The Next-Day Escape to South Beach
The Travelers Lydia Bell, Susana Cardena, and Alex Cooney
Lydia's Lost Job Magazine journalist
London-based journalist Lydia Bell didn't waste any time planning her post-employment jaunt. In fact, within 48 hours of getting her walking papers, she was already en route to Miami to meet up with two friends for a week of sheer, mindless indulgence. "I had heard that layoffs were coming, so before I even got the news, I booked a holiday—knowing that it would either be a chance to celebrate that I hadn't lost my job, or to console myself because I had," Lydia says.
Unlike on Romaana's trip, soul-searching was nowhere to be found on Lydia's agenda. "As a travel journalist, most of my holidays were either work-related or off-the-beaten-track adventures," Lydia says. "This trip was a throwback to the old-school pleasure break with friends, which was a really nice change for me."
The women splurged on their digs, spending a few nights each in three of the city's hottest properties—the Mondrian Miami, the Setai, and the Gansevoort South—knowing that they would have all the free entertainment they could handle in the form of pool-hopping and people-watching. "It's hard to be deep or regretful when you're pondering which of the Setai's three temperature-controlled pools to dip your toes into," Lydia says. The women also ventured out to hear the salsa bands at Little Havana's Hoy Como Ayer and dropped in for a visit to the Tides South Beach, where they got to know the Coral Bar's dedicated rum expert, or rummelier.
"I made the decision right at the start not to worry about money," Lydia says. "Very foolhardy, but lots of fun." Fortunately for Lydia, although she wasn't worried about money, she did end up landing an opportunity to make some, selling a story about Miami to a magazine—and setting the stage for the next phase of her career, freelance journalism.
Lydia also has some sage advice to impart to those who find themselves suddenly jobless: "Don't stay at home feeling sorry for yourself," she says. "You can do your thinking later."