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Celebrity Travel: Go Away With Seth Berkman

By Jae-Ha Kim, Tribune Content Agency on

November is National Adoption Awareness Month. Journalist, author and adoptee, Seth Berkman, got a taste of his birth country when the New York Times sent him to report on the United Korean women's hockey team. Consisting of players from both North and South Korea, select players trained and competed together as teammates at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. Berkman's coverage spurred him to write "A Team of Their Own: How an International Sisterhood Made Olympic History" (Hanover Square Press, $19.99). The New Yorker almost spent time in the Midwest reporting on the team. "I spent a lot of time in Minneapolis, where the team held training camps," says Berkman, 37. "Even in the winter, Minneapolis is a great and vibrant city with a bohemian feel." The author keeps followers updated via his website (www.sethberkman. com), Twitter ( and Instagram (

Q. How have your trips for work shaped how you travel?

A. Traveling for work has been one of the privileges of my job. In particular, traveling to smaller cities in America is always intriguing. I often find that it's helpful to capture the ethos of a location, to learn about the subject I'm reporting on. Environment can critically shape who we are. I also enjoy going running in new places. I find that's a great way to explore the intricate nooks of somewhere new.

Q. Where have you been to that you'd like to return to explore further?

A. Seoul. I was born in Seoul, then adopted at a very young age. I didn't go back until February 2018, for the Winter Olympics. I was so busy with work duties on that trip and follow-up reporting trips, I feel like I really haven't had a chance to get to know the city where I was born.

Q. What is your favorite vacation destination?


A. Vienna, Austria. I was lucky enough to live in Vienna for a few months on a fellowship and have immensely enjoyed going back. The city is a wonderful combination of old Europe and new style, which can be seen in their abundance of museums. Vienna also has great parks and natural scenery.

Q. What untapped destination should people know about?

A. Fukushima city, Japan. In the fall of 2017, I traveled to Fukushima to report on their preparation for hosting events at the 2020 Olympics (in Tokyo). While many parts of Fukushima are still uninhabitable after the 2011 (nuclear) disaster, the city of Fukushima is a great destination. Not only are there numerous onsens and great local restaurants, there is resonance in the sincerity of the residents and their hopes for more tourism and to change the perception that all of Fukushima is a permanently damaged area.

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


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