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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Life of a Travel Writer: when the travel writer comes to her senses

After only five hours sleep, a not so great day yesterday, and still feeling bleary eyed and in need of a few hours more, this weary travel writer nevertheless rose early this morning and went downstairs. Even before putting on the coffee she opened the French doors in the living-dining area (now their cluttered office) in the little Milano apartment (see here), and she looked out to see a cobalt blue sky. It was a relief after several weeks of dreary grey skies and occasional rain showers, punctuated by haze and fog, or, at best, blue sky with light cloud cover, none of which are optimum conditions for shooting books. Especially to photo editors and art directors who always want to see cerulean, no matter what Terry says about clouds being a photographer's friend. But as the writer watched the suited Milanese with briefcases in hand, the models carrying portfolios, and the students with backpacks slung over their shoulders, all rushing up and down the stairs of the charming bridges that cross the Navigli canal, on their way to work and school, she also felt relieved. Relieved that she didn't have a 9 to 5 routine (really 7 to 6, or even 6 to 7 when you count breakfast, shower and travel), that she didn't have to sit in rush hour traffic or on a crowded train, and then go through the monotonous motions of the day, which no matter how interesting a job is and how fascinating the people are you with work, still involves a routine. The travel writer decided she would rather go without sleep, food and showers, and have these periods of intense work and long days at a computer, to have the weeks when they're driving through stunning landscapes in places like Crete or Syria or enjoying sunsets over castles and beaches in Italy and Turkey. Especially if the computer is in front of a window looking on to the streets of Milan. And Amsterdam. And Buenos Aires. And Brussels... And so the travel writer came to her senses.

The photo? Our work space in Brussels two years ago. Grey skies there too, but we didn't mind with that view.

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