By Rachel Chang
May 3, 2022
PRIYANKA CHOPRA JONAS does everything in style, but her travels come with an extra flair. “I won’t lie — the only vacations I take are fabulous,” she told Travel + Leisure with a laugh during a phone interview. But it’s a relatively new skill set that she’s acquired in the last five years or so, after a lifetime of being a self-proclaimed workaholic.
“It took me about 20 years of working to realize taking vacations is a big part of healing, restoring yourself, and feeling and coming back energized,” the 39-year-old actress and producer said. “I make sure my vacations are what dreams are made of because I work bloody hard, so when I go on holiday, I want to holiday hard, too.”
Now, Priyanka Chopra Jonas passing that message along to others as the face of ALL – Accor Live Limitless — a loyalty program for the hospitality group that includes renowned hotel brands like Raffles, Sofitel, Fairmont, Banyan Tree, Mondrian, and The Hoxton — by encouraging others to step into the starring role of their own vacations.
For Chopra, her dream getaways are less about the specific location as it is about a mood. “I’m an ocean baby,” she said. “You can take me anywhere by the ocean and I love it.” If she had to choose, Turks and Caicos is at the top of the list, along with Fiji; Cabo San Lucas; Goa, India; and Portofino, Italy.
Traveling has long been a part of the actress’s lifestyle, as her family would go on epic road trips throughout India during their months-long summer vacations traveling from city to city, driving alongside rivers and through the Himalayas to places like Kashmir.
And she always had a very special seat — in the trunk of the car. “There were all these mattresses and blankets and my dad would make that my secret spot. I didn’t realize until I was much older that it basically just got him an extra seat for somebody else,” she said laughing, adding that the cars were “packed” with people. “But that used to be so magical in the trunk with the luggage — it was my special castle that was created just for me.”
Nowadays, she still relishes that spirit in her travels, especially when itineraries don’t go as planned. “I’m usually the kind of person who tries to choose the calmer side of things,” she said. “I will read, walk around, or find some form of entertainment. My imagination is my greatest friend.”
After all, Chopra’s found some of the most special moments are the ones that are off the books. “I believe the beauty of traveling is to travel with an open mind and not have to always stick to plans but just actually allow your vacation to be a vacation,” she said. “That’s how I am. My mom and my husband are very different, but I believe in being a nomad when you travel.”
That includes cherishing times spent alone, especially when she has the opportunity to explore a city on her own. “My job takes me to many amazing places around the world and I always try to find time to experience the local cuisine and life,” the Quantico and Baywatch star said. “How your feet feel on the ground in a new city is just a completely different experience.” Though the solo travel moments “can be scary,” she finds the most joy in just wandering, as she has in Prague, where she stumbled upon new bridges, and in Paris, where she watched artists and musicians at work.
While the pandemic has limited her travels, there’s nowhere that Chopra would rather go than her home country, where she hasn’t been in two years. “My brain has been taking vacations every night, but I am dying to go back to India,” she said. “Every state in India has its own written and spoken language, which means different alphabets, clothing, attire, foods, and holidays. So it’s like going to a new country every time you cross the border in India. Every time I go back home, I make sure I take time to do a bit of a holiday and travel.”
Her upcoming travels will also come with an extra dose of importance as she will celebrate her 40th birthday on July 18. “This has been a really life-changing year for me,” said the new mom of the daughter she and husband Nick Jonas welcomed via surrogate in January. “It’s the next decade of my life. I don’t know what we’re going to do yet, because my husband and I plan each other’s birthday, but I know what state of mind I want to be in.”
For Chopra, that means the summer celebration will be about nothing but sunshine. “I’m very excited about the future,” she told T+L. ” I am curious about where my career will take me, my life will take me. I’m at a place where I feel like I’m at the precipice of change and I’m ready to accept it and receive it. Also, I hope I have sand between my toes while I turn 40.”