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Celebrity Travel: Go Away With Sam Trammell

By Jae-Ha Kim, Tribune Content Agency on

In his latest film, "Breakthrough," Sam Trammell ("True Blood," "This Is Us," "The Reckoning") portrays a doctor who is trying to revive a child who no one believes can survive. The actor, 50, also is one of the stars of the Showtime series, "Homeland." Trammell resides in Encino, California. Fans may stay in touch with him via Instagram (

Q. What books did you read during your childhood that made you feel you were in another place geographically?

A. Paul Bowles' "The Sheltering Sky" really had an impact on me in high school. The story of an American couple traveling to north Africa and then continuing into the desert without a solid plan and the impromptu thread of the narrative (of) following your heart and gut. The descriptions of Morocco and the desert were so vibrant. It was very much of an escape for me. And it made travel and exploration feel like deeply important tasks for the soul. Ironically, I am now working on a TV show in Morocco, filming the eighth season of "Homeland."

Q. Does the filming location of your projects ever influence whether you will accept or turn down a role?

A. I've been so fortunate to work in many beautiful spots, like Berlin, the Swiss Alps, Sydney and Mexico, to name a few. Yes, some of these spots made the jobs that much more appealing. Switzerland was especially exciting for me. I grew up in the mountains of West Virginia and love alpine culture. We stayed in a hotel that was essentially a group of converted barns on the side of a mountain way out in the country. The scenery was breathtaking. I remember hiking surrounding trails and relishing the sound of the cowbells on actual cows roaming the foothills.

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

A. One of my earlier trips as a child was a week-long sail with my father and his friends from Ft. Lauderdale through the Bahamas. The first trek was an overnight sail across the Gulf Stream to Bimini. It was a pretty rocky affair. I remember getting very seasick for the first few hours. It was much easier after that, but intense. My father liked to stay on the move. We didn't stick around anywhere too long. We would dock at night in the bays of uninhabited islands and sometimes take the dingy (small motor boat) in to explore. There were a lot of cards played at night. A lot of open ocean and snorkeling. Beautiful sunsets. All of this ultimately outweighed the lack of fresh water and punishing heat.


Q. What is your favorite vacation destination?

A. Bali in Indonesia. It was a long trip, which required an overnight stay in Tokyo, but it was well worth it. We stayed in three different locales, which each had their own unique character. We started off in the beach area of Kuta, which has a bit of a nightlife scene, fun hotels, bars and a quasi-urban energy. A must-do is dinner on Jimbaran Bay. All the restaurants set tables out on the sand in the open by the ocean. It's romantic and beautiful with simple and delicious local seafood. We then moved north to Ubud for a few days. It's surrounded by rice fields and is sort of the cultural center with many art galleries and a fun monkey forest. We had the most amazing adventure there riding bikes down the side of a dormant volcano. The path took us through old towns and little villages inaccessible by car. We were fortunate enough to be doing this on the first day of the Galungan Festival, which meant we ran into local parades of Balinese in their traditional attire and tons of art created for the occasion. Our last stop was the island just east called Nusa Lembongan. I got some good surf in and we rented a scooter and visited a little desolate beach appropriately called Dream Beach.

Q. What untapped destination should people know about?

A. I have to say I'm a big fan of Mexico, Sayulita in particular. On the west coast and easily accessible from Puerto Vallarta, it hasn't yet been too built up and, though it has somewhat of an international flavor, you still feel like you're living with the locals. It has a great beach, fun restaurants and easy access to the surrounding jungle. It's also safe and inexpensive!


(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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