You must travel all the time" is a statement I often hear. And it's true that I travel a lot—it's part of the magazine's ethos and it's also something I love to do. However, as I write this Editor's Note, I must admit I'm focused on a monumental journey of a different sort: my husband, daughter, and I are moving apartments in New York after 15 years. The move begins this Thursday—that's three days from now—and I still have miles to go in sorting through books, clothing, china, and pots and pans, not to mention finding a home for my baby grand piano (an acknowledgment that Caroline's lessons, as well as her permanent occupancy, may not resume after college—and that my own return to 10-finger exercises probably won't happen). But in taking stock of my possessions, I'm coming face-to-face with the role of travel in my family's life, so tangibly reflected in the rooms we will soon be vacating. There are the photographs taken in Italy, Africa, the Adirondacks, and the Caribbean; exotic hats and other wardrobe trappings from evenings in India and Morocco; furniture and objects from Thailand, China, France, England, and elsewhere (which I'm holding on to with one exception—a grillwork-fronted wooden cabinet from Marrakesh that's going to my son Jamie's apartment).
Illusion and reality are words that come to mind—a popular trope in academics no doubt surfacing now because of the two generations of textbooks and term papers I'm also sorting through. All these souvenirs of travel offer up stylish, even glamorous, images of the jet-set life; missed planes, lost luggage, and other mundane struggles are blissfully not in evidence. Appropriately enough, October brings T+L's annual Style Issue, which throws a spotlight on fashion, art, design, and culture. This month our destinations range from the Maldives, in the Indian Ocean, where contributing editor Shane Mitchell made a whirlwind visit to nine super-luxurious spa resorts; to Cinecittà Studios in Rome, in the footsteps of novelist Thomas Beller, who conjures up the magic of the Eternal City on screen and in life ; to New Orleans, a favorite haunt of fashion star Michael Kors, accompanied on his madcap tour by Kevin Sessums; to London, for a nonstop shopping spree with our genius of consuming passions, contributing editor Lynn Yaeger; and to Essaouira, in Morocco, which Richard Alleman has watched evolve over 30 years from a sleepy bohemian beach town to a bona fide cultural capital of North Africa.
Organizing and paring down my possessions is an opportunity not only to take stock of what I have and where I've been, but also to look forward to where I'm heading—and the tokens I will collect.