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The Experience of Travel

While combing through the Mer Sea Co. archives, looking for the beginnings of the brand and researching inspiration and connections, we stumbled across an extensive personality survey that contained questions that our founders answered and compared. Some of the responses were humorous, some secretly serious, and a few so unbelievably side-splitting that should never be shared in public.

The responses varied wildly, but were all clearly honest—Melanie loves “small details on something that make it feel special.” Lina’s favorite thing is “food.” Both women loved life’s wonders, appreciate travel, family, friendship and the beach.

We decided to send some of those same questions to friends who love travel. When we are thinking about a major getaway, there is one expert who has all the answers. She has travel in her genes. Kendra Thorton grew up in her parent's travel agency and now is considered one of the foremost experts on any travel type--from family-friendly to super luxe. See more about her at

MS: What is a treasure you’ve discovered while traveling? (this can be a feeling or product)
KT: There’s this saying that goes, “travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.” I love knowing that no matter where I go there’s always something to be learned from the culture. You really grow as a person, that’s the best feeling.

MS: Where is your favorite beach and what about it do you love?
KT: I’ve been to beautiful beaches in Hawaii, Europe, Asia, Australia and French Polynesia, but I think my favorite is South Carolina - the beaches are massive, clean, beautiful and so fun with the kids.

MS: When traveling, what do you consider an extravagance in the suitcase?
KT: I always have one fabulous purse - preferably a CHANEL or YSL - it can dress up any outfit for a nice dinner or GNO.

MS; What is your #1 tip for packing?
KT: I’ve become quite the master packer and almost exclusively travel by carry on so I don’t risk my luggage being lost. I coordinate my outfits around only 2 pairs of shoes and I roll belts and stuff them and socks into the shoes. I also roll my clothes which prevents wrinkles and creates more space.

MS: Do you have any travel product recommendations (besides the Mer Sea & Co. Travel Wrap)?
KT: I’m a huge fan of Longchamp bags because they are lightweight and easy to put in my suitcase and then I can pull it out and use as an extra carryon for souvenirs and purchases. I think TUMI makes amazing toiletry cases with lots of thoughtful compartments so if something accidentally explodes the rest of the bag isn't destroyed. For my kids we love the Lipault roller bags – they come in so many candy colors and are lightweight and very easy for kids – including my 6 year old - to navigate.

MS: What is your favorite thing at home?
KT: My children! When you travel as much as I do nothing is better than coming home to my loving family...and of course our Cavalier King Charles puppy, Griffin.

MS: What is your favorite (non perfume) scent?
KT: Downy fabric softener - I put a sheet of it in my suitcase when I travel and everything smells fantastic!

MS: If you could drop everything and leave this second (without even packing a suitcase and any travel is possible), what is the destination?
KT: Paris! I’ve been there several times but I don’t think I could ever get tired of it. It’s my favorite city in the world and I wouldn’t need anything because I can buy it all there! If I was in a less urban state of mind than my second choice would be Bora Bora - if I wanted off the grid.

MS: Merci Kendra!!!

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