More: Many actors tend to keep their personal life private, but you are putting it all out there in your new book, The Longest Way Home.
Andrew McCarthy: I guess what I am putting out there are the human feelings everyone has, including myself. I suppose it is revealing, even though I consider it to be the internal stuff every one of us has.
More: I am not used to having a guy who wants to talk and share his feelings.
AM: [Laughs] Apparently some of us guys have them. I get it, though . . . I suppose that is why I couched the book to also center on exotic travel. I thought this was a better way to express my feelings rather than just sitting on a couch.
More: This memoir is both a tour of the world and a tour of who you are. Would you consider this the most personal material you have ever shared with your fans?
AM: Yes. I had no interest in writing just a travel book. I don’t think it is an uncommon issue for someone like myself to have our own self, our own solitude and connect with the people we love. I needed to explore how to do that and resolve that issue, which seems to be a persistent factor in my life.
More: Why do you think that is?
AM: I think a lot of people struggle with this in many ways. It took me a long time to realize this was an issue—that push-pull that’s coming toward and then pulling away. I finally had enough of that and decided I wanted to make a change, because feeling this way was not getting me to the place I wanted to go in life.
More: Did going on this journey end the way you wanted it to?
AM: Yes. You know, being a travel writer has been my secret career for the last 10 years. I found that travel has really changed my life.
More: How so?
AM: It makes me feel more at home in the world and more comfortable with who I am. While some people go to therapy to solve their problems or have coffee with their girlfriends, I travel because it helps me figure stuff out. To me, travel is an internal journey, not just an external one.
More: What got you interested in travel and then realizing it is helping you resolve internal conflicts?
AM: I guess it was a reaction to being in all of those movies people remember me from. I was walking across a pilgrim route in Spain 20 years ago, and it changed my life. I had a real experience taking part in that journey, and I found myself wanting to go on more of these adventures to these wondrous places. I also discovered traveling alone is so valuable and, for me, beneficial. That trip was a really potent moment in my life.
More: When did you decide you wanted to channel your experience and become a journalist?
AM: I would say 10 years ago. I mean, I always took notes from every trip, but I kept those thoughts to myself. I attempted to keep a journal, but I wasn’t good at it, because I found it to be self-indulgent and embarrassing. Since I am an actor, I know how to write scenes based on the people I meet along the way. I even know how to do dialogue and themes because of my years as an actor.
More: Is writing your other passion?
AM: I found writing calms me down. I also felt nothing I read in the many travel magazines I picked up really captured the quality I experienced when I saw the world, so I decided I was going to seize the moment and share it with others.