I’ll never forget the night I stepped off the plane in Mexico. It was back in the pre-jetway days, when we had to climb down a flight of stairs to the tarmac. I stepped out of the chilly airplane cabin and onto the metal landing. It was around 10 o’clock at night, and the heat smacked me in the face and clung about my arms. It was springtime, and we’d come from New England, and I’d never known such heat so early in the year or so late in the day.
What else was different? The food, the language, the scenery, the aromas–pretty much everything, as it turned out, and experiencing it in the moment was different from knowing it ahead of time. We stayed at the Acapulco Princess, and I fell in love with the theatrical grandeur of luxury hotels. We explored the Aztec pyramids, and it was fascinating to see that something so old was also so sturdy and so sophisticated. My parents bought me silver and turquoise earrings; I still treasure them, along with the memories of that journey. I was 9 years old, and I’ve loved travel ever since.
That trip was special, because it was a break from daily life and daily expectations, expectations I tried for years to meet. One of my ancestors, Gen. John Glover, commanded the regiment that ferried the Continental Army across the Delaware River at the Battle of Trenton during the Revolutionary War. It’s a lot to try to live up to.
I went off to college in Washington, D.C. I worked at office jobs with two or three weeks vacation each year. I lectured on college campuses, and at conferences, and on Capitol Hill. I wrote a book. I met a Russian princess, Michael Jackson’s chimp Bubbles, and Ronald Reagan, who winked at me.
I accepted a job on the West Coast. I quit my D.C. job, packed up, and drove across the country. And I fell in love with the open road, with day after day of having no agenda beyond surrendering to the journey, with the intoxicating freedom of being between jobs. I could never get it out of my heart.
I joined the Great Resignation before it was cool. I’m a Bohemian preppy, a free spirit with a traditional soul. I believe in being curious, thoughtful, fit, frugal, well-read, and well-travelled. And I believe in living your life your way.