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Andrew McCarthy (not taking a taxi) in Canoa Quabrada, Brazil. Photo courtesy of Andrew McCarthy

We (ahem, me) all fell for Andrew McCarthy onscreen in ’80s classics such as Pretty in Pink and St. Elmo’s Fire, as he often played the sensitive, pensive and soulful guy. These days, in reading Andrew’s travel memoir, The Longest Way Home: One Man’s Quest for the Courage to Settle Down, it isn’t hard to see him again as that same thoughtful and conflicted drifter.

Living a life in Hollywood’s shadow hasn’t made Andrew any less relatable as the characters he often played onscreen in his younger years. He is just like us: vulnerable, fearful at times, and looking to escape to a place, at least for a moment or two, where “no one knows who you are or where you are.” He’s the guy you could find yourself sitting across from on a train and talking with for hours about travel.

I did get to talk to Andrew about travel, maybe not on a train, but on the phone while he was at home briefly in New York. Find out how Andrew changed his label of “Brat Pack” actor and “‘80s heartthrob” to New York Times best-selling travel author and National Geographic Traveler editor-at-large. Plus, learn what his travel fears are … and why he hates travel stories that involve taxis.

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