Proust Travel Questionnaire: Leandra Medine, Man Repeller

- Joy Pecknold, Passport blog editor

She’s known for repelling the opposite sex with her idiosyncratic sartorial choices, but we queried clotheshorse-cum-comedian Leandra Medine of Man Repeller on travel habits while she was at Vancouver’s Secret Location to meet fans. Click in for the questionnaire.

The in-flight film you hope for: United 93. Just kidding. I do really like that movie though, I feel bad about it. I think that every time I’m on a plane.

The last book you took on holiday: Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris and I Hate My Neck by Nora Ephron.

You tend to pack too many…: Shoes.

Your idea of travel happiness: A backpack and Greek Islands.

Your idea of travel misery: An overweight suitcase, and lots of walking with the overweight suitcase.

Your favorite quality in a hotel: Customer service. Also, crispy sheets. [Editor’s Note: In Vancouver, she stayed at the Loden, and they loaded her with candy.]

What do you appreciate most in a travel partner? Someone that is willing to let the serendipity of wherever we are take us away.

What is your greatest extravagance while abroad? Probably buying things I shouldn’t. Overpriced jackets and stuff.

What is your favorite journey to take? Proverbially or literally? My favorite literal journey to take is to Paris. My favorite proverbial journey to take is to self-discovery [she says laughingly].

What is your greatest fear abroad? That I will lose my passport.

Which historical world traveler do you most identify with? I don’t know, I’ve never tried to identify with a world traveler. There aren’t many world travelers by profession anymore. I guess models, just because they’re on planes then directly on shoot. It’s not really about fun, it’s about work, and that’s a lot of my traveling.

What is the travel habit you most deplore in yourself? I think it [traveling] always reminds me of my untidiness.

What is the travel habit you most deplore in others? Very pragmatic and practical planning for the trip. I just really like seeing what happens when we get there.

In what travel situations do you lie? Depending on where I am, if people ask me if I’m Jewish, I sometimes get uncomfortable to say ‘yes,’ like when I’m in a cab in Paris. I don’t necessary lie, I just go away from the conversation. I tend to be afraid to tell people in other countries that I’m Jewish. When I was living in Paris, I did not feel comfortable as a Jew. The Jewish holidays were so marginalized there, and that’s so not the case in New York. I don’t know. I’ve heard such terrible stories of people getting kidnapped and killed in Morocco. I guess traveling also reminds me of my neuroses.

When and where were you last happiest? Probably in New York, the day after I handed in the first draft of my book.

What is your most treasured take-along? I have this silver necklace that my best friend’s mother gave to me and it’s really special to me. I feel that it’s lucky.

What is your travel motto? If you can’t pack it, don’t take it.

Follow Leandra on Twitter: @ManRepeller

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