Racing against Time…and my Wallet?

Alright, now that I’ve been to Monaco, I might as well face it: my tastes are far too expensive for my own good. I’m not sure if any place ever made me as happy as Port Hercules…not to mention the Port Palace hotel. And I didn’t even “do” much of anything; I just enjoyed everything my suite had to offer and did the few minutes’ walk on the waterfront.

But the suite was the biggest rental I’ve ever had anywhere, not to mention the most deluxe…and the most expensive. I’ve always been intrigued by these hotel suites that cost four digits (or even more…) per night, and I figured going into my European vacation that I had enough in the bank that if I wanted to see what it was like to have such a place all to myself for one night I could do it.

Originally, years ago, I looked at places in Jackson Hole like that for a white Christmas skiing experience, but I couldn’t find anything I really liked that much, so I forgot about it (instead my first time skiing was in the summer…in the arctic), and I sorta forgot about it. But then the time came to visit Monte Carlo on my track through Europe; I saw some lodging that looked nice and more affordable closer to the French border, but I got no instructions, no nothing when I arrived (it’s one of those private hosts), and then I was like “screw it, I’ll see what it’s like if you can afford to just drop $1000 like it’s nothing!”, so I walked away, canceled the non-refundable reservation I had with that place, and booked a suite at Port Palace.

Truthfully I was considering doing that even before the host stood me up, because I really liked it on Google, but I was like “$800…eeeh, I don’t know”. Well…I did know when I arrived out of the train station and made for the world’s biggest concentration of super-yachts like a homing pigeon, seeing that the place was literally right on the water, and not just right on the water, but the part closest to the favorite yachts I saw and loved looking at! Wow.

And not just the yachts, but also the people! When people say “Instagram isn’t real life” they’re lying; what I saw, especially next to the port, looked exactly like what you see on Instagram or in the movies, only it’s real people in a real place. Yes, it’s real life…just not for you.

Heck, even aside from the “it’s real life1” factor it might be better than what you usually see on social media, because in Monaco you see luxury car after luxury car just drive by; if you stopped to snap a picture of every car that went by you that looked like it came straight out of “Need for Speed” you’d be standing on the sidewalk all day. It’s that heavy of a concentration. Not just luxurious cars, but really cool cars; supercars, exotic cars, et cetera. Quite a few of the brands I didn’t even recognize.

That alone was fun, but I found the people to be good-looking, at least as much as when I’ve visited the swankier parts of Southern California; there was a girl who caught my eye and made me go “aww she looks nice” every few seconds, which is an utterly foreign experience for me, since I hardly ever see anyone I’m even physically attracted to at all. Lots of them had class and were rather model-like; certainly very fashionable, much like the more glamorous end of Italian women, only in Monaco the prevailing look is closer to what you see on social media (think the celebrity space, more so than the fashion space, if that even makes any sense).

The boys were honestly not as glamorous, though the male side of the population too were fixed up nicely and weren’t bad-looking specimens at all. Presumably Monaco draws more from the pool of rich men than beautiful men (in Cannes, for example, I’m seeing more young handsome glamour types among the strong sex). It’s actually a bit of a confidence boost, because those guys don’t really look any hotter than I do, and they made it to the top of the world.

The most interesting aspect, however, was that I felt really comfortable and at ease in a crowd like that. People in La Condamine don’t look at me like I have two heads or treat me like I’m some kind of unwanted wretch who doesn’t belong there. When I socialize with people I actually get a positive response and I’m treated like I’m a normal wholesome person who’s funny and enjoyable to talk to.

I’m sure it’s because I fit in with them. I’ve noticed that the yacht owners and top model types have…uh, basically the same habits I do? Between how they work their phones, cart around their luggage, take in the view, and so forth, even the taste in clothing, but especially the body language, the expressions, and the way you talk to other people. I’ve noticed it not just in Monaco but also in the swanky parts of coastal California and Jackson Hole; you know, all the places that are dominated by literal billionaires. As long as I’m in an environment like that I’m happy, refreshed, all smiles, and can thrive socially, but the further away I get from it the more I just kinda die on the inside.

Alas, I don’t have the money to keep up with a lifestyle like that…and never have. And it’s not like I was raised in some upper-crust family, either. Heck, until last year my exposure to anywhere people that rich even lived was so limited it rounds down to zero. So how did I get to be the sort of person who can fit in with the 1% of the 1% but not among my “own” class?

I’m sure genetics play a role; some people are naturally more “elite” than others. To segue to a different aspect, take appearance; Anya Taylor-Joy, for example, exudes born-rich energy from her very bone structure, and that can only come from DNA, no matter what kind of upbringing you had. My own features are not nearly so elite, but I don’t exactly look like a peasant or a proletarian type (be honest: we’ve all seen people in these stations in life who exactly look the part, grim as it might be). But back to someone’s vibe and habits, it’s possible my genetics predispose me to traits that happen to fit in better with rich people?

I’d speculate the real cause, though, is the fact I was basically raised on movies and feel most at home in places that are straight out of a movie set or a video game. It stands to reason that not just places, but people that remind me of what I loved to watch and play as a kid would be more familiar, comforting, enjoyable, and easy to navigate as well. Which, Hollywood being Hollywood, is basically hot rich people. Helping (?) matters still further is that I never really had any friends growing up, so that was about all the socialization I got aside from the likes of Internet forums.

The fact my own value system and the one I was raised with best matches the upper class’s helps too. Probably as well the fact I’ve never had a job as an employee and have always been financially independent helps me to fit in better. I don’t have nearly as much as the people pulling up in yachts to Monaco do, but at the most basic level our lifestyles may well have more in common with each other than either of us do with the working masses.

Alas in my case it’s not sustainable for me to live how I’d like to with the portfolio I’ve got, so I’ll have to get to work…but I’m planning to start my own business, so even the default way I want to work is classic rich-guy behavior.

