The Upgrade: A Cautionary Tale of a Life Without Reservations


Bored, broke and struggling to survive in one of the most expensive cities on earth, Paul Carr comes to the surprising realization that it would actually be cheaper to live in a luxury hotel in Manhattan than in his tiny one-bedroom apartment. Inspired by that possibility, he decides to sell most of his possessions, abandon his old life and spend a year living entirely without commitments, as a modern-day nomad.

Thanks to Paul’s ability to talk his way into increasingly ridiculous situations, what begins as a one-year experiment soon becomes a permanent lifestyle – a life lived in luxury hotels and mountain-top villas. A life of fast cars, Hollywood actresses and Icelandic rock stars. Of 6,000-mile booty calls, of partying with 800 female hairdressers dressed only in bedsheets, and of nearly dying at the hands of Spanish drug dealers. And, most bizarrely of all, a life that still costs less than his surviving on cold pizza in his old apartment.

Yet, as word of Paul’s exploits starts to spread – first online, then through a national newspaper column and eventually a book deal – he finds himself forced constantly to up the stakes in order to keep things interesting. With his behavior spiraling to dangerous – and sometimes criminal – levels, he is forced to ask the question: is there such a thing as too much freedom?