Proust Travel Questionnaire: Heidi Merrick

- Joy Pecknold, Passport blog editor

Raised in Capinteria, Calfornia, the daughter of surfboard shaper Al Merrick, Heidi Merrick is a clothing designer whose garments have graced the pages of Vogue, Elle and InStyle. Everything she creates is produced within walking distance of her studio in Los Angeles. She takes our travel questionnaire.

The in-flight film you hope for: Anything that’s still in theaters! The only time I see a remotely new movie is in an airplane. I only go to theaters for the big ones, like Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, so I guess I won’t need to go again.

The last book you took on holiday: This Side of Paradise, F. Scott Fitzgerald.

You tend to pack too many…: Bikinis. Whether it’s Paris or Vail I pack bikinis.

Your idea of travel happiness: My whole family and a private surf break.

Your idea of travel misery: Being at a timeshare on the beach where you can’t go in the water (this has happened to me).

Your favorite quality in a hotel: Intimacy, and an organic reflection of its setting.

What do you appreciate most in a travel partner? The ability to laugh.

What is your greatest extravagance while abroad? Calling home, texting home—I just got a $1,110 cell phone bill.

What is your favorite journey to take? The one home, always. I believe the life you’re living should be glamorous to you, mine is.

What is your greatest fear abroad? That there won’t be proper cream for my coffee.

Which historical world traveler do you most identify with? Hemingway. I love to think about him as an ex-pat in Paris, leaving the city to fly fish in Spain. That is how I’d like to do it—a little city, a little fly fishing.

What is the travel habit you most deplore in yourself? Never planning or reading the travel books.

What is the travel habit you most deplore in others? Reading the travel books and then acting like an expert on the place.

In what travel situations do you lie? If I find myself renting surfboards, I never let them know I’m a Merrick. It’s just too complicated.

When and where were you last happiest? Last Sunday on the beach in Carpinteria with my family.

What is your most treasured take-along? My French bible, it makes me feel safe, foreign and smart all at the same time.

What is your travel motto? Whatever, let’s go!

Follow Heidi on Twitter: @heidimerrick

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