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‘Be where you are’ and other travel advice from beach-vacation-loving actress Heidi Blickenstaff

We caught up with the star of ‘Jagged Little Pill’ to talk about all things travel

Heidi Blickenstaff, the star of "Jagged Little Pill," on vacation in Zoëtry Paraiso de la Bonita Riviera Maya.handout

Stage and screen actress Heidi Blickenstaff said she’s “always had a love affair with Mexico.” The landscape, the people, the food … “I can’t get enough of it,” she said. Blickenstaff stars in “Jagged Little Pill,” a Tony and Grammy Award-winning musical based on the music of Alanis Morissette, that is coming to The Citizens Bank Opera House June 13-25. Blickenstaff, who has appeared in numerous Broadway shows, including “Jagged Little Pill,” “The Full Monty,” “The Little Mermaid,” and “Something Rotten!,” said that even though the Canadian singer released “Jagged Little Pill” (her third studio album) in 1995, the songs and messages are still relevant today. “It speaks to the generation that the music was born with, but I think if you are a younger person, the music feels incredibly fresh and relevant inside this story that is predominantly about a younger generation finding their way in this crazy new world,” the Fresno, Calif., native said in a recent phone call from Greenville, S.C., where the national tour of “Jagged Little Pill” had stopped. “I defy anyone to not find some character in the show who they relate to — whether you are a parent or a child or someone struggling in one way or another … I think so many people will find commonality in what the characters are going through.” Blickenstaff said that her husband, Nicholas Rohlfing, an entertainment attorney and father of two adult sons (her stepsons) who is traveling with her on the tour, is a history buff, so she is excited about exploring the historical sites in Boston with him. “And you will definitely find me on Newbury Street,” she added. We caught up with the performer, who lives in Harlem with her husband and their 7-year-old rescue dog, Eleanor, to talk about all things travel.

If you could travel anywhere right now, and money was no object, where would you go?


I’ve been fantasizing about going to the Rosewood Mayakoba resort in Mexico’s Riviera Maya for many, many years. It’s kind of a bucket list vacation for me. It’s so convenient to get there from New York City … and I’ve always had a love affair with Mexico.

Where was the first place you traveled to after COVID restrictions were lifted?


After not seeing each other for more than a year and a half, my whole family traveled from all over the country to surprise my dad in Carmel, Calif., his favorite place, for his 80th birthday.

Do you prefer booking trips through a travel agent or on your own?

I love to do it myself. The research is part of the fun.

Thoughts on an “unplugged” vacation?

It’s my favorite kind.

Do you use all of your vacation time or leave some on the table?

Use it!

What has been your worst vacation experience?

When I had just graduated from college, I went to Paris with some crazy friends and one of them jumped the turnstile on the Metro and I had to bribe a police officer to let him go. She took all my cash and I was broke for the rest of the trip.

Do you vacation to relax, to learn, or for the adventure of it all?

Mostly I vacation to relax. I’m very fortunate in that my job takes me to lots of really interesting locations, so when I get to actually plan it, I want to be laying by a pool or an ocean in a beautiful location with a book in one hand and a drink in the other.


What book do you plan on bringing with you to read on your next vacation?

I have three that my friend Bligh Voth, who is my castmate in “Jagged Little Pill,” has recommended. She is an avid reader and I trust her to the death about books. They are: “Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow” [by Gabrielle Zevin],“Crossroads” [by Jonathan Franzen], and “On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous” [by Ocean Vuong].

If you could travel with one famous person/celebrity, who would it be?

Nah. . . just want to be with my husband.

What is the best gift to give a traveler?

Another week.

What is your go-to snack for a flight or a road trip?

I enjoy a smokehouse almond and apple chips.

What is the coolest souvenir you’ve picked up on a vacation?

Rocks from our beach walks.

What is your favorite app/website for travel?

I can go down a luxury rabbit hole with sites like

What has travel taught you?

Whenever I get back from a vacation, I’m always struck by not just how good it was to have time away, but also that it truly makes me a better version of myself. Of course the rest is so necessary, but it also fills me up in a way that I have new perspective, appreciation, and energy for my working life.


What is your best travel tip?

Be in your feet. Be present. Try not to plan too much. Try to really unplug and don’t think about how many more days you have there. Be where you are.

Juliet Pennington can be reached at