“Friends from College” star Jae Suh Park is based out of Los Angeles, where she resides with her husband, actor Randall Park, and their daughter, Ruby. But she also spends a lot of time in New York City, where her Netflix series is filmed. “I would say that New York is the seventh friend in the show,” says Park, who portrays Marianne. “The energy of the city is so inspiring. I can’t help but bring it into my role on the show.” Park stays in touch with her fans via Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/thejaesuhpark/).
Q. When I interviewed your husband, Randall said Kauai was his favorite, because that’s where you honeymooned. What would you pick?
A. Well, it’s still in Hawaii. But now with our 6 year old in tow, I would say Oahu. I think it’s a little more kid friendly.
Q. To someone who was going there for the first time, what would you recommend that they do during their visit?
A. Go to Leonard’s Bakery immediately upon arrival for a coffee and malasada (Portuguese donuts). Go to the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet to bring back kitschy things for your friends and the Ala Moana Center to take advantage of the Hawaii sales tax. And, of course, relax on the beach. The water in Hawaii is always so clear and just the right temperature.
Q. How adventurous are you when it comes to eating new food?
A. I’m super adventurous. I love food and trying new food is always exciting for me. And with hot sauce, everything tastes delicious!
Q. What was the first trip you took as a child?
A. The first trip I remember as a child was our immigration to the United States from South Korea. I was six and I remember being really sad and crying, because we were leaving my grandmother, and being on the plane for what felt like forever. I was the same age as my daughter is now. I’m not sure what I understood or what I was able to process at the time, but I guess it turned out OK. My daughter wouldn’t be here if I didn’t take that trip.
Q. What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from your travels?
A. Pack light. You won’t wear half of the things you pack. Packing in neutral colors helps, so you don’t have to think too much about matching things.
Q. Where are your favorite weekend getaways?
A. I really enjoy going to the Solvang, Santa Barbara and Ojai area. It’s just so quaint. It’s not too far of a drive and I love the restaurants, shops and the wine tasting there.
Q. Where is the most romantic destination?
A. Well, I’d have to say Kauai. We honeymooned at the Grand Hyatt there and they have these amazing giant lagoons, which are very romantic. Also, there’s something about that slight humidity in the air and ocean breeze that makes my husband look extra sexy.
Q. Do you prefer to stay in town or go away for the holidays?
A. I don’t really go away for the holidays. The holidays are the best times of the year in L.A. It feels like half of L.A. goes home, so the streets feel empty and there’s very little traffic. No traffic in L.A. is the Christmas miracle.
Q. What are your five favorite cities?
A. New York City, Vancouver, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seoul.
Q. Where would you like to go that you have never been to before?
A. Australia. Everyone who’s ever been there tells me that I have to go.
Q. When you go away, what are some of your must-have items?
A. Good headphones are a must on the plane. Sheet face masks take up no room at all in your suitcase and they come in handy -- you just don’t know how your skin might react on your travels -- and a couple of really good power banks.
Q. What is your guilty pleasure when you’re on the road?
A. Room service.
Q. What is your best travel memory?
A. One of the best memories I have is when I traveled to Osaka, Japan, in college. I was cast in a theater production of an original Japanese play. Our group performed the play in English at our college and at a college in Osaka. Their group performed it in Japanese at their college and ours. We hosted them in our country as they hosted us in theirs. It was just the coolest experience, although I think they got the short end of the stick as our college was in Davis, California. No dig on Davis but, you know, not the most exciting town.
(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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