Tom Sandoval and Tom Schwartz close out 2023 with an epic trip to Asia.
The Vanderpump Rules stars plan to celebrate the New Year in Bangkok together with their friend, celebrity jeweler Kyle Chan. In an exclusive interview after the end of his involvement in the 2nd season Special forces: the toughest test in the worldSandoval, 41, told PEOPLE that the vacation — his first since 2018 — will be a chance to relax and decompress after filming the grueling competitive bootcamp series.
“After going through this and things settling down a little bit, it’s really great to just be able to hang out and celebrate life,” he says.
Tom Tom’s co-owner brings Chan along to thank him for supporting him in his efforts Special forces experience.
“Kyle has really been there for me through all of this. Me and Schwartz wanted to take him on a trip, so we’re going to Hong Kong, Bangkok and Singapore. And I’m really excited about that,” he explains, noting that Chan will be featured in the upcoming new the season Vanderpump Rules.
Tom Schwartz (left) and Tom Sandoval.
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The trio’s foreign adventure should begin right after Christmas. “We’ll go to Hong Kong and spend New Year’s in Bangkok and then come back after the start of the year and then hit 2024 and hit the races,” Sandoval says.
Sandoval, who reached the final episode Special forces before he was finally eliminated, he previously told PEOPLE that he almost quit the show — until he received a motivational video message from his mom.
“It was so great,” he recalled her encouragement. “Those were such incredibly hard days. I mean, we were pushed and pushed and pushed. And that day in particular, when I got that text from my mom, I was so close to giving up.”
He said his family’s pride fueled his determination to pass selection in the competition. “I was thinking a lot about my family and my friends, and when I saw my mom, I was like… I didn’t even watch that video for at least a few minutes. I was so emotional,” he said. “The floodgates just opened.”
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Tom Sandoval in the movie ‘Special Forces: The World’s Toughest Test’.
Pete Dadds / FOX
Sandoval returns to the small screen in January when Season 11 rolls out Vanderpump Rules starts on Bravo. The cast began filming back in June, just months after news broke that Sandoval had been having a months-long secret affair with actress Raquel Leviss, shockingly ending his nine-year relationship with Ariana Madix.
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In the first teaser for the new season, which was unveiled at BravoCon 2023, the cast appears to be taking sides following Sandoval and Madix’s messy split. Matriarch Lisa Vanderpump opened up at the fan fest panel about how difficult it was for everyone to get together and film after the explosive end of season 10.
“This season has been extremely difficult for Tom and Ariana … but for me as a mother figure and matriarch and their mentor … [I] try to facilitate some cohesion,” she said. “This is Vanderpump Rules. It’s not Little House on the Prairie.”