It looks like Christmas came early this year, as we have an interview for you with Derek Hough. Through dance, Derek has been to every single state in the U.S. And his favorites may just surprise you. Derek shares his thoughts on travel and what he and fiancée Hayley Erbert are calling home for the holidays.
Derek Hough has clearly danced with the stars, and into our hearts (and his fiancé’s, too, we might add). But before he hit television screens via ABC, he was dancing all over the world during his youth. Since he was a kid, his travels have propelled him to Europe, the U.S., and Australia.
Unsurprisingly, then, Hough recently teamed up with Southwest® Rapid Rewards® Credit Cards from Chase to promote Teach the Love Contest, where anybody over 18 can nominate a teacher that has impacted their lives, or a parent can nominate on behalf of their children. (Talk about gratitude, right?) Winners have the opportunity to garner amazing travel prizes.
Without further ado (or an 8-count), read on for our chat with Hough about the U.S. city he’d love to visit again, and so much more.
How has dance brought you around the world and to where you are today?
Being a kid living in South Jordan, Utah and having the opportunity to literally travel the world several times over — to Germany, Italy, London, Australia and, of course, all over the country — I’ve toured every single state in the U.S., and all because of dance. Dance has really been the gift that keeps on giving. It’s really, really special. My love of travel and my love of dance, my love of serving and giving: I feel really fortunate that I have those things in my life.
You mention traveling all across the country, is there one specific location that you would love to visit again?
I love Hawaii. Hawaii is just fantastic. It’s tropical, it’s exotic — all the things. But surprisingly, Washington D.C. is on my list. I spent a week there last year, and I really got to experience the city in a different way I’d never been able to. I want to go back and dive even deeper into it. One of my favorite restaurants I’ve ever eaten at in my entire life is there, actually. So, I want to take my fiancée and my dad, who is a big foodie, and be like ‘eat at this restaurant, this is incredible.’ But also just the history, the history of America, it’s a really great place.
Do you have any favorite memories from traveling as a kid?
There is this expression, “The path of someday leads to a town called nowhere,” where we’re always like, “Someday I’ll do that, someday I’ll do this.” But eventually that just leads to nowhere. When I heard that quote, I called my dad and said, “Hey, we have to stop talking about someday. Let’s go on this amazing adventure. Let’s do it, let’s book it, let’s make it happen.” And we love archaeology, we love history, and we went and did all the Mayan ruins. We drove for a week to all of these amazing places, learned about the culture and history, and it was really special.
Speaking of seizing the moment, do you have any travel plans you are excited about?
Actually, I think I’m going to Tennessee for the holidays. I have a lot of family out there. So, I’m going to Nashville to see the fam.