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Celebrity Travel: Go Away With J.J. Kelley and Kinga Philipps

By Jae-Ha Kim, Tribune Content Agency on

Filmmaker J.J. Kelley and journalist Kinga Philipps have teamed up to put their expertise to use in "Lost in the Wild," which airs Sundays at 11pm ET/PT on Travel Channel. The reality adventure series follows the two as they head into remote areas to investigate missing persons cases and try to help solve the mysteries. More information about the series may be found at

Q. Where is the wildest place you've visited?

Kinga Philipps: Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe. It's simply extraordinary. What makes Mana so special is that if you choose not to go on the organized safari route, which can be expensive but totally worth it, you can also self-drive and camp -- if you know what you're doing, of course.

Kelley: The deep field in Antarctica. When you visit the frozen continent, you see loads of amazing wildlife like penguins and whales. However, you only see life around the perimeter. Once you get into the deep interior of the landmass, it's a lifeless, inhospitable and endlessly stark landscape. Humans are not meant to live in a tent at minus 50 degrees Fahrenheit, but I sure did for 25 days. It was both the wildest and most physically demanding location I've ever been.

Q. What is your favorite vacation destination?

J.J. Kelley: Alaska. In a previous life, I spent years working as a kayak guide in Alaska's remote Kenai Fjords National Park. For me everything is just bigger and more dramatic in our most northern state. For anyone who loves adventure, you can't beat this place. The only problem is that it spoils you. Once you see the vastness of Alaska, everything else feels a bit lackluster.


Q. What untapped destination should people know about?

Philipps: I call it the other island mentality. Most places you go where there are islands, one will be the popular on-the-radar destination and right next to it are several others that are just as amazing, if not better, which usually have half the crowd and half the prices. Perfect examples would be Koh Rong Sanloem (Cambodia), which is the exquisite and quiet alternative to next door Koh Rong, an all-night moon party destination.

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

Philipps: I was a backpack baby, meaning that my parents took me everywhere in a pack. I was born in Poland, so my first memories are that I loved it.


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