Celebrity Travel: Go Away With Maria Sten
Q. How often do you travel alone?
A. I travel mostly alone, actually. There's a kind of serenity that comes with exploring a new place by yourself, taking in these new impressions purely through your own filter. I've gone on so many solo trips, I can't actually remember my first one, but I did Miami and Cabo alone. I also go to Sequoia National Park by myself all the time. It's close enough to do in one day from Los Angeles, but far enough away that you can still feel like you're alone in the world. Walking off on a trail amongst those giant trees is just the best kind of recharge I can think of. I always make sure to send my location to a friend so someone knows where I am and then I just take off and enjoy the freedom of being off the grid, even if it's just for one day.
Q. What is your favorite vacation destination?
A. I have a few, all for different reasons, but Belize was pure magic for me. I had my mom with me and we rented a car, drove the 3-1/2-hour drive across the country and ended in the rainforest, where we stayed at an eco-lodge right in the middle of a jaguar preserve. We never actually saw one, though. But I went zip-lining, visited an ancient Mayan pyramid, listened to Garifuna music by the beach and ate all the local organic food. There are also a wide variety of different ethnic groups living in Belize, which is a pretty small country, but they seem to have figured out how to coexist.
Q. What are your five favorite cities?
A. New York, London, Santiago de Cuba, Todos Santos (Mexico) and Hopkins (Belize).
Q. Where would you like to go that you have never been to before?
A. I'm itching to go to New Zealand. And then I'm also looking at a horse trek through Namibia or Tanzania, whichever I can fit in first.
Q. What would be your dream trip?
A. This 10-day horse trek in Africa is something I've been dreaming about since I was 9 years old. But I can plop down and be happy anywhere that has a quiet beach and a magical sunset.
(Jae-Ha Kim is a New York Times bestselling author and travel writer. You can respond to this column by visiting her website at www.jaehakim.com. You may also follow "Go Away With..." on Twitter at @GoAwayWithJae where Jae-Ha Kim welcomes your questions and comments.)(c) 2019 DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.