Rosario Dawson talks to PEOPLE about moving in with Sen. Cory Booker, and opens up about the "amazing" road trip she took with her father to start her new life in New Jersey

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rosario dawson and corey booker
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Rosario Dawson's big move to New Jersey with Sen. Cory Booker started off with a meaningful road trip with her father.

In the latest issue of PEOPLE, the actress, 42, talks about her move to Newark with the New Jersey senator, 52, and how her father accompanied her on the journey down to the Garden State.

"It was an amazing adventure," The Mandalorian star tells PEOPLE. "My family are all in New York. It felt really beautiful and good to start a new chapter of my life in the driver's seat."

Dawson drove 3,000 miles in a 29-ft. RV with her father Greg, who's battling pancreatic cancer.

rosario dawson
Credit: Magnus Sundholm/Shutterstock

In September 2019, Dawson opened up to PEOPLE about her father's battle with cancer, and said she was spending some much needed time with him while working.

"My dad has cancer right now, I've been leaving every other weekend for his chemo treatments," Dawson told PEOPLE, who at the time was filming for the USA Network series Briarpatch. "Yesterday we were filming and they worked it out so I could go home just an extra couple hours so I could be with my dad, and then do my screening, then come over here."

Dawson officially moved to Newark to live with Booker last summer, and joked about her adopted home as a New York native even though her boyfriend "gets upset" whenever she pokes fun at the state.

"New Yorkers appreciate New Jersey because you have a great view of New York," she quipped.

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She and Booker, who met at a fundraiser in 2018, are getting used to sharing a Newark home: "This is the first time in my life I've really lived with somebody, and obviously Rosario and I are enjoying and adjusting to that," Booker told BuzzFeed last fall.

Speaking on her relationship with the Booker, The Water Man actress tells PEOPLE she's thrilled to have a boyfriend as devoted to human rights causes as she is. Dawson is on the board of Vote Latino, which works to register voters, and she cofounded the clothing line Studio 189, which is based in Ghana and supports education and skills training there.

"To have a partner in justice, as I like to say, is just so beautiful," she said.