Tuesday, March 27, 2018

The Luxe Life

In the early 90s, I flew to Europe for (music) work at least twice per year. At that time, if you racked up those miles on TWA, you qualified for nearly guaranteed upgrade to Business Class on all flights, and a free (or steeply discounted) membership to the premium flight lounge, as well.

I was one of the poorest people I knew, eking by on $26,000/year (and proud of it - few jazz trombonists at the time could say the same), yet I traveled like a CEO. And I have to admit that I liked it. I also liked the five star hotels I stayed at while touring on the European jazz festival circuit.

But I didn't like it enough to want to devote my life - or to have to exploit others - to preserve that lifestyle.

It's all switched. I'm not impoverished (I own a TV set! I take the pay tunnels into Manhattan! Occasional parking garages!), and I travel coach and stay in ordinary hotels. It wouldn't occur to me to spend an extra $1500 for a slightly wider chair for a five hour flight, nor to lay out $500/night for a luxe hotel. It doesn't seem worth it.

Yet, paradoxically, again, I did really like it.

Fortunately, I don't need to have everything I like.

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