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Inside this week's ES Magazine: How to travel in 2024

 (Slim Aarons/Getty Images, A bay in Conca dei Marini, on the Amalfi coast in Italy, August 1984.)
(Slim Aarons/Getty Images, A bay in Conca dei Marini, on the Amalfi coast in Italy, August 1984.)

I’m typing this on the Eurostar home, hurtling through the snowy hinterlands of France after a four-day trip to Paris. I was there for a couple of work things. First, to attend the Dior men’s show, which was an incredible spectacle devoted to famed dancer Rudolf Nureyev, who lived a wildly opulent and carnal life in Paris (quick aside: I was recently at a small dinner and two of the more senior guests both claimed to have slept with Nureyev!).

The second reason was to host an ES party with Paul Smith to celebrate the brand’s runway show. It being our special Travel Edition, it seemed perfect timing to take the magazine on tour and, as you’ll see on p12, for Londoners to show Parisians how to have fun.

Actually, I always have fun in Paris and have never understood the accusations of rudeness and aloofness we throw at it. Don’t you think those adjectives could also describe our city? Take a look around: en masse (sorry for the Frenchism), we’re hardly the friendliest of creatures, are we? Oh dear.

Listen, all I’m saying is Paris is a magical place for me; 18-or-so years ago I even met my wife in a hotel lobby there. And that’s the amazing thing about travel: it really can change your life. Yes, it’s stressful, expensive and often ruined by the screaming tantrums of children, but it’s one of the only IRL ways to get out of ourselves. We experience our self differently in a foreign land; away from home, we glimpse who else we could be. For now, my hopes of a Nureyev-style Parisian life remain a fantasy.