(NOTE: It was in October 2012 when I “just returned” from this trip and wrote this post. A worldwide pandemic was the furthest thing from my mind! Most of us have stayed home for over a year, and we’re just now thinking about traveling again as we gradually get our COVID-19 vaccinations. Also new since 2012 is the Org4life Travel Resource Roundup I created for you. Stay safe, and enjoy your travels!)
I just returned home from a short road trip to Durango, Colorado (from Albuquerque, New Mexico). The brisk fall weather and scenery were wonderfully refreshing. And it was good to be out of my routine for a couple of days. Then, as usual, I was just as glad to return home as I was to leave it in the first place. There’s a reason why we have these sayings:
Home Sweet Home. There’s no place like home. A man’s home is his castle. Home is where the heart is.
Aren’t we all more comfortable at home? And if you aren’t, what needs to change so that you are…?
Here are some things to notice when staying in a hotel room:
Thank goodness my hotel room was (and they usually are) very clean. How clean is your home? Do you need to step up your cleaning routine? Or ask for some help? I could stand to dust more often. Or, as someone told me when I first moved to New Mexico, “That’s not dust, that’s enchantment!”
Which is more cluttered: the hotel room, or your home? I find it depends a lot on how big the hotel room is, and how much surface space is available on desk, table, dresser, and counters. The first thing I do in any hotel room is to gather up all the little welcome signs, tent cards, flyers, brochures, menus, guidebooks, TV schedules, and unneeded toiletries and put them in a drawer out of sight. If there wasn’t much surface space to begin with, this can make all the difference. Or, maybe your hotel room is so tidy that it inspires you to declutter when you return home…?
Durango is a historic little town, and my hotel was full of antiques. It was a lovely place to visit, but I am perfectly content with my home décor, which does not involve antiques…unless you count my Mom’s cedar chest from the 1950s.
Did the patterns and colors on the hotel walls, floor, bedspreads, and curtains play together nicely? Or did they make you cringe? What about at home? Is it time to upgrade, repurpose, or delete something altogether?
Did your hotel room have adequate ambient, task, and accent lighting? Does your home? Do you need to add a reading lamp, perhaps, like I do?
If you found your hotel room to be cozy and inviting, what was it that you liked about it? My room had a nice little sitting area with two chairs, a table with a lamp, and a shelf full of old books. I think the books were there mostly for ambiance, but they were also readable.
This is something I always notice. Hotel water pressure (and shower stall/tub configurations and controls) can be hit or miss. I have recently changed to a new shower head at home, after having tried unsuccessfully to clean the old one of hard water deposits.
Was there a nice fluffy bathrobe? Do you have one at home? Why not? How did you like the bedding? I once returned home from a cruise and completely changed my bedding based on what they had on the ship. They used a comforter with a sheet-like, soft (mine is 700 thread count), washable cover instead of a top sheet, blanket, and bedspread. So simple! Also makes it easier to make my bed in the morning.
This particular hotel had no landscaping to speak of, but a nearby park bench reminded me I’d like to replace the old, broken one in my backyard.
What do you enjoy about a good hotel room? Or hate about a bad one?
What do you love (or hate) most about returning home after a trip?
Do you have any trips planned?
Copyright 2012 – 2021 by Hazel Thornton, Organized For Life.
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For me, returning home is about having my own things around me and being able to cook my own meals. Restaurant food is fine in moderation.
Sounds like your room was wonderful though. I really like their idea of having books available.
I also never thought of stashing all the advertising junk in a drawer to streamline hotel space. Thanks for that suggestion. I’ll implement it next time I’m travelling!
I’ve stayed in places that are both wonderful and the polar opposite. I vote for wonderful–clean, quiet, convenient, comfortable bed! Ahhhh…
I’ve stayed in some horrible places too…but it’s been awhile. Glad you found a tip you can use, Moreen, and good point about the food!
Thank you so much! We’re off to the airport in less than an hour. We’re all excited!
How was your trip? And your return home?
I have never thought of travel in this way before, at least not consciously. I love your idea of moving all the hotel clutter into a drawer to make it more homey, but looking for ideas to enhance my own home is simply brilliant!
Thanks, Janet! 🙂
Busman’s holiday for organizers, Hazel! I always enjoy assessing new surroundings with an eye to what I might want to incorporate in my own space. When I walk the dog, I look at yards and house colors for ideas too.
I love clearing things out that have been lingering and completing tasks before going away. It gives me a deadline to shoot for. I find that preparing my return tasks before I leave helps me relax during vacation.
I, like most people, want a clean hotel room. We have gone to older historic hotels and found them to have dust in places that should have been cleaned. A historic hotel doesn’t have to look dusty. =) Thanks for sharing.
Home is where you hang your hat!
The magic thing about home is that it feels good to leave, and it feels even better to come back.
“It’s a funny thing coming home. Nothing changes. Everything looks the same, feels the same, even smells the same. You realized what’s changed is you.”
-F. Scott Fitzgerald
“Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.”
– Robert Frost
Loved this post, Hazel. I like how you find inspiration in traveling. My favorite part of your post was this bit: “Was there a nice fluffy bathrobe? Do you have one at home? Why not?” Why not, indeed!
How fun to read this right now!
The thing I hate about a bad hotel room is when it is loud, and when the thermostat is difficult to adjust.
That said, I often get inspired by hotel rooms. Sometimes they have nice storage ideas or decor inspiration. Also, I often do have the feeling when I return home that my house has a lot of “stuff” in it, even though I am a pretty diligent de-clutterer. There is something calming about being in a space with very few distractions around. A great place to focus on a task for sure.
Thanks for sharing this glimpse back!
Ahhh. Travel. Life has been on hold for over a year now as far as traveling goes. But before the pandemic, I enjoyed traveling for business and pleasure. I always love taking a break from my routine. It’s in the movement and change of scenery that new ideas and perspectives emerge. And sometimes even inspiration for making changes at home, as you suggested. But no matter how long or short a trip I take, I ALWAYS love coming home. This is where I’m happiest and most comfortable.
I’ve experienced the range of travel environments from super budget to high-end fancy and everything in between. Places have had views and no views. There have been hotels, rental homes, and B&Bs.
I like to get settled and unpack when I first arrive, and then I can relax and enjoy my “temporary home.” I will say that even with super comfy beds and linens when away, I sleep best in my own bed.
Thank you for making me think about traveling again. We actually just planned a few trips for the coming months. I am excited and simultaneously nervous because it’s been so long since we ventured far from home.
I must confess, I really like staying in a quality hotel room for trips – and I’ll splurge if possible. I’ve missed this part of travel in the past year. One of the best parts for me, strangely, is room service. There’s no prep, there’s often no other people, and when I’m done I can just plop the mess outside in the hallway.
And of course, the best part is staying just long enough to appreciate going back home again.