Have Laptop, Will Travel

“One of the gladdest moments of human life, methinks, is the departure upon a distant journey into unknown lands. Shaking off with one mighty effort the fetters of habit, the leaden weight of routine, the cloak of many cares and the slavery of home, man feels once more happy.” — Sir Richard Francis Burton

Monterosso TerraceAnd travel we did! My wife, Cynthia, and I recently returned from a five-month adventure traveling across Europe. We visited France, Switzerland, Italy, Monaco and Spain. It was an extended holiday with a bit of work sandwiched between train rides, museums, historical sites and leisurely strolls through some of the most beautiful cities in the world. After 10+ years designing from the same workstation, I temporarily traded the familiar for the fabulous. Armed with a laptop, I found inspiration in new surroundings and designed from whatever the accommodations provided. My favorite “studio” was the terrace outside our hotel room in Monterosso, Italy (see photo above). With the village below, mountains above, the Mediterranean in the distance and surrounded by fragrant lemon trees, it was nearly impossible to keep my eyes focused on the computer screen.

In Paris, I worked from a beautifully painted antique dining table overlooking a flower shop on Blvd Raspail. In Bern, it was a tiny ultra-modern desk in a tiny ultra-modern hotel room. Our Florence apartment offered a long, glass dining table beneath an 18th century fresco ceiling. I completed several projects from a large desk in the extra bedroom of our Rome apartment. The Nice apartment provided views of the foliage changing color on Chateau Hill through the dining room windows. In Seville, I rotated between the dining table, the desk in the bedroom and the small table on the rooftop terrace (when weather permitted). Occasionally, I even worked in bullet trains, hotel beds and tapas bars.

However, now that we’re back, I’m looking forward to creating a new, permanent studio to call my own. A larger computer screen will also be welcomed.