Born and raised in Mexico, actress Martha Higareda (“Altered Carbon,” “No Manches Frida”) currently is based out of Marina del Rey, California, though she notes, “I live (out of) a suitcase most of the time.” When she’s at home, she enjoys taking weekend getaways to Napa, for food and wine. “But since I love adventure too, I love jumping on a plane and going to Bryce Canyon or Zion in Utah,” she says. Fans may follow Higareda on Twitter ( https://twitter.com/marthahigareda), Facebook ( https://www.facebook.com/oficialmarthahigareda) and Instagram ( https://www.instagram.com/marthahigaredaoficial).
Q. Where have your travels taken you?
A. So many places. It’s always fascinating to me to be in a different part of the planet. We were promoting “Altered Carbon” (in Seoul) and it was so different than any other city I’ve ever been in. The high-rises are incredible. Imagine New York, but multiply it by 10, but with no ads and wide streets, very clean and organized. And in between this massive modern city rests these beautiful palaces, like Gyeongbok, which literally transports you in time.
Q. What is your favorite vacation destination?
A. That is probably one of the hardest questions someone could ask me, as I love traveling so much to many different places. I love Tulum, Mexico, for the beaches, the ruins, the people and the food. It’s a good combo between relaxing on the white sand beach, eating the best seafood and exploring the Mayan ruins and cenotes. It really is paradise on earth. The contrast between the ruins and the bright blue ocean can bring tears to your eyes. Then also going to the cenotes, they are sacred places for the Mayans, with crystalline water caves with tree roots growing from above to touch the water. You feel a bit like Indiana Jones while you’re there. For adventurous activities, I love Hawaii, the Big Island. You can dive at night with the giant manta rays or take a helicopter ride to watch the glowing lava of Kilauea.
Q. What untapped destination should people know about?
A. In my country? Taxco. It’s a little town nestled in the middle of the mountains, with cobblestone streets and amazing food. When you arrive there it feels like time stopped for a while. Get lost in the local markets and buy amazing silver. If we talk about a different country, I’d say Sapa in Vietnam. You take a night train to the mountains. The adventure starts on a night train and then you arrive to this magical town nestled in the mountains and the clouds, where miles and miles of rice fields are planted, and definitely Bagan in Myanmar. If you are the Indiana Jones type, this is the place. You hop on your electric scooter with a map and water and off you go to explore the temples with secret passages. It’s truly a wonder!
Q. What was the first trip you took as a child?
A. As a child we took many trips, but the one I remembered the most was Disneyland, and I loved it for obvious reasons.
Q. What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from your travels?
A. Plan for it and then forget the plan. You gotta be ready to improvise and just go with the flow. I took a trip to Thailand and we were staying in a beautiful five-star hotel and one night we said, “Let’s just improvise!” and we ended up sleeping aboard a boat, watching the stars in the middle of the night and swimming with the glowing plankton. I don’t think that would’ve happened if we’d stayed at our fancy hotel, not that I don’t like fancy.
Q. If you’ve ever gone away for the holidays, which was the best trip?
A. A big trip we took with the family to go skiing in Mammoth, then we visited the Sequoia National Park.
Q. Where have you traveled to that most reminded you of home?
A. Bangkok reminded me of a jungle version of Mexico City.
Q. Where would you like to go that you have never been to before?
A. I’d like to do a Safari in Africa. And visit Cape Town.
Q. When you go away, what are some of your must-have items?
A. My passport, sunscreen, a bathing suit, sneakers, a fun, fancy black dress and a hat. I’m ready to explore, but also ready to go somewhere to have a wonderful meal and dance.
Q. What is your guilty pleasure when you’re on the road?
A. Trying traditional candy from the region I’m visiting.
Q. What kind of research do you do before you go away on a trip?
A. I research places to do outdoor activities, visiting ruins or old architecture, restaurants, bars. The list is endless.
(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.)
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