November 23, 2022

I spent October living in hotels.

For someone who hadn’t traveled in years even before the pandemic, 2022 has been a radical change. Not only did I travel to Oregon for my sister’s wedding, but I’ve moved across the country. During the moving process I spent a month in hotels.

The last night I spent in my own bed was September 27th. I wanted to spend the night before the movers came in a hotel so that I wouldn’t have to worry about getting the bed ready to move in the morning. Or have to bring dirty linens with me.

Good thing, too, as the movers showed up early.

So, I spent two nights at a hotel near my office. Then I spent a night at a hotel by the San Francisco airport. Another night at a hotel at the Boston airport.

Then it was five nights, sixteen nights, five nights, and finally one night before I moved in to my new place and got to sleep in my own bed again.

A few things surprised me about living out of hotels. First, only one of the hotels where I spent more than one night had daily room cleaning. One hotel had us put our garbage and used towels in the hall. I really liked having my trash emptied every day. But we had to collect fresh towels, toilet paper, and tissue paper from the front desk, which was a bit awkward.

For another hotel, I had to ask for my trash to be emptied after a couple of days. That place had a kitchenette and the trash cans were too small to handle multiple days of discarded food packaging, etc.

I didn’t actually mind not having daily room cleaning, as it meant I didn’t have to worry about vacating the room during the day. 

More hotels included a hot breakfast in the price than I remember from before. This varied in quality, but I enjoyed being able to get eggs and coffee and take them up to my room

Having a microwave in the room is less common, but was an absolute necessity for me. I’m still not eating inside restaurants. I did, however, perfect salad in a bag. I put all of my salad ingredients into a plastic bag, added the salad dressing, then shook it up. That was easier and less messy than trying to mix the salad in the small paper bowls I’d bought at the grocery.

Photo of salad ingredients inside a plastic bag.

My salad. I used the bathroom as my kitchen because of the counter. Photo copyright 2022 by Vanessa Kier.

Oddly enough, ironing boards are not all the same height. I used an ironing board in front of the television as a desk for my laptop so that I could continue working remotely for my company in California. One of the hotels had a shorter ironing board and required more lift underneath the keyboard and mouse than the previous hotel. Here’s an example.

Photo of an ironing board with a computer mouse and keyboard on top. It faces a flat screen tv above a dresser.

Yes, that's the in-room coffee maker underneath the mouse! Photo copyright 2022 by Vanessa Kier.

Finding a hotel with guest laundry became a necessity. I was so happy to have clean clothes!

I lucked out in that one of the hotels I stayed out hosted a romance reader event. I went to the public book signing and chatted with some super nice authors. A much-needed touching base with the writing community to remind myself that there is more to life than the logistics of this move.

So, from not staying in a hotel for years, this year I’ve stayed enough nights to up my member level with at least two hotel chains. I never in a month of Sundays could have predicted this. While lugging my suitcases and tech equipment around Massachusetts was a pain in the neck, I also got to know several areas well. I took walks. Went to the grocery store. Bought coffee and gas. All the normal daily things.

And as someone who has Input as #3 in my Clifton Strengths, being exposed to new places and people fed a part of me that felt stagnated from living in the same place for so many years.

Now I’m settling in to my new place and learning all the nuances of the neighborhood. Most importantly, I’m sleeping in my own bed!

What about you? When’s the last time you stayed in a hotel? Was it a positive experience? Let me know in the comments below.

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