Go Away With ... David Foster

Composer David Foster says he and his fiancee, Katherine McPhee, enjoy exploring the world together.
(Air Asia)
Celebrity Travel by Jae-Ha Kim

Los Angeles-based composer and producer David Foster is not one to rest on his laurels. The Grammy Award-winning musician -- who has worked with artists such as Michael Jackson, Celine Dion and Whitney Houston -- is also an avid philanthropist. He created the David Foster Foundation to assist Canadian families with children in need of life-saving organ transplants. Recently engaged to singer/actress Katharine McPhee, Foster is currently on tour. For updated concert dates, check out his website at Foster, 68, interacts with fans on Twitter (, Facebook ( and Instagram (

Q. What is your favorite vacation destination?

A. Desolation Sound in British Columbia; it’s the only place I feel completely at ease and peaceful.

Q. To someone who was going there for the first time, what would you recommend that they do during their visit?


A. It’s all about salmon fishing, camping on a deserted small island, hiking, swimming in the ocean or surrounding lakes, plus all the watersports. But the water is cold, so be prepared or wear a wetsuit. Also, killer whale-watching is always close.

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

A. My parents didn’t take us on vacation, but my father did take me on little trips with my cousin and uncle, around the islands where I grew up in Victoria, British Columbia. The four of us would head out in a 20-foot boat for a few days and really rough it. Awesome! I loved, loved, loved it!

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


A. The world really is a small place and every person in every culture has the same dreams and desires for their family.

Q. Have you traveled to a place that stood out so much that you felt compelled to incorporate it into your work?

A. The only time I ever got inspired to write a song was when I was visiting British Columbia. “St. Elmo’s Fire” was written in North Vancouver. “You’re the Inspiration” (was) written in Vancouver. “Grown-up Christmas List” (was) written in the summer on a boat in Victoria.

Q. Where are your favorite weekend getaways?

A. Cabo, Santa Barbara, Palm Springs, Las Vegas.

Q. Where is the most romantic destination?

A. Definitely Paris, followed closely by Florence.

Q. If you’ve ever gone away for the holidays, which was the best trip?


A. The island of Lanai in Hawaii, currently going through a major 10-year revamp by the new owner Larry Ellison, who has impeccable taste in everything he does. I had my whole family and some friends there.

Q. What are your favorite hotels?

A. Four Seasons Hotel George V Paris, Four Seasons Florence, Beverly Hills Hotel, Marina Bay Sands Singapore, The Langham London and the Majestic Hotel in Kuala Lumpur.

Q. What are your five favorite cities?

A. Paris, Florence, Singapore, Rome, Shanghai.

Q. Where have you traveled to that most reminded you of home?

A. Maine.

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


A. I’d like to go to the Antarctic. It’s definitely on the bucket list.

Q. When you go away, what are some of your must-have items?

A. I always over pack, but with nothing that I would call a favorite item. I always take my briefcase, and it’s full of useless stuff that I never use.

Q. What would be your dream trip?

A. Going around the world in a private plane hitting all the great cities and taking a month to do it.

Q. What are your favorite restaurants?

A. Too many to mention, but Craig’s in Los Angeles, Polo Bar in New York and Nobu in London.

Q. What is your guilty pleasure when you’re on the road?

A. Buying all the trash rags in the airport to read on the plane.

Q. What kind of research do you do before you go away on a trip?

A. Zero. I never go anywhere that people have not raved about and given a good rating, unless it’s for work. And then I still don’t do any prep or research. Boring, I know.

Q. What is your best and/or worst vacation memory?

A. Every time I go to Capri in Italy, I have the best time. I just love it there every time. I’ve been at least a dozen times, Of course, you can’t ever really go wrong anywhere in Italy. The people just know how to navigate life and squeeze the best out of every day.

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


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