by Jae-Ha Kim and Tribune Content Agency, Celebrity Travel, May 3, 2018
For "Alex, Inc." actress Tiya Sircar, travel is a passion. Born and raised in Texas and currently a resident of California, Sircar -- who portrays Rooni Schuman on the ABC series -- says, "There are so many places I love for a variety of reasons -- Vietnam, Barcelona, Italy. But if I had to choose (just one), I would have to say India. It's where my family is from, so obviously it holds a special place in my heart. But aside from that, it's an ancient and fascinating place. Within the 29 Indian states, there are countless different cultures, languages, cuisines, religions and customs. Going from state to state, it almost feels like you've entered into a different country. You can go from the arid desert in the west to the frozen Himalayas in the north to the gorgeous, sandy beaches in the south, passing 3,000-year-old temples and palaces all along the way." Sircar is active on both Twitter (https://twitter.com/tiyasircar) and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/tiyabird/).
Q. What are a few things you would recommend tourists visit while in India?
A. The state of Rajasthan -- Udaipur, Jaipur and Jodhpur, specifically -- to see some of the most beautiful palaces in the world. (Go to) Agra to see the Taj Mahal -- one of the most incredible sites I've seen with my own eyes; Kerala to enjoy cold beers and freshly caught seafood, made to order to be enjoyed on pristine beaches; and Kolkata, where my family is from, to see the former seat of the British Raj and eat the best food you'll find in India. Yes, I admit my opinion is biased, but I stand by that statement!
Q. What untapped destination should people know about?
A. Cambodia. I am dying to go back and spend more time there and visit more of that gorgeous country. I was only there for a few days and immediately regretted not staying longer. I stayed at a beautiful hotel in Siem Reap that served an incredible French-Cambodian brunch every morning. It included these freshly baked French pastries that they served with exotic, homemade jams made with local ingredients like passion fruit and dragon fruit. It was heaven! I also got to check off a huge bucket list item of mine by visiting the temples of Angkor Wat. I spent two days visiting various temples and was just awed by how magnificent they were. I could have easily spent a week exploring all the different sites. I am determined to go back and, hopefully, see even more of the country.
Q. What's the most important thing you've learned from your travels?
A. To be open to new experiences and accepting of other cultures and ways of life. Travel provides us such a wonderful, rich education. Experiencing new things, meeting people from different walks of life, learning foreign customs and trying new foods -- it's hard to be narrow-minded and ethnocentric when you've done all that.
Q. Where is the most romantic destination?
A. Rome. Hands down. There is a magic to that place that I can't quite describe. The city itself is ancient, yet cosmopolitan. I love passing 3,000-year-old ruins right alongside high-end designer boutiques. Also, the food. I mean, what's not sexy about a decadent bowl of pasta and a silky glass of red wine? Plus, there are a seemingly infinite number of little cobblestone alleyways in which to meander and get lost with your certain someone. Roma, I love ya!
Q. What are your five favorite cities?
A. Rome, Barcelona, Sydney, Buenos Aires and Austin.
Q. What would be your dream trip?
A. Doing a tour of southern Spain: Granada, Toledo, Madrid, Cordoba, Seville, and then taking a boat to Morocco to visit Fez, Marrakesh, Casablanca and the Atlas Mountains.
Q. What kind of research do you do before you go away on a trip?
A. I don't set a hard-and-fast itinerary because I like to allow for some spontaneity. But I like to be very well-read up on my destination -- specifically sites to see and places to eat -- so I can make informed decisions once I'm there.
(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 is written by Jae-Ha Kim and Tribune Content Agency from Celebrity Travel and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to [email protected].