When I travel, it’s the sense of unfamiliarity and newness that drives me. Being able to say, “I’ve never seen that before” is why I travel. Travel is letting yourself be a stranger in a strange land, navigating roads and customs, and experiencing a million tiny things for the first time.
And then, there’s that moment — around day three — when you’re tired and a tiny bit grouchy and you realize you forgot your leave-in conditioner and why in the world would anyone tuck the sheets in this tightly to the foot of the bed and suddenly it hits you: I am Not at Home. And all at once that exciting otherness turns into a yearning for familiarity. So how do you bridge the gap between the two?
At the airport I see people schlepping pillows and blankets, special shoes and eye masks, end tables and mattress toppers and wall sconces…and I wonder if they totally redecorate their rooms when they arrive, hanging art and re-carpeting all in the hopes of making away seem a little more like home. And I get it; it feels better to have that little touch of home — of self — around you when you’re in a new place.
What are your tips and tricks for staying comfortable so that travel keeps being fun after the first blush has faded? Get yourself to the comments and let us know, because we’re always looking for ways to make travel even better.
For us, vacation rentals are the perfect compromise. You’re in someone’s home, with all the comforts and touches of personality that help you relax and find your place in a new city. A fun bonus is that you get to pretend you live there (or maybe I’m the only one who does that).