Travel Talk with Celia Pacquola

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Being at a “flying slumber party” with strangers is weird enough, says the Aussie comedian, but it’s the hair dryer question that really blows her mind.

Do you spend much time away from home?

We filmed Rosehaven in Tasmania for two and a half months and before that I went to Montreal for 10 days and London for 12.

How far out from a trip do you start to pack?

The first time I went overseas, I spent six months preparing things in piles but now it’s the day before and the morning of. I’m really bad: I throw things in; I don’t even fold them. I arrive with little to no idea of what I’ve packed. It’s usually a pile of T-shirts, a couple of dresses and a lot of mismatched socks.

So I guess you’re not a roller or a folder?

I kind of bundle – I don’t scrunch – it’s closer to folding than rolling. I start off well but by the end, I’m like, “Looks like I could fit another jumper on that.”

What do you pack but never use?

I always think, “I don’t need a hair dryer; there’ll definitely be a hair dryer there,” and then there’s no hair dryer. But when I do take one, there’s already one that’s better. My house is full of hair dryers with strange plugs.

What do you wear on the plane?

I wear my looser jeans and a T-shirt and bring something warm and soft to put on. I never change into pyjamas or anything mad like that. And I try to wear matching socks on the plane because I know other people are going to see them.

What kind of luggage do you use?

I love the ones with four wheels. It’s so exciting; you can just nudge the bag and it goes. I’ve got a small bag for a couple of days, a medium one and I use my large one for anything over a week because I have to fit in all my hair dryers.

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Aisle or window seat?

I chop and change. Generally, a window for sleeping. Then again, with the anxiety that comes with climbing over a sleeping stranger, these days I’m going for the aisle more and more.

Do you introduce yourself to your seat mate or keep your distance?

Keep my distance. The plane is like the gym: not a place for chat. I did chat on the way back from London last time, though. This guy started talking to me and I’m really glad because I asked him what line of work he was in and he said sweet corn and it made me very happy.

Do you have a plane routine?

I can’t say no to anything that’s free and in the sky so I go for the movie then the meal and then I try to sleep. I’ll take my watch off. I might undo a belt buckle. I try to keep myself a bit nice because you’re spending the night with people – it’s like a weird flying slumber party.

Do you drink alcohol on the plane?

I drink beer on the ground but on a plane it’s always wine – I like the tiny bottles.

Are you more emotional in the air?

One time, I cried in the movie Up. I was emotional because I’d just left loved ones so I thought, “Oh, I’ll watch a Pixar cartoon.” It was the saddest three-minute intro of any film I’ve seen ever.

Do you suffer from jet lag? 

Sometimes I’ve got away with it and other times it’s the worst. I try to drink a lot of water, get some sun and stay awake during the daytime. But it’s such an amazing problem to have. You’ve just travelled around the planet really fast in the sky then you complain, “But now I feel like having breakfast for dinner.” 

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