Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Jet Set

Sometimes I wish I could be living a different life. Yes, we're playing that game. The grass is always greener, so on and so forth. Usually I look to a character (or characters) in a television show, movie, book, or once in a while even a real-life celebrity and their real-life life. (My envy for the latter, though, is few and far between -- there's nothing more tragic than a terrible life hidden beneath the glaring lights of the paparazzi's cameras.) 

But on days like today when I'm feeling especially wistful and in need of a new life, I wish I was part of the Jet Set in the Season 2 Mad Men episodes set in California:
Don and Joy (above and below)

The jet set are basically a group of rich Europeans who are essentially hobos. They're rich and cultured enough to easily jet around the world from place to place without consequence, never tied fully to any one identity, indulging in sex, food, cocktails, conversation, and new faces at every destination. To me they depict freedom. Their world is intoxicating, where every whim is followed and every craving met. They're colorful and eccentric but at the same time suave and sophisticated. They're well-to-do nomads, meandering the globe in exotic locales -- Marrakesh, Paris, Monaco, Palm Springs -- and opposing all other boundaries along the way.

Jet setter, Joy, who's on her way to Palm Springs, invites Don along though he is a stranger. Don declines, but Joy responds with: "Why would you deny yourself something you want?" (He, of course, follows right away.) 

I'd love to be a nomad like that, giving in to everything I want and nothing I need. I wonder what it would feel like. Would it get old after a while? Would it be so intoxicating that I could never go back to being "normal?" And what is "normal" really? It's such a subjective term. Why can't being a jet setter be "normal?"


  1. Oh how I would love to be a nomad too! Sigh.

  2. In 2009 when we were on our mini-honeymoon in San Franscisco we met a couple for Scotland who were on a 'grown-up' gap year. They'd taken six months off work and had been travelling to Fiji, New Zealand, finishing off in America. It just seemed amazing to be able to just pack your bags and leave everything behind; jobs, money worries... I was really jealous, it would be great sometimes just to have a break from the normal routine, definitely would be great to be jet set for at least one month a year.