch with him on Facebook (, Twitter ( and Instagram ( Marley, who was born in Delaware and raised in Kingston, Jamaica, talked to us about some of his favorite travel memories.

Q. What is your favorite vacation destination?

A. It would be Jamaica, of course. There is so much beauty, culture and life on this island. Explore the rivers and beaches. Reach Falls near Port Antonio is really majestic and there are not a ton of tourists. Around the North Coast of Jamaica -- where Ocho Rios and Port Antonio are located -- it is more rustic and untapped, while Negril is famous for its seven-mile stretch of white sand beaches and blue waters. There really is something for everyone in Jamaica.

Q. What untapped destination should people know about?

A. The hot water springs in (the parish of St. Thomas). (The Bath Botanic Gardens) has a heap of minerals in the water like sulfur and magnesium that is very healing when it mixes with the warm waters.

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

A. The world is very diverse, but yet everything is similar. We have all these different customs, culture and traditions that make each society unique, but if you have a chance to connect on a human level, you realize there is more that bonds us than separates us. In my travels, I fortunately have been able to see how the power of music can interconnect us all and transcend boundaries.

Q. If you could only pick one place to eat, would you choose a meal at a street cart or fine dining at a nice restaurant?

A. Definitely more casual. I would eat at Cutties, which is a little food spot in Trench Town, Jamaica. The food is simple and fresh. You won't find this spot online though. You just have to go to town and ask around.

Q. Where are your favorite weekend getaways?

A. In the countryside of Saint Ann in Jamaica. My father was born in Nine Mile, a district in the Saint Ann parish, so it holds a special place in my heart and in my childhood memories. The countryside is calming and filled with rivers and falls and is lush with a variety of plant life, (like) wisdom trees, fruit trees and flowers.

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

A. My trip to Ethiopia was best. As a Rasta, there is a connection you feel the moment you hit the ground. This is the Land of Zion. The people, energy and country are so vibrant.

Q. Do you speak any foreign languages?

A. I speak a little Amharic, which is the official language of Ethiopia.

Q. What are your five favorite cities?


A. Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Kingston, Miami, Los Angeles and Amsterdam.

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

A. Africa. It is the Motherland, the foundation of life. Everything about Africa flows through the human race.

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

A. India. Like Jamaica, the people seem to have a lot of hope, vibrancy and rich colorful culture, despite any turmoil that they may have faced. I would love to visit.

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

A. My guitar. I don't have to hook up to a sound system and can just jam out when I feel inspired.

Q. What would be your dream trip?

A. A trip around the world.

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

A. Because I am moving around a lot on tour, sometimes I just want to decompress and just go to the movies.

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

A. I always check out the culture. I think it is important to know how the people live, their customs and ways. You want to show respect in the country you visit.


(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 "Go Away With..." on Twitter at @GoAwayWithJae where Jae-Ha Kim welcomes your questions and comments.)



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