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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Life of a travel writer: VIP openings, acrobatic waiters and private parties

Will you forgive me the silence? Perhaps when I tell you where I've been. If you followed the Lonely Planet author scandal you'd get the impression from Thomas Kohnstamm that fees are so low and travel writers so poor they have to deal drugs and scam meals to survive. Or if you read the blogs, comments and stories in response from other writers you'd think we all work 16 hour days, seven days a week (which we do), but that miserable fees force us to sleep on friends' couches when we travel and the closest we get to Michelin-starred restaurants is watching customers dine through the window while we make menu notes outside (which we certainly don't do!). If you work hard, network well, and line up a number of commissions for a trip, you can sleep in design hotels, dine of fine meals, and live a rather luxe life if you choose. Last Monday we flew to Istanbul to cover the opening of the new W hotel and Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Spice Market for two in-flights and two travel magazines, and write a guide to Istanbul for another travel mag. What followed was a whirlwind four days of work - and play! The W generously hosted us in a stunning room and fed us Jean-Georges' superb cuisine for two days. We went to an exclusive press dinner at Spice Market with a dozen other writers and W's fantastic global PR team. We sipped bubbly poured by an acrobat for a waiter who hung upside down from a chandelier of champagne bottles! And we boogied the night away (with Jean-Georges himself!) at the hotel's spectacular launch party, attended by Istanbul's jet set and hundreds of W VIPs around the globe. And it was fun. Especially being invited by Jean-Georges to his private after-party in the hotel's presidential suite with magical views of Istanbul!

4 comments:

Nomadic Matt said...

i still want your job! lol

TravelMuse said...

This is what we all dream your job is like. It's nice to hear that it is possible to live such an exciting and fabulous life. Thanks for sharing, can't wait to hear more about Istanbul!

laradunston said...

Hi you two! Thanks for the comments - much appreciated! But I'm not so sure you'd want my job if I told you how I've been spending every day of the last couple of weeks. Istanbul was tonnes of fun, and Rome also, but since we've been on the road in Calabria we've been flat out all day every day, criss-crossing the country by car, visiting every city, town and mountain village (both the beautiful and the boring), looking at all the sights so we can decide what's worth seeing and what isn't, driving on dreadful roads and wonderful routes, eating in good restaurants and bad, and it *has* been tough. Now, I know you don't believe me, do you???

Prêt à Voyager said...

Hard work pays off. I still can't wait for your book...

Anne