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Harlem Chef Marcus Samuelsson is no stranger to travel. Born in Ethiopia and raised in Sweden, the award-winning chef now calls New York City home but spends a fair amount of time outside of the Big Apple. With 12 restaurants spread across North America and Europe, and with a newly opened spot in Bermuda, Samuelsson is a seasoned traveler.
We talked to him about his packing tips, the most surprising trip he’s taken, and the one vacation he’s always wanted to take.
“I have this huge duffel bag that I travel with wherever I go. It’s great because it’s so durable. I love old school hand bags or old Louis Vuitton bags, not only because they’re vintage, but because they’re really well made.”
“My bag is always stuffed, but if I don’t have to bring luggage with me except a carry-on then I won’t. When you travel as much as I do, your life kind of shifts and there are things that you realize you can leave behind. I can always just buy something at the place that I’m going to go. My carry-on is always maxed out because I don’t want to bring checked luggage.”
“I’ve always wanted to take the train from one part of Russia to the other. It’s a wonderful way of seeing nature in a different way than from highways. It’s not like riding American trains, they’re much better.”
“The places that surprised me the most was when I visited Africa. Going to the night market for food in Nigeria, or completely disconnecting in Zanzibar with no Wi-Fi, these are the places that blew me away. Africa as a whole is still so underexposed and always beats my expectations. I’ve been to 15 different countries in Africa and I feel like the continent is not written about enough.”
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