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Celebrity Travel: Go Away With Tim Lounibos

By Jae-Ha Kim, Tribune Content Agency on

Veteran actor Tim Lounibos ("Hawaii Five-0," "Criminal Minds," "NCIS") is best known for his portrayal of Ed Sung on Amazon's "Bosch." Well-traveled and always ready to explore, the actor said he learned a valuable lesson from his treks around the world. "We all might look different and have differing perspectives, but we're all essentially the same. Early on in my career, I starred in a film that took me out to Hong Kong for a month. I liken that experience to having grown up in the room of a large house. As a child and young adult, I got to know that room like the back of my hand -- aware of every crook and cranny, including under the bed and inside the closet. Suddenly, I was transported into another room, exploring it in childlike wonder. It was then that I wanted to discover the rest of the home that we call Earth -- the sights, the sounds, the food and the people." Fans may stay in touch with Lounibos via Facebook ( and Twitter (

Q. What is your favorite vacation destination?

A. Moorea. It's absolutely gorgeous. It's a paradise and is not overrun with tourism. There's really a symbiotic relationship between the native population, those from elsewhere who now call it home and the tourists who arrive to relax and explore. It's the type of place that makes one question priorities. To see people so friendly and happy and cohabitate with land and sea creatures in a seemingly magical and never-threatening co-existence creates an extremely attractive alternative to our go-go-go, work-work-work, daily existence. It's no wonder Gauguin was so inspired to paint there.

Q. To someone who was going there, what would you recommend that they do during their visit?

A. Enjoy the crystal clear turquoise-colored waters with sea life swimming around you. Moorea is surrounded by a coral reef barrier, which keeps the waters completely calm, so there are areas where you can walk about a football-field's distance and still be in chest-high water and watch the multi-colored fish. I highly recommend either staying in a bungalow near the beach or in one that allows you to sleep right over the water. Rent a personal submarine scooter and travel to the reef's edge with an experienced scuba guide swimming along. Take a 4x4 tour of the island and experience the island's rain forests, volcanic crater and beautiful waterfalls.

Q. What are your favorite cities?

A. Listing alphabetically because each is equally cool: Amsterdam for the waterways, architecture and quaint dining nooks. Chicago because of the architecture, seasonal weather and the people -- a refreshing mix of Big City hipness with Midwestern down-to-earth friendliness -- and great blues music. Hong Kong (which) makes New York seem like a small city. I felt empowered surrounded by so many others that looked like me and egalitarianism is real. New York (for) the diversity and vibrancy and San Francisco because I'm a Bay Area boy at heart. I have been to Seoul three times and have witnessed it evolve from a mad-cap two-lanes-made-into-six driving adventure into a beautifully built-up and wonderfully advanced city that has retained a cultural core.


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

A. Scotland, because it seems majestically ancient, especially the Highlands. And New Zealand, because I'm a lifelong Tolkien fan and was struck by its dramatically diverse locations in "The Lord of the Rings" films. There actually seem to be numerous similarities between these two majestic destinations, causing me to wonder if I should undergo some type of bucket-list traveling self-analysis.

Q. What is your best and/or worst vacation memory?

A. I experienced both on my parents' honeymoon vacation (when) my mom remarried and they brought my brother and I on their trip to Japan and Korea. Best memory is seeing my mom reunite with her brother and aunt for the first time in 30-plus years and meeting my cousins. Worst memory is going to a movie with my dad and brother by the hotel. There was only one in English and the only reason the ticket-seller let me in was because I was an American. It was rated R and titled "The Exorcist." In all seriousness, that was a truly wonderful and meaningful vacation. It's where I learned how easy it is to communicate without the use of words.


(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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