Born in Mexico City, raised in Kenya, educated at the Yale School of Drama, and now a member of the Hollywood elite, Lupita Nyong’o can truly be called a citizen of the world. (That's without even mentioning her voyages to other lands, like the secret country of Wakanda in Black Panther or the Star Wars galaxy.)
So when Architectural Digest had the chance to catch up with her in New York City on Thursday at an event celebrating the relaunch of the Delta SkyMiles American Express cards, we had to ask about her most recent travels. Below, find out what the Oscar winner looks for in a hotel, as well as some tidbits about the space this globe-trotter calls home.
Architectural Digest: At the end of 2019, you shared your top 10 moments of the year, and one of them was all of the places you traveled. Which one made the biggest impact on you?
Lupita Nyong'o: Ghana. I went over the December break and with a bunch of friends, and I had a really great time. I had been curious about visiting Ghana for a while. It was warm, the food was amazing, there was great art, and there were interesting things going on in the fashion world. The textiles are incredible. And the parties are unforgettable!
AD: What was your favorite part of the trip?
LN: There are so many favorites. I ate a lot of the local food, and it is really spicy. I really enjoyed doing that. I stayed at a really lovely hotel called White Sands. I visited the slave castle dungeons in Cape Coast that were involved in the slave trade for hundreds of years. That was an eye-opener. So I had that historical, cultural experience. And then I also partied until dawn most nights.
AD: When you're on vacation, are you someone who plans out every moment?
LN: No. I like to have a loose plan, but I also like to visit a place where I know someone and can experience their version of their city or country. I like to leave room for chance encounters.
AD: As far as hotels, what are some of your must-have features?
LN: A spa. A tub. A yoga mat. Chocolate.
AD: Where is on your bucket list to visit next?
LN: I really want to go to New Zealand. I’ve never been. I hear great things about the place. Its beauty is incomparable, from what you see in images. I can’t even imagine being surrounded by that kind of environment all around me. And I love visiting nature.
AD: Are you more of a beach or a mountain person?
LN: Definitely beach.
AD: Another one of your top 10 moments was about all of the fan art you received based on your movie Us. Do you have any of the art displayed in your home?
LN: I do! When I was at Howard University, one of the students had drawn one of the images of [my character] Red from the movie, and I framed it.
AD: One more home question we just have to ask—where do you keep your awards?
LN: Well, not to be a humblebragger…My Oscar is up on a shelf. And I have two SAGs on a windowsill. They are in my living room. I like having them in view when I need to encourage myself.
AD: It's good to have things around that inspire you.
LN: Yes. I have tons of books around—those are very inspiring to me. All the books that I haven’t read and should get to at some point.
AD: What are you reading now?
LN: Graham Greene's The Heart of the Matter. It's research, really.
Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest