Tracee Ellis Ross on directing another episode of 'Black-ish,' and what we can all learn from traveling


There's something really empowering about traveling alone, Tracee Ellis Ross tells us. The more we immerse ourselves in different cultures, the more we "really see how connected we all really are." 

The multi-talented actress sat down with AOL Entertainment to talk about her dream travel destination, what she would bring to a deserted island and on directing another episode of 'Black-ish.'

Traveling and appreciating it "from the standpoint of offering texture, richness, and abundance in your life, and learning about different things," the actress says about traveling, "I think opens up your ideas with what’s possible for yourself.”

SEE ALSO: ‘Grown-ish’ renewed for season 2 at Freeform

Ross' passion for seeing the world and its different cultures, helped her partnership with Chase and United Airlines for the relaunch of the United MileagePlus Explorer Credit Card, which offers double miles as a reward for dining and hotels. 

“I’m such a big lover of miles,” Ross laughs. “It’s literally like you know when you go in your coat and go ‘Oh my God, I don’t remember this twenty dollar bill!’ Forgotten money! That’s what miles are like.”

And although Ross has traveled extensively and has seen some of the world's greatest sights, there is still one place she hasn't been to.

“I really want to go to Japan," Ross says. "I really think Japanese culture is phenomenal. There’s a difference in [their] perspective that I would really love to experience. I would love to go during cherry blossom season.”

Tracee Ellis Ross out and about
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Tracee Ellis Ross out and about
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: Tracee Ellis Ross seen out and about in Manhattan on June 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Robert Kamau/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11: Tracee Ellis Ross is seen in Manhattan on June 11, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Robert Kamau/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 04: Fashion designer Wes Gordon and actress Tracee Ellis Ross are seen arriving to the 2018 CFDA Fashion Awards at Brooklyn Museum on June 4, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 07: Tracee Ellis Ross and Donald Glover attend the Heavenly Bodies: Fashion & The Catholic Imagination Costume Institute Gala at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 7, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/MG18/Getty Images for The Met Museum/Vogue)
Former US first lady Michelle Obama (L) and actress/activist Tracee Ellis Ross attend the United State of Women Summit at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, on May 5, 2018. (Photo by CHRIS DELMAS / AFP) (Photo credit should read CHRIS DELMAS/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 04: Actor Sarah Paulson, Actor Claire Danes, and Actor Tracee Ellis Ross attend the Prada Resort 2019 fashion show on May 4, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Jared Siskin/Getty Images)
BLACK-ISH - The cast and executive producers of ABC's critically-acclaimed hit comedy 'black-ish' attended the ABC Studios 'For Your Consideration' event at The Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, CA on Saturday, April 28, 2018. (Aaron Poole via Getty Images) TRACEE ELLIS ROSS
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 03: Tracee Ellis Ross is seen in the Upper West Side on May 3, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Gotham/GC Images)
BLACK-ISH - 'Dream Home' - Dre and Bow are living separate lives and switching off with the kids. They start to realize how much they relied on each other and how hard it is being on their own. Dre gets his sleek, ultra-modern dream house in the canyon with all the amenities, and Bow doesn't think it's suitable for the kids, on the season finale of 'black-ish,' TUESDAY, MAY 15 (9:00-9:30 p.m. EDT), on The ABC Television Network. (Ron Tom/ABC via Getty Images) TRACEE ELLIS ROSS

But if she were to be stuck on a deserted island, Ross has her three must-haves down. 

“I’ve thought about this!” Ross laughs. “Number one would be an artisanal king, which would be intact to a man -- 6’4” and over, with a beard, preferably a black man," the actress says with a giggle. "Tequila … food would be handled with the coconuts, the fish, and the mangoes -- we’ve decided that’s the kind of deserted island I'm on. I’ve said in the past that I would want to have my glasses since I wear contacts. I think those things balance each other out!"

And if you're wondering how Ross likes her tequila severed, she's one to have some Casa Amigos reposado straight, with almost an entire lime in it. And although she hardly drinks while filming her hit TV show, 'Black-ish,' she does enjoy cocktails on the four months out of the year she's not working on the series.

While discussing directing her much talked about episode of 'Black-ish,' Ross reveals that not only was it hard directing herself in the highly emotional episode (her character, Bow, and her co-star's character, Dre, played by Anthony Anderson hit a rough patch in their marriage) but she's looking forward to directing more episodes.

“I am going to do another episode next season," says Ross. "I would love to direct outside of 'Black-ish' of course … but I think until 'Black-ish' finishes it's going to be difficult. We work eight months out of the year, we work full five days a week, 16-hour days so there’s not much else we can do, but I love it.”

Those 16-hour days and working eight months out of the year can make anyone exhausted, so Ross makes sure she is selective with her time and practices self-care while picking which projects to work on. 

"I have been very selective about honestly my time," Ross explains. "I’m just really into … filling my well as a person and do other things, have time with my family. I’ve just been waiting for the right thing."

We can't wait to see what's next.

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