My Travel Tales: Uzo Aduba

Actress Uzo Aduba from Netflix's "Orange Is The New Black," whose fifth season debuts June 9, shares her favorite travel memories

June 2017

Instagram: @UZOADUBA

Back to Nature

I’m not a morning person at all, but when I was in Hawaii, I made a point of getting up early when the daylight hadn’t yet broken, and all you can see is the Bali Ha’i outline. The shadows of the palm trees and being in just pure, pure nature, no light pollution, is what it feels like at home in Nigeria, like when you wake up in the village at night. Hawaii is just as tropical and beautiful, and the earth feels rich and clean and the air is fresh.

Carving Out a Life

When working with Heifer International, I met a woman in Uganda who was widowed with two children. She worked her fingers to the bone to take care of her children. She had a brownish, purple gourd—it looked like an eggplant—which she carved to store her dairy. The woman didn’t have much, yet she gave it to me. I still have it. I’ll never get rid of it. It’s on a bookshelf where I have my Emmys, Screen Actors Guild Awards and so forth. It’s just as important as all of them.

Lost in Translation

My friend and I went on vacation in Tokyo. It was my first time. We convinced ourselves that we could distinguish signs and characters. We were riding on the bullet train. We thought we knew which way we were going. More than 45 minutes later, we realized we were going in the wrong direction—and that we definitely could not read Japanese.

Hometown Loyalties

I grew up in a small town outside Boston, and there are only two pizzerias—so you’re either a Royal Pizza house or a Casa Bella house. Mine was Royal, and we would get pizza there every Friday. When I visit, I have to go there. I remember telling my friend upfront, “I know you’re Casa Bella house, but we need to go to Royal. You can go to Casa Bella, get your slice and bring it to Royal.”



I love bringing books with me when I travel. It’s not a specific type or genre of book. I’ll read anything. I always have a stack of books that I want to read, and I’ll bring one of those with me on a trip.


Tea Kettles

I have a cousin who collects tea kettles from around the world. She lives in Brussels in this beautiful townhouse, and she has this beautiful collection on her windowsill of all these tea kettles. I love it so much that when I grew up and started traveling, I collected tea kettles from around the world.



I can’t go anywhere without my camera. I like to take pictures and always make photo albums when I get back. And I print them out. I don’t just leave them on my computer. The trip can be as far as Australia or as close as the Women’s March—and even though it’s very bulky, I’ll still bring it.



I bring my journal with me, too. I journal every day—so not just on the trip. I write about everything and anything.


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