How I Travel: Actor Ben Feldman Is Celebrating His 40th Birthday in Morocco, Eventually

Jessica Wong

His travel pet peeve: This is really something for me to work out with my therapist, but I get so offended by people who assume their time or experience in life is more important than mine. That manifests in millions of different ways. If I hold the door open for […]

His travel pet peeve:

This is really something for me to work out with my therapist, but I get so offended by people who assume their time or experience in life is more important than mine. That manifests in millions of different ways. If I hold the door open for someone and they don’t say thank you or even gesture, I’m livid, far more angry than I should be. That extends to airplanes. If someone’s on the phone after they say to turn the phones off—I know that it’s a ridiculous rule, and that nothing’s going to happen, and it’s perfectly fine for them to be on the phone—but I get livid because I’m like, “I’m following the rules. What makes you better? What is so important about your phone call?” Oh gosh, when people watch something at full volume without headphones, honestly, I just want to pull the emergency exit door down and just push them out of the plane.

Again, it’s just about respect. We have these rules that keeps us a society, keeps us from being total anarchy caveman lunatics.

The best vacation of his life:

[My] honeymoon was… entirely on safari, except for New Year’s Eve where we were in Nairobi. It was a magical, incredible trip. I was every other asshole who ever came back from Africa to the States. Just like, “You guys don’t understand. It’s the closest you’ll get to God. None of this matters. All that matters is the bush.” I was that guy for way too long. We were landing in L.A., and I turned on my phone on the runway and checked my Instagram, and I guess it was the weekend of the Golden Globes and there were all these people taking pictures, like people I knew, of the Entertainment Weekly party. I was just like, “None of this matters. We were just out there with lions, and the elephants respected us, and we respected them.”

A destination he thinks is underrated:

One that we really, really loved was Panama City. We went there on the way to Costa Rica, and we stayed there for a few days. There’s a gorgeous Ace hotel, [one] that’s super maritime-y feeling, just wood and blues and whites, in the old part of Panama City. We met a chef there who owned a restaurant that we loved, and then he invited us back to his house and cooked for us the next night. Amazing food and everything was gorgeous.

His preferred hotel amenity:

The hotel gym, I don’t give a shit about that. At the end of the night, no matter what hotel I’m in, no matter what we had eaten or drank, I want to go up to the bar, and have a conversation with a really smart, cool bartender about the whiskeys. In a dream world, maybe I’m in Utah or somewhere where they make their own whiskey, and I have a conversation about the booze, and then get a heavy rocks glass with a double whiskey. I want the bar to be dark, like mahogany, and feel like an old library. There’s a great one at the Rosewood Miramar Beach in Montecito. They’ve got an old man bar. I want an old man bar, and I want to get an old man whiskey.

How that vision went awry on his birthday last year:

That same bar I just mentioned—the last time we went was during COVID. That was my 40th, and instead of going to Morocco, it was a hotel an hour and a half away. I called room service and I was like, “Can I just have a bourbon, not your bottom shelf, maybe just a step above?” I sit it down and look at the receipt, and [it] was like $350. It was a Pappy Van Winkle! I asked for a step up from Bulleit and they sent me a Pappy Van Winkle! Any other situation other than my 40th, I would have been livid. I was like, “Michelle, wake up. I can’t just drink this while scrolling through Instagram. You have to talk to me while I drink it.” She was like, “Absolutely not, I’m sleeping.” So I went alone outside and sat in the dark, slowly drinking my first Pappy Van Winkle, thinking about tasting notes in my mind, to share with literally no one. And that was the night before my 40th birthday. It feels very COVID.

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