South Florida Sun-Sentinel (Sunday)
Playing lonely with Dexter Darden
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?
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 atwww.jaehakim.com. You mayalso follow “Go AwayWith…” onTwitter at @GoAwayWithJae, where Jae-HaKim welcomes your questions and comments.