Go Away With ... Ziggy Marley

Celebrity Travel by Jae-Ha Kim

As the son of Bob and Rita Marley, Ziggy Marley grew up in Jamaica surrounded by music. “Jamaica is the root of my music,” says the Grammy Award-winning musician. “I was born there, I was raised there and Jamaica is always inside of me. It’s an impactful place in general for many people. For example, Ian Fleming wrote several James Bond novels in Jamaica at Goldeneye near Ocho Rios.” Marley’s latest series of concerts is the “Rebellion Rises” tour in support of his album of the same name. Fans may follow him on Twitter ( and Facebook (

Q. You live in Los Angeles now and lived in Miami for years before that. How do they compare to your hometown of Kingston?

A. Miami and Kingston are similar in weather -- hot, humid, tropical. L.A. and Kingston are very different. Kingston is a very small city compared to L.A. I think the transition from Kingston to Miami, and then Miami to Los Angeles was good in regards to easing in stages into larger, busier cities.

Q. People love going to Jamaica for the food, beaches and music. What do you miss most about Jamaica?


A. Exactly what (everyone) loves about it; I miss the vibes and I miss the countryside. It is very inspirational.

Q. Where have you heard the best live music?

A. I don’t think there is such a thing for me. I have been to so many places. It is hard to tell where the best live music for me was, but I can tell you I always enjoy concerts that are out in the open and close to nature.

Q. You have toured so much. What do you like to do on your days off on the road?


A. When there is time on tour, I definitely try to sightsee. I like going to see the landmarks the city is known for, local parks, museums. ... I (also) like checking out the local organic food and juice spots in the area.

Q. Are there any places that you loved playing at so much that you made it a point to return for a vacation?

A. Hawaii is definitely a place that I love playing at and I make a point to vacation there. The people in Hawaii are mellow and wonderful and they love reggae music. The island vibes are great. The weather there is fantastic and the ocean is beautiful. It is a relaxing place. It is for sure a place where I get nice quiet time. It is a place that gives me a chance to be at peace. It reminds me of Jamaica. I actually recommend (visitors) to do nothing and just relax. Don’t make any plans. Just disconnect and chill. A vacation for me is relaxation and meditation.

Q. What untapped destination should people know about?

A. Hellshire Beach in St. Catherine, Jamaica. It is not a typical tourist area. It is beautiful with white-sand beaches. You can get amazing fried fish there. I would tell everyone to go check it out.

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

A. It was when my mom and dad would take us on a road trip to the countryside in Jamaica to visit family. We played in the country hills. I loved it a lot!

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


A. Not to have any preconceived ideas or stereotypes of places or people until you get there and discover it for yourself. It is always a nice surprise to find nice people in different places.

Q. Where are your favorite weekend getaways?

A. A weekend staycation in Malibu or a weekend at El Capitan.

Q. Which trip stands out as a favorite memory?

A. One of my best trips was spending the summer in Israel. I was on tour in Europe, which ended in Israel, and I stayed to explore. I really enjoyed the history and learning about the ancient lands and its people.

Q. What are your five favorite cities?

A. Johannesburg, South Africa. London. Accra, Ghana. Amsterdam. Tokyo.

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


A. I would like to go to Fiji.

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

A. Some exercise videos, my jump rope, magazines and books.

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

A. I have a few guilty pleasures like watching movies and playing video games and eating something sweet. We like to look for the best cupcakes, doughnuts or cinnamon-something in town. We are always looking for the best breakfast spots in each city or town.

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

A. I look up what the marijuana laws are where I am going.

(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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