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Is this Progress?

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It seems it was only a few years ago I was saying, "If only I could keep in touch better on the road. If only I could get done while traveling all the things I can only do in my office."

Well, file that under "Be Careful What You Wish For." With today's cell phones, faxes, and laptop computers, there's really not much office work you can't do from somewhere else in the world...at any time. As a result, we're not just traveling more, we're working more.

In the Washington Post recently, reporter Joel Garreau wrote that for generations, man worked hard to build communities and to escape the need to constantly follow the food supply.

But he noted today there are people who have multiple addresses and never stay anywhere for too long. Designer Phillipe Starck, known for the edgy interiors of hip hotels, has something like a dozen homes around the world, each outfitted the same way so he feels as at home in London as in New York City. Mark Mobius, the president of a huge money fund, lives on his Gulfstream jet, for all intents and purposes, though he keeps an apartment in Singapore with no furniture except a bed. Global financiers, actors, rock stars and journalists think it odd if four days go by and they haven't been on a plane.

Call them latter-day nomads. You know, since The Savvy Traveler began more than three years ago, I've spent about a week every month in Los Angeles working at the show's home office. I have my own circle of friends now and some favorite restaurants, just as I do in my "real" hometown of Washington, DC. Thanks to cell phones and computers, I can work almost as efficiently on the road as I can in my DC office. Is this progress? I think it depends on whether you like to travel or not. And you can probably guess how I feel about that!

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