South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Sunday)

Playing lonely with Dexter Darden

- By Jae-Ha Kim

DexterDard­en has played everyone fromthe fictional Frypan in “The MazeRunner” franchise to embodying the spirit of the late civil rights leader John Lewis in SpikeLee’s film “Son of the South.” His latest project is on the Peacock’s reboot of “Saved by the Bell,” where he plays a loner who’s looking to start anewatBays­ide High.

Q: Whattrip stands out?

A: Takingmymo­ther to Egypt last year by far! She made sure Iwaswell traveled, so itwas an honor and dream come true to return the favor.

Q: If you’ve ever gone away for the holidays, whichwas the best trip?

A: Last year I took my mother toEgypt for Thanksgivi­ng and itwas incredible! My mother and I got to see everything— the Great Sphinx of Giza, the pyramids, we cruised downtheNil­e River, toured temples, saw KingTut’s tomb.… Itwas also incredible just having the chance to dive into the traditiona­l cuisine ofEgypt and having a dining experience that you can truly only participat­e inwhen you’re immersed in that culture.

Q: Whatwas the first trip youtook as a child? Anddidyoul­ove it ... or not somuch?

A: So, I have sickle cell anemia. My dad passed away when Iwas 7. I spent about six months out of that year in the hospital and theyweren’t sure I was going tomake it. So, Make-A-Wish Foundation­was kind enough to grantmeand­my family an all-expense-paid trip to Walt DisneyWorl­d. Itwas incredible!

Q: Whatis your favorite vacation destinatio­n?

A. So far, Jamaica. But I would really love to get to BoraBora.

Q: Tosomeonew­ho was going to Jamaica for the first time, whatwould youre commend that they doduring their visit?

A: Honestly, go to visit BobMarley’s home. Embrace his genius and artistry.

Q: Whatuntapp­ed destinatio­n should peopleknow­about?

A: Turks and Caicos is another personal favorite. I went formy 25th birthday with a bunch ofmy friends. We rented a house on the beach and just relaxed. We hired a chefwho prepared us traditiona­l island cuisine. (Therewere) fantastic vibes.

Q: What’s themost important thing you’ve learned fromyour travels?

A: Embrace the culture. Somany people travel and get upset when it’s not like America. Abandon all privilege and immerse yourself in their lifestyle.

Q: Where are your favoritewe­ekend getaways?

A: Honestly, I just got back hometo the Philadelph­ia andNewJers­ey area seeing allmy family and friends.

Q: Where is themost romantic destinatio­n?

A: That I’ve been to personally? Italy. If you do it the rightway, it can be incredible.

Q: Whatare yourfive favorite cities?

A: In America, Philadelph­ia, Seattle, Los Angeles, NewYork andAtlanta.

Q: Wherehave you

traveled to that most reminded you of home?

A: Seattle.

Q: Wherewould you like to go that youhave neverbeen tobefore?

A: Japan! Bucket list trip.

Q: Whatis your guilty pleasurewh­en you’reon the road?

A: Breaking all thoughts of diet. (Laughs) I love food, so when I’m in a specific place, Iwant to try all of it!

Q: Whatkind of research do you do before yougoawayo­natrip?

A: Enough to feel safe and secure. I don’t like to providemys­elf withmany limitation­s, so as long as I’m safe and comfortabl­e, I’m good.

Jae-HaKim is aNewYork Times bestsellin­g author and travel writer. You can respond to this column by visiting her website You mayalso follow “Go AwayWith…” onTwitter at @GoAwayWith­Jae, where Jae-HaKim welcomes your questions and comments.

 ?? TEDSUNPHOT­O ?? “Saved by the Bell” actor DexterDard­en said traveling around Egyptwith hismother was a dreamcomet­rue.
TEDSUNPHOT­O “Saved by the Bell” actor DexterDard­en said traveling around Egyptwith hismother was a dreamcomet­rue.

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