For actor Jacob Hopkins (“The Goldbergs,” “Dragons: Rescue Riders,” “The Loud House”), the pandemic certainly made working more difficult. But, just as importantly, it put his education plans on hold. “I think the biggest thing that changed for me is that I ended up deferring my first year of college, because of the pandemic,” said Hopkins, who turned 19 in March. “Hopefully, we will go back to our normal lives (soon). I want to pursue my college life and expand my horizons as a person and as an actor.” Based out of Los Angeles, Hopkins stays in touch with his fans on Instagram (@hopkinsjake) and Twitter (@hopkinsjacob5).
Q: Have you been able to work much during all of this?
A: I’ve been quite fortunate during this time. I was able to film a movie in Arizona called “Carolina’s Calling” and I filmed the season eight premiere of “The Goldbergs.”
Q: What have you and your family been doing during this unusual time?
A: We definitely live in a parallel world at the moment. We always spent a lot of time together – game nights and stuff like that – so our quality time never changed, we just do more of it. We love to hike, so we do more of that, too. We were able to do a four-day weekend to San Diego when things were calmer, while still following all the guidelines, and go boating, tubing, hiking and on long walks.
Q: What is your favorite vacation destination?
A: I always love going to Michigan and Mississippi to visit my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.
Q: What untapped destination should people know about?
A: There’s this beautiful hiking trail in Pine, Arizona – Cypress Trail to Boulder Trail – that takes you in a gigantic loop through beautiful pine trees and insane boulder formations. Because of its size, you definitely find yourself being the only ones on the trail, which also makes it feel so serene and calm.
Q: What was the first trip you remember?
A: The earliest memory I have of a trip was when I went to Disneyland for the very first time. I absolutely loved it, until the point when I lost my blanket I called Ba-ba. I pretty much cried myself to sleep. When I woke up, I was in a restaurant in the Downtown Disney District with mac and cheese, grapes and a new Ba-ba my mom had gotten from our car, but I didn’t know it was a spare.
Q: Where are your favorite weekend getaways?
A: Towsley Canyon, a beautiful hiking trail where I get to visit my favorite family of deer.
Q: If you've ever gone away for the holidays, which was the best trip?
A: I remember going to Michigan to visit my extended family for Christmas and it was honestly one of the best times of my life. I had never been in snow before, and what better way to experience it than sledding with your cousins? We got to be there on Christmas Day and exchange presents with each other. I’ll always cherish those memories.
Q: Do you speak any foreign languages?
A: Je parle un petit peu français! I tend to pick up on common phrases, but it’s a bit difficult for me to learn foreign languages. I really want to learn how to speak Japanese though!
Q: Why Japanese?
A: I’d love to go to Japan! I grew up on anime, Nintendo and martial arts – I’m one stripe away from a third-degree black belt in (the Korean martial art of) taekwondo – so it’d definitely be a dream come true.
Q: What is your guilty pleasure when you're on the road?
A: I love stopping at unique stores and restaurants. I remember when I drove to Pine, Arizona, to film “Carolina’s Calling,” there was this restaurant with this ginormous cup on the outside that sold the best fried chicken and ice cream I’ve ever had.
Q: What is your best vacation memory?
A: I’d say my best vacation memory was when I went to Maui, Hawaii. I got to go ziplining, scuba diving, eat a ton of Hawaiian barbecue and bike down the mountains. It was truly a beautiful and mesmerizing experience.
(Jae-Ha Kim is a New York Times bestselling author and travel writer. You can respond to this column by visiting her website at www.jaehakim.com. You may also follow “Go Away With…” on Twitter at @GoAwayWithJae where Jae-Ha Kim welcomes your questions and comments.)