These days I’m feeling like the grown-up version of Eloise, the little girl who lived in the Plaza Hotel in NYC. I don’t have a dog named Weenie nor a British nanny and so far we haven’t been put at the “tipy-top” floor, but for all intents and purposes the hotels we are staying in are “home.” This is life for the next few years, so I’m learning to adapt and have come up with some tips based on my experience thus far.
1. Buy fresh flowers. My mother-in-law suggested fresh flowers might make our hotel room feel a bit more like home (and, fortunately, she passed this tip along to her son as well–thanks, Mom!). She was right! Staging a fresh bouquet or two around the room really brightens the place up and we don’t have to worry about packing the flowers when we head to our next location.
2. Stage a few framed photos. Hotel living doesn’t really afford the opportunity to pick out our own paintings or couch cushions, but that doesn’t mean we can’t put out a few small, framed photos to personalize our room a bit. Even when we were in Columbus for two days, I put out our photos to help us get in the mindset of normalcy vs. feeling like we were embarking on a vacation (not that there’s anything wrong with feeling like we’re on vacation, but eventually we’d want to go “home,” so we’re making home come with us).
3. For that matter, unpack–at least a little. We’ll only be in Connecticut for a week and a half before we head to Miami for four days. It doesn’t make sense to unpack every single item we brought, but Matt hung his suits in the closet and I took over a drawer for workout gear. By making the things we use frequently more accessible, we spend less time pawing through our bags to find what we hope we packed.
4. Get on a normal routine. As referenced above, living in and working from a hotel can make it easy to feel like you’re on an extended vacation but, for us anyway, this is not sustainable. Matt has a job he has to go to every day and I am determined to translate my writing into a legitimate career. That means we need to have a good balance and diligence about working towards our goals. We worked out nearly every morning when we were living in Atlanta, so we’ve resumed that routine and are taking advantage of our hotel gym. While our hotel offers a full breakfast, including the daily temptations of bacon, sausage or corned beef hash, we are trying to stick with healthy choices such as yogurt, cereal and fruit–like we ate in Atlanta.
5. But take advantage of the amenities your hotel provides. Sure, there are challenges to hotel living (such as limited storage space and having only a cooktop vs. a full oven and stove), but we also don’t have to take out the trash, clean the bathroom or make the bed. I’m still trying to keep things fairly tidy, but I don’t mind not having to scrub a toilet for a while. There are other advantages too, like the Monday-Thursday happy hour our hotel offers. A free glass of wine at the end of the night? I don’t mind if I do.
If there’s anything our new life has taught us so far it’s that home is what you make it. At the end of the day, where Matt and I are together–that’s home. The rest is just icing on the cake.