“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
And travel we did! Several years ago, my wife Cynthia and I embarked on a five-month adventure across Europe. We visited France, Switzerland, Italy 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 table beneath an 18th century fresco ceiling. I completed several projects from a massive handcrafted desk in the extra bedroom of our Rome apartment. The Nice apartment provided views of the foliage changing color on Chateau Hill through dining room windows. In Seville, I rotated between a dining table, a desk in the bedroom and a small table on the rooftop terrace (when weather permitted). Occasionally, I even worked in bullet trains, hotel beds or tapas bars.
When we got back to Oklahoma City and moved into our new home, I was more than ready to create a permanent studio to call my own. A larger computer screen was more than welcomed.