What’s something you never fail to pack in your suitcase?
My running gear. I try to work out wherever I travel. I’m more likely to forget a pair of heels than running shoes.
Carry-on or check-in?
Check-in. I pack for every possible situation, which of course ends up being way too much to carry on. Plus I love to explore the airport (especially London Heathrow, which has amazing stores and food), so I like to be hands-free to do that.
Window or aisle?
The older I get, the more uncomfortable I feel flying, and I’ve realized the window seat makes me feel relaxed. By being able to have a good view of takeoff and landing, I’m able to calm nerves just a little.
What’s your idea of the perfect vacation?
For me, it’s all about going somewhere with hot weather that’s away from big cities. I like secluded spots where I can relax and lay out in the sun.
Tell us about a vacation you’ve taken that’s come close thus far.
When I was a kid, my family used to take vacations in Portugal and rent a villa in one of the small towns. We would spend our time exploring the town, indulging in the food and taking in the culture. I loved every holiday my family took there because it was peaceful, but also adventurous.
What’s the worst vacation you’ve taken?
One year, my family and I went camping in the Pyrenees Mountains in France. It rained Every. Single. Day. That was a tough trip. There was a lot of time spent inside a tent playing cards.
Where’s your favorite destination for performing?
I moved to Los Angeles nine years ago and I’m always praying to get booked for roles here in the city because I love it so much. Los Angeles is the only place I get homesick for. I’m still completely charmed by the film history of the town — driving past the Hollywood Sign and walking onto studio lots where so many iconic movies were filmed.
What’s the silliest souvenir you’ve ever brought back from a trip?
A gigantic, bedazzled pair of Elvis glasses during a road trip to Las Vegas. Why I spent the money on them is beyond me; it’s not like I’d ever wear them out. They’re so big they won’t even stay on my face.
Ever try a food you wished you hadn’t?
I tried escargot in France and it completely grossed me out. I think it was the texture I wasn’t a fan of. It was smothered in butter and garlic, but nothing could have gotten me to take another bite. I do love to try new foods though, even if I end up hating them, because you never know until you try it.
Favorite hotel you’ve ever stayed in?
Claridge’s in London is just a gorgeous hotel. Everything about it is exquisite to me, but perhaps my favorite thing there is the high tea they serve. Of any afternoon tea I’ve tried, theirs is the most delicious.
Favorite restaurant you’ve discovered while traveling.
In Austin, Texas, there’s a restaurant named The Oasis that’s tucked into the hills and overlooks Lake Travis. It got struck by lightning and burned to the ground a few years ago. I haven’t been back since it was rebuilt, but I still remember it was the view from the restaurant that made it so wonderful for me. I would watch the sunsets and the storms roll in over the lake. I’ll have fun memories of dinners there with my family.
Biggest regret you’ve ever had while on vacation.
I’ve always turned down the opportunity to go snorkeling or diving. I think there’s something intimidating about it to me, which seems ridiculous. The next time I’m asked to go, I hope I’m brave enough to say yes.
The one thing you’re willing to splurge on when traveling above all else.
Food. There’s just something perfect about having a long dinner with lots of courses, wine, and storytelling. Some of my favorite memories have been forged over fabulous dinners.
Three songs (or artists) on your travel playlist?
I listen to Eva Cassidy to relax, Muse to get me up, awake and excited for the day, and any blues music. The blues is more for that mid-afternoon transition to the evening. It’s romantic.
Where would you take someone visiting your hometown of Crowthorne, England for the first time?
Windsor Castle, which is, of course, quintessentially British. The town itself has hundreds of years of history. Some parts are even haunted. Then, right outside the castle is Windsor Great Park, which has rolling green hills and tree-lined paths. It’s a great way to escape the town and explore the countryside.
You only get one more trip in your lifetime. Where will it be?
Somewhere tropical; perhaps the Maldives. I’ve seen pictures and it looks so romantic and peaceful. It’s on my bucket list.