My Travel Tales: George Takei

The Star Trek icon and star of the new series The Terror: Infamy shares his fondest travel memories

August 2019

Canada from above

My husband and I took a small seaplane from Vancouver to Victoria, British Columbia, earlier this year. The planes take off from the water from Coal Harbour. At a lower altitude, you can really see the beauty of the Canadian landscape—it’s a bird’s-eye view. We landed in Victoria’s Inner Harbour and had high tea at the Fairmont Empress hotel nearby.

Putting up with Poutine

Since our television show filmed on location in Vancouver, my husband and I also made a vacation out of it. While there, we discovered Quebecois food, which is fantastic. The one thing about it that I don’t like is what they call poutine. It’s thick-cut French fries covered with cheese and other gunk. French fries are supposed to be light and crisp, but they do the very opposite to them. They make them wilted and soggy.

Educated in Edinburgh

We have been to Edinburgh [Scotland] half a dozen times, and once took a late-night haunted tour in Old Town. It was fascinating. We learned that witches were burned in the courtyard of the Edinburgh Castle, and during medieval times, houses along the Royal Mile didn’t have toilets, just chamber pots. They would shout down, “Gardyloo!” so that people could get out of the way when they emptied them out the window.

Ice Ice Baby 

Oslo is dazzling, and the pièce de résistance is their new Opera House. Though I didn’t love the performance that night, the architecture angles and soars up just like the tip of an iceberg. The outside is jagged glass and white concrete, but the inside is warm wood. People can walk up to
the roof and look out onto the harbor.

George’s Packing List

Seat Cushion
I always travel with my “donut.” It’s a cushion that makes it more comfortable to sit during a long trip. I carry it in a Hello Kitty bag.

I have to have two or three of the most recent New York Times with me, especially if I’m traveling to Europe or Asia. There are often articles I can’t get to, so I get to catch up on my “to-read” list.

Hot Sauce
I have a whole collection of tiny little bottles of Tabasco, and I always bring a few with me to enhance my virgin Bloody Mary. No alcohol on long flights for me. That’s a surefire way to intensify jet lag.

Reading Glasses
I forgot these once on a trip to Europe and I paid a heavy price—I wanted to read my New York Times but couldn’t! So I keep them in my shirt pocket now.


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