When you start to look like your passport photo, it’s time to go home.
– Erma Bombeck
I’m exhausted. After three weeks in London I’m now in Miami. I know this is a first world problem, but being on the road plays havoc with your metabolism and does absolutely nothing for your hair. Travel is overrated, unless of course you’re in Paris and preferably in the 1940’s.
Other writers turn their journeys into best selling books; they eat, pray, and love their way across continents, sundry belongings flung into backpacks, hitting the road with an open spirit and a thirst for adventure, journaling at the end of each sun-kissed day. This would not be me.
There is a distinct lack of journaling. I barely get time to open my laptop. I have meetings to go to, events to attend, breakfast power hours, lunches, dinners. Meanwhile I have maintenance issues and the distinct absence of an entourage. I get separation anxiety being away from my hairdresser, panic attacks over losing jewelry, obsessed with controlling my uni-brow and confused over the time of the cocktail hour. Other women, (Angelina Jolie mostly) have it down. I do not.
I don’t follow the travel style guides that tell you to pare everything down to monochromatic shades and pack one pair of “go to” flats. I tried it once and lasted as far as Duty Free. It’s bad enough hauling your suitcase through security without the indignity of not being able to lift it into the locker. Also, capsule wardrobes only work if each article of clothing stays intact. Spill coffee on that one blouse and it’s over, have your black pants destroyed by the hotel dry cleaning service, leave your bikini behind at the beach and you are left with only one choice… go shopping.
Shopping when traveling can be a minefield. Not only does it waste valuable time that could be spent writing, meeting interesting people, visiting galleries and soaking up the local culture, it also demands levels of self control that frequently escape me. Presented with the opportunity to create that elusive jetsetter style, I generally fling myself at the project with abandon.
Clothes bought while jetlagged never work when you get back home. The navy blue blazer and silk scarf – so chic in Paris – looks bizarre in LA. Also, when you get home you remember you already own three navy blazers from previous trips to France. The little white dress that flatters your suntan in Barcelona screams lab technician by the time you get back. Shoes bought after a glass or two of the local vino are always a mistake.
It’s also exhausting navigating the weather in the face of global warming. It’s confusing at best. I’ve experienced at least eight seasons in the last month, all of them requiring different outfits, mostly bought along the way. When did November in London feel like springtime in Paris? When did winter in Sydney feel like the Sahara in June?
My passport photo is in better shape than I am right now. I need to get off the road, get grounded in what passes for reality in LA. My own bed is beckoning, my desk awaits…and yet I know, that within a week I’ll be itching for the next adventure. They are all first world problems, and I am a gypsy in my soul.