Go Away With ... Iliza Shlesinger

iliza shlesingerby Jae-Ha Kim, Celebrity Travel, May 11, 2016

"There's nothing better than getting paid to see my country and connect with the fans who gave me a career," says Iliza Shlesinger, host of TBS' relationship-based game show "Separation Anxiety" and a former winner of "Last Comic Standing." The savvy world traveler says she is up for going anywhere, anytime: "I'm a travel fiend. If I'm in love, I want to go to Paris. And if I want to eat everything and get lost in someone's culture, I'll take anywhere in Asia. I loved Cambodia and I can't wait to go back to Japan. I also loved Europe."

Fans may follow the Los Angeles-based comic on Twitter (https://twitter.com/iliza).

Q. What are your favorite cities?

A. In the United States: San Francisco, Seattle, New York. Outside the U.S.: Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Vancouver, Montreal, Paris, London, Barcelona, Seoul and Delhi.

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

A. I've heard good things about Croatia. I'd love to eat my way through the Dalmatian Coast. I would also love to visit Russia. There's so much history that's longer and richer than ours. I'd love to get a peek at that and try to understand. Also, Thailand. I just wanna eat everything.

Q. What was the first trip you took as a child? And did you love it ... or not so much?

A. I remember my parents taking us to Club Med in Ixtapa, Mexico, which, of course, was fun. But that's just my first travel memory. The first real trip abroad with other kids was to Israel. We got to connect with and see firsthand the country that was at the center of so many debates in our own country. It was my first chance to explore and be part of the energy of another country or city. It was also my first chance to get to be a sort of global citizen on my own -- attempting to speak their language, haggling, buying their products. I loved every second of it and it contributed to my sense of independence as I got older and traveled alone more. I also secretly took home some Dead Sea water and it really helped my skin. This was pre-9/11, so I was allowed to take a giant jug of water on the plane.

Q. What's the most important thing you've learned from your travels?

A. To this day, my favorite part about travel is being a strange person in a strange land and seeing how far I can get. So the affirmation of independence and the confidence that comes from that. There is a sense of accomplishment when you, whether piecing it together word by word or fluently, communicate in another language and catch a train or make reservations or connect with new people. There is a confidence that comes with travel. The world seems less intimidating and, while exploring our differences, you really get a feeling for how similar we all are. Also, don't drink the water, that's a huge thing.

Q. Where are your favorite weekend getaways?

A. As a comedian, I work weekends. But for the few that I'm home, I like to stay local. What's great about Los Angeles and California in general is that we are so close to such a variety of towns and landscapes just hours outside of our city. It's fun to get drunk against the backdrop of beautiful hills under the pretense of wine-tasting. Napa is great for that. But, really, an hour outside of Los Angeles, you can find wine country. Solvang, for anyone living in L.A., is a fun Danish gingerbread-looking town in the Santa Ynez Valley. It's great for just a quick whimsical getaway for the night. There's also, not far, The Madonna Inn. But, there's something just so calming about even a drive to Santa Barbara, as long as you go at like 10 a.m. to avoid traffic. Otherwise, it's pure nightmare fuel.

Q. What would be your dream/fantasy trip?

A. I've been thinking about this. I'd love to start in Buenos Aries, then see Rio again and then fly to Paris for a night, do a week in any part of northern Europe -- maybe Denmark -- then fly to Moscow to see it and get closer to the rest of Asia. I'd like to do Asia all over again. I'd love to go back through India and try Goa and Bombay this time, then revisit Cambodia and Vietnam and maybe end by revisiting Japan. Last time I was there, I had no money and that was no fun. This trip should take about four months. I'm fine with that. I'll set an alarm on my house. Oh, also, Tucson. I've always wanted to go there. Just kidding.

(Jae-Ha Kim is a New York Times bestselling author and travel writer. You can respond to this column by visiting her website at www.jaehakim.com. You may also follow "Go Away With..." on Twitter at @GoAwayWithJae where Jae-Ha Kim welcomes your questions and comments.)


This article was written by JAE-HA KIM and Tribune Content Agency from Celebrity Travel and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.