Heck, even my dating and sex life is more typical of wealthier people. At the ripe old age of 30 I’ve never been able to figure out how to organically meet or even find any women I like and am attracted to, even after years of trying, but when I’m willing to open my wallet I can browse a catalog of women and it just takes me hours to find one. Admittedly paying to play should make it easier and simpler (they want your money, after all, whereas amateurs take more convincing), but why would there be such an enormous gap in difficulty between hiring a professional and finding an amateur to date? It seems odd.

Especially since when I actually have a girlfriend in hand I do well enough. I got the “girlfriend experience” from one of the top escort agencies in the world, a service specifically catering to virgins, and it was nothing short of dreamy. There were nerves and awkward moments, yes, but it was entirely down to lack of practice. Once I actually got the chance I learned fast (the girl seemed genuinely impressed, and, not to get too graphic, there was one moment it was clear she got more pleasure out of it than she bargained for!). She was a sweetheart and so nice and smooth about it, but I could tell from the get-go she was genuinely puzzled at why I lacked any experience. Well…so am I.

It’s to the point where I’ve booked that same girl for another date, one where I’ve got some really fun plans to look forward to. Truthfully I really liked having a girlfriend, and I do really like the high-end escort experience as a way to casually date.

Unfortunately the impact on my wallet isn’t so casual; a good overnight, which I really like, can very easily top $3000 all-in (and Dutch rates are cheap compared to US rates, not to mention it’s totally legal over there…). I would honestly like to have a date like that every week, but that would bankrupt me fast. Even doing it twice in three months is more than I can really afford, if I’m being honest; I’m just scared that I’ll never get the chance to go to Europe again (remember lockdown?), so I believe if I want to see her again (which I do) I should do it before I return to the United States.

Billionaire-level thinking, but on a thousandaire-level budget. The budgetary issues are one reason why I wanted to cram seeing so much of Europe into the maximum stay that I’m allowed in the Schengen Area, which is 90 days out of any 180; because transcontinental flights add expense, even if it’s economy class (which…ugh, I don’t even want to think about that night I spent in that seat). But that might not be practical; I might have to come back for a follow-up trip!

As things stand now I’m on day 72 of my trip. Day 71 in the Schengen Area, because I spent a full calendar day in Svalbard, which is outside the Area. That leaves me with 19 days left…and I’ve still got *checks notes* Andorra, Spain, Portugal, Malta, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Iceland left to go! That’s 9 countries in 19 days, a rate of about one every two days. And I’m intent on doing a little road trip in Portugal so I can see the coast I’ve so longed to see (I speculate it might be my favorite part of the Mediterranean, geographically; it’s so similar to California, they say), and a big road trip in Iceland. Oh, and all this has to fit in with a date in the Netherlands, which means a multi-day stay there. So that uses up the 19 days right there…and maybe then some!

So I might have to truncate my plans. I’ve already truncated by trip to Spain to just seeing Barcelona and then flying out, because I don’t have the time to ride Spain’s train network (they also X-ray your bags to ride the high-speed trains, which…ugh, if they’re going to do that anyway I might as well just fly, since it’s faster). I’ve also decided to forget about seeing Paris, because the security levels there are ramping up for the Summer Olympics next month, and by the time I’m able to make it it’ll be only weeks left to go. Doesn’t sound like a very good time.

Malta too might have to go; the only feasible route I’ve found is to fly out of Barcelona and into Malta, and then fly out of Malta and into Lisbon, because the only nonstop flight back to Barcelona leaves very early in the morning, too early for me to realistically make it. And the Greek islands I’ve just had to forget about too, along with Corsica and Sardinia. Not much of a trip! Can’t even see Paris!

And even if I could see these further southern regions, it might not be a good time for me to go, June or July. Where I’m typing this from in the Riviera it’s so comfortable as to be dreamy, but when I was in Trieste the heat and humidity were so bad I felt like I was going to die (I think I’ve gotten used to the drier and more maritime environment of most of Europe and the American West…). Places like Greece and Malta are low-key too hot for me to go to in the summer. Which is why I was creeping around southern Italy and Greece so much earlier in the season (and good thing too, because Athens had a massive heat wave not too long after I left).

On top of that, my experience in the arctic has left me wanting more, and it would be so fascinating to see the polar night, the aurora borealis, and the landscape up there in its winter garb. But more than anything I’d like to follow up my skiing excursion with a proper ski vacation where I could apply my newfound skills and ski on my own a lot more, preferably with my favorite escort in tow (who loves skiing!). But the best time for that would be winter. There are a surprisingly large number of places in Europe (specifically in the Alps) where you can ski year-round, but summer skiing…eeeh…if I were to take a girlfriend out skiing I’d want it to be peak winter vibes.

Oh, and I’d love to explore more of Vienna as well, since it was such a dreamy city; it might actually rank as my favorite of all. Actually I have a little list of places I like that I would want to spend a longer duration of time in the next time I come out.

Of course when you add all that up together that’s starting to look like another mighty long trip. A 90-day stint might just barely be enough for me to cover the countries I wanted to check off the list, but to see everything I wanted to see how I wanted to see it it looks like 90 days just won’t be enough. Fortunately even if I use up all of my 90 days, I merely have to wait another 90 for the clock to reset again, which in my case would be October. Plenty of time to head back for a Christmas excursion in the Alps? As well as to cover the areas further south I missed out on this time? Not to mention Paris…

I’m hopeless, aren’t I? This trip alone already cost so much, and I’m already plotting another multi-week escapade. And that doesn’t even get into other destinations I might like to get to. How am I possibly going to afford all that? Better get cracking on that business when I return to the United States and move to California; I’ll need every cent I can get…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *