Go Away With … Andi Dorfman

andi_0183_CD_1 Photo Credit PETER HURLEY x 640

By Jae-Ha Kim
Tribune Content Agency
May 17, 2016

Raised in Georgia, Andi Dorfman worked as an assistant district attorney in Atlanta, before she was selected as one of the contestants on “The Bachelor.” Later, she starred in a season of “The Bachelorette,” where she became engaged to one of the men vying for her attention. Like most of the relationships on the series, theirs didn’t last. In her new book, “It’s Not Okay: Turning Heartbreak into Happily Never After” (Gallery Books, $25), the New Yorker lets readers in on what her life was like — both the good and the bad — during those hectic and public months. Dorfman stays active with her fans on Twitter.

Q. What was the first trip you took as a child? And did you love it … or not so much?

A. We took a lot of road trips growing up, so I’m trying to think of my very first trip that I remember. Our first major trip as a family was to Italy and I absolutely loved it! I enjoy family vacations. We went to Las Gaviotas to surprise my sister for her 30th birthday. We rented a house and it was just so much fun to be on a trip with my immediate family.

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

A. My best vacation memory was eating at a hole-in-the-wall Korean barbecue restaurant in Seoul, South Korea. It was one of my favorite meals. My worst memory has to be when I got food poisoning on a trip to Mexico. That was my first and last time drinking tap water there.

Q. What is your favorite vacation destination?

A. My favorite vacation destination is my parent’s lake house in Alabama. It’s in the middle of nowhere, but the most relaxing place on Earth. We just cook out, fish and go on the boat. Growing up we spent our summers there, so I have so many fond memories. But, if we are talking more luxurious vacation destinations, I’d say Belgium. It has this uncanny mix of cosmopolitan and vintage. The beautiful new architecture is surrounded by thousand-year-old churches and castles.

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

A. Well, I doubt many people would go to a lake in the middle of Alabama, so I’ll go with my second destination, Belgium, and say, eat mussels and chocolate, drink Belgian beer and rent a car and just drive in the countryside. My favorite way to travel is to avoid the touristy destinations and just explore the outskirts.

Q. What untapped destination should people know about?

A. Da Nang, Vietnam. We went there when I was filming “The Bachelor” and it was breathtaking. The beaches are unlike anywhere in the world, the food is top-notch and authentic. You’ll meet the friendliest people in the world and the dose of culture you get while there is unbelievable.

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

A. I’ve learned to spend less time on the tourist attractions and more time exploring. There are some things, like the Coliseum and the Eiffel Tower, for example, that are must-see’s. But don’t forget to explore the small towns and side streets. In my opinion, that’s where you’ll find the real culture.

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

A. I think all of my travels have been incorporated into my work and life in some aspect. Vietnam was really one of those places that has inspired me to travel more. (It made me) realize just how big the world is.

Q. Where are your favorite weekend getaways?

A. I’m in New York, so I love going to the Hamptons in the summer. But I like the more relaxing places in the Hamptons, where you enjoy the company of good friends, good food and some beach time. I can only do so much of the party scene.

Q. Where is the most romantic destination?

A. Paris. No doubt about it.

Q. What are your five favorite cities?

A. New York City, Paris, Austin, Santa Barbara and Nashville.

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

A. South Africa. I’ve always wanted to go on safari there.

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

A. My mini steamer. I hate wrinkled clothes; under eye patches; a comfy cardigan; hand sanitizer: and my watch — which I always keep on East Coast time no matter where I am — because it makes me think of home.

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

A. Inhaling calories! I eat like I’ve never seen food before. I can’t go out of town and order a salad for dinner. I have to try whatever the local food is, regardless of how fattening it is.

Q. What kind of research do you do before you go away on a trip?
A. I love using TripAdvisor and Yelp to research places before I go. I like reading the reviews and seeing the photos that customers upload themselves rather than relying on hotel websites.

Q. What are your favorite restaurants?
A. There’s so many good choices in New York, but some of my favorites are Aria, the Polo Bar, Le Baratin, and Aquagrill.

Q. What would be your dream/fantasy trip?
A. Dream trip would definitely be to go to Africa and visit countries such as South Africa, Madagascar and Seychelles.

Q. What are your favorite hotels?
A. The Bacara in Santa Barbara; the Ritz-Carlton in Dana Point; and the Ladera in St. Lucia.

Q. Where have you traveled to that most reminded you of home?
A. Nashville. There’s the southern hospitality mixed with a little Honky Tonk and, most of all, acres and acres of land.

© 2016 JAE-HA KIM
DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, LLC.

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