Ye Olde Hovel

Today is officially "Talk Like a Pirate Day". I'm not really good at accents though, so I will probably just write normally. I think my title is about the extent of my knowledge of Pirate Speak. Oh and, "aye matey" and "arrrrr". FACT: My local library has a language program and you can learn to talk like a pirate, this month only.

**Q-What's a pirate's favorite letter? A- Arrrrrr**
**Q-Where do pirates go for a drink? A- The bARRRRR**
(okay, that's all the bad jokes I have for today)


If you know me, or have been reading for a while, you may already know that I pretty much live in a hotel. If you don't know me, let me quickly explain a little. I work a job that takes me to different places in the US, usually for a few months at a time. So, once we figure out where we will be, we move in to "our new home", whatever hotel is available in the city (or tiny town) that we will be working in. Usually this is anywhere from 90 - 350 days a year. 

Sounds great, right? Vacation, 350 days a year, you say? Where do I sign up? 

It is great sometimes. I don't have to pay for cable TV (although I rarely watch TV anyway), electricity or heat. I have a gym, a pool and sometimes a hot tub at my disposal. I don't have to wash my own sheets or clean my own toilet. These things can be good. Sometimes you get to stay in Five Star Hotels.

However, Hotel Living is not all it's cracked up to be. For example, sometimes you don't have a kitchen. When this happens, you end up cooking a lot of things in your coffee pot or microwave (which usually is not very healthy). Sometimes living in one room all the time kind of gets to you. You have people over, where do they hang out? On your bed. That can be kind of weird. 

Also, moving around a lot means you work with different people and live in different cities every 90 days or so. It is hard to make connections with people in 90 days. It is hard to establish a routine, to join a soccer team or a running club or even a gym. It is hard to eat healthy. Things are all done in "single servings", like Brad Pitt says in Fight Club. Single serving coffee, single serving shampoo, single serving friends. Just when you finally start to get to know your boss and how he operates, your coworkers and your surroundings, you move once again to somewhere else, to another hotel, where you have a different boss, new coworkers and have to figure out once again where the nearest grocery store is. 

I don't have much stuff. One suitcase. What fits in one suitcase? One pair of running shoes, flip flops and one nice pair of shoes. One dress. Two pairs of jeans and some shirts and sweaters. Each time I move, they move with me. I am a turtle, with my house clothes on my back.

Even though I don't have much stuff, it seems like a lot when you have to pack it all up. I work out of my room, so any time I want to go out of town for the weekend, I have to pack up my "office" as well as my suitcase, and leave it at the front desk or a co-worker's room while I am away. This makes weekend trips a little harder. 

This time I have a kitchenette, which makes it nice as far as eating healthy. But I also have to pack up food etc when I leave. So each time I am going to go somewhere, I try to "eat myself out of house and home", so to speak. I try not to buy anything new, only to use what I have. This makes for interesting meals. I think I mentioned before that I sometimes eat chili every day because I am cleaning out the fridge. Sometimes, even the backup food (ie non perishables) finally gets eaten. 

I also have to leave myself notes. I have had to buy at least three razors, since I tend to forget them in the shower. If I am leaving early in the morning, I get my coffee ready and then pack it away.

Oh, the joys of hotel living.

What do you do to prepare when you are going to be away for a while? Do you stay in hotels a lot? Do you like it? What's your favorite part of hotel living?


  1. I am starting a busier travel season where I will spend more nights in a hotel than usual. The not cleaning the room thing is nice, but I hate eating out so much... It is pretty much impossible to cut back on the eating out since client dinners are part of my job. At least I don't have to pay for a single thing when I travel, though! It would be hard to do for as long of stretches you do, but I suppose like many things in life, you just adjust and it becomes your new normal!

  2. I spent a week - actually not even a week - 5 full days in a hotel for work in July and HATED it. It was "cool" for like a night and then I was sick of eating crappy/greasy takeout (even when I *Tried* to be healthy and having only one room to live in! Definitely not all its cracked up to be!

  3. My bestie has a job just like yours, she is gone at least 4 or 5 days a week all over the country. Her tactic to feel at home, she bought a very nice comforter and left it in the hotel. The staff there, that got to know her, would look after it on the weekends when she wasn't there. That way she didn't have to deal with a nasty hotel comforter and she could pick any color she liked! I think I owe you an email back :)

  4. Ah yes, I 'lived' this lifestyle for a number of years in my former life in the corporate world. I did a lot of travel especially in the US and the Santa Clara/San Jose area during the dot.com bubble. Do I miss those days ?? Yeah, right - kinda like missing a hole in the head ! I was fortunate in that I could (usually) pick my travel times and I made it a point to be home (almost) every weekend. The many 16 hour workdays never left time to explore and enjoy the places I stayed at though - pity.


Thanks for commenting! Any suggestions, tips or praise you have is always welcome!