HOW DO YOU AFFORD YOUR ROCK AND ROLL LIFESTYLE?
I awoke on Irish linen in the Davenport's Parlor Suite roughly the size of a small house this morning, then swam and soaked in the hot tub, pimping the high-roller, travel-writer lifestyle many dream about (after they finish the Oscar-rockstar reel).
The trouble with that fantasy? It neglects the toilet rocking on its moorings in the garret back home. The ink-stained secondhand clothes, the crummy pension plan, the five o'clock courage of self-employment.
I worry about the expense of kitty grit. And how to wrestle the litter sacks home without a car. Do you still want my world?
Don't get me wrong: the perks are unbelievable. I have dog sledded in Colorado, canoed in Appalachian backwaters, swum with dolphins in Mexico, tangoed in Finland, biked in Ireland and ridden a roan mare in the Rockies. I've stargazed, snowboarded and raced a sailboat on company time. I learned to scull, fly-fish and play extreme croquet.
A minor aristocrat once kissed my hand, bowed low and clacked his heels in Rome, the Eternal City.
In Jordan, I learned to "mooooove with the camel" and wear a Brazilian bikini in a Muslim country (nothing I'd recommend). I also mud-bathed beside the Dead Sea, plunged down a 400-ft scarlet sand dune and refused a Bedouin sheik's proposal to become wife number two while veiled in a desert camp.
In the glamorous, greedy city of Hong Kong, I rode in a helicopter, experienced Chinese acupressure and palm-reading, sipped gin-and-tonics at the Foreign Correspondents' Club, won HK$110 at the Sha Tin racetrack (about 14 bucks) and danced until dawn in a scarlet bob wig and pink aviators, despite my capitalist guilt.
But I haven't been to the dentist in six years. Every system has checks and balances, you see.
When my teeth fall out, travel writing will cease to be glamorous.