Go Away With … Bellamy Young

Bellamy Young Photo-by-Angelo-Kritikos-2

By Jae-Ha Kim
Tribune Content Agency
April 21, 2015

“There is nothing I love more than to travel,” says actress Bellamy Young, who portrays the first lady of the United States of America, Melody Grant, on the ABC drama “Scandal.” “I want to see everything before my hips stop working. If I had two months off, I would work my way right around the world. That’s what I would do. I always have a spinning kind of globe in my house and have been really lucky to have visited a lot of places around the world. But there’s still so much more out there that I want to see.” Fans may follow Young on Twitter.

Q. What are your favorite cities?

A. New York. Period. End of discussion. But, if I had to add more, I’d say Barcelona, Berlin and Asheville, my hometown (in North Carolina).

Q. What is your favorite vacation destination?

A. Last summer, I went to Iceland. I had wanted to go forever. It was every bit as epic and life-changing and incredible as I had imagined. We were driving around the perimeter of the island and it felt like we were in a different country every five minutes. I never imagined I’d be somewhere so beautiful. You don’t know there’s some place like that on our planet. When I go on vacations, I like to go to some place new each time. But, I would go back to Iceland any day. We were there in the summer where we had something like 22 hours of light, which can be a very productive time for tourists! But, I want to see the Aurora Borealis. Tony (Goldwyn, who plays Young’s “Scandal” husband, President Fitzgerald Thomas Grant III) just went over Christmas and New Year’s where they had only two hours of daylight.

Q. What is still on your travel bucket list?

A. My soul wants to see Dubrovnik (in Croatia). I’ve only seen Florence in Italy. I need to do Rome and Venice. I usually travel by myself, but you should be kissing someone in Venice, right? So I want to go there with someone. I want to go to Africa and Machu Picchu (in Peru). There are so many places I want to see. You could talk me into going almost anywhere!

Q. How long do you take to plan a trip?

A. (Laughs) I don’t really like planning! Once, my friend was like, “Can you drive me to the airport?” Then she said, “Do you want to do two weeks in India with me?” I said, “Yes! I want to go with you!” I got my visa and met her in India. The next year, I got invited at the last minute as a replacement to travel with America’s Voices in Israel. I called (my friend) and asked if she wanted to go to Israel with me and she said yes. My best trips are that way. When you surrender to travel — the people, food and culture — you have magical experiences. Those types of trips always surpass the ones where I plan everything. It’s most important that you go with an open heart. Travel for me is always spontaneous and always seems to come at just the right time. So I never have sat down and said I want to do this. It always sort of finds me almost as much as I find it.

Q. Did you ever splurge on a trip after a job?

A. Yes. I had done a MCI commercial and with that money, I helped my best friend go to hair school and took my mom to Europe in 1995. We did Paris, Florence and London. My mom had taught Shakespeare in school. I wanted to get my mother to the Globe Theatre. We saw Shakespeare’s birthplace. We went to see “Julius Caesar.” My mother said every word along with the actors and it was the best moment in my life.

Q. Do you speak a foreign language?

A. I am not good with languages at all! I studied Spanish in school. On the plane, I’m always looking at the phrases in the back of Lonely Planet books so that I can say a few words in whatever country I’m visiting. You don’t want to come across as a jerk. I find it far more respectful to enter quietly with a smile and know a few words. I think people appreciate the effort, even if you just murder the dialect. When I was in Bali, I may have sounded crazy, but I tried.

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

A. We didn’t travel a lot, but we always went to Myrtle Beach. I got to take my best friend. We took our Rick Springfield posters and set up our room. We walked on the beach. I am totally afraid of water. She would go frolic in the water and pretend that a shark had gotten her! Even in a swimming pool, I was afraid of sharks. (Laughs) “Jaws” did us in! It was fun, but I’m not really a heat and water type of girl. I’m more of the rain, mountain and hiking type. My grandparents had a camper up in the mountains and that was more my speed.

Q. Are you an adventurous eater on the road?

A. Yes, I think so. But, I am vegan, so that does limit some of the things I can eat. Now with the Internet, you can do some recon. There were a couple vegan restaurants in Reykjavik that were insanely delicious. But I’m also a simple eater, so I’m happy with a little fresh produce. I often travel with oatmeal and protein bars to sustain me, just in case.

© 2015 JAE-HA KIM
DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, LLC.

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