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I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best. ~Oscar Wilde
Most of the time I like to stay in apartments while I’m traveling. I prefer having kitchen access and a washing machine. Sometimes I like having a flatmate or two, sometimes not. One thing is constant, though, I don’t like hotels. Usually.
I have found one exception. I keep finding myself drawn to luxury resorts. I think it corresponds to my recent choice to make sure I take real vacations. As someone who travels as part of her lifestyle, it’s easy to let “vacations” fall by the wayside. My current plan is to take a week off in months with an extra payday, which works out to four week long vacations a year.
While I’m not someone who looks for the cheapest option in any situation, I don’t like to spend tons of money when it’s not necessary. So, when I came across a Twitter ad from Sheradill, I was curious. At first looked a lot like those Earn Credits for Spending Time on the Internet sites that I used when I was much younger and quite broke, before I realized what a waste of time they really are.
I’ll try anything once, twice if I like it, three times to make sure. ~Mae West
In the name of research (and rampant curiosity) I decided to sign up and poke around anyway. Turns out, Sheradill is a marketing vehicle for the Hip Hotels Group. They create “deals” at several of their properties, ranging from weekend, to short and long breaks, where you can get up to 90% off the list price. You can search by country, month, or length of stay.
Working in Your PJs
The flexibility of being self employed is both a blessing and a bane. We talk about how we can make our own schedules and take time when we need it. But then, it seems as though the day gets eaten up by minutiae and distractions, and we finally get to work much later than we had promised ourselves and we’re still in our pjs. This seems to be especially true for creatives, and even more true for nomads, as we tend to have fewer ties to the communities where we live.
I’m not perfect at it by any means, but I have developed a framework that helps to keep me on track.
Anchoring as Nomads
Mostly, I anchor one activity to another. I have a difficult time getting up and out of bed. So, now, when I wake up I sit up, drink the water I put by the bed the night before, and listen to a podcast for 10-20 minutes. Then I get out of bed and grab another water and work out. After that it’s my morning pages and green tea, followed by breakfast. At which point I’m ready for my chocolate flake black tea with milk and my productive writing for the day. Each one of those activities is tied to something I would do anyway, mostly drinking tea or water. One by one, I’ve tied a ‘need to’ to a ‘want to; so that when I do the ‘want to’, I feel weird not doing the ‘need to’.
First Days, Settling in to a New Home
For me, one of the hardest things about long term travel is starting new each time I move. It takes time to get my feet under me. To make this transition a bit easier, I have some steps that I take ahead of time so that I can settle in faster.
When I’m looking for accommodation, I make sure that it’s in a walkable neighborhood. Specifically, I make sure that I have a cafe and a couple of restaurants within a block or two. I also look for parks and a pub or cocktail bar, that seems to fit my tastes.
I also see to it that there’s at least one grocery store within a half mile. In Europe, this hasn’t been a problem at all. In the US, it’s a primary concern, since city planning is often more car based.
I’m preparing for a 11 hour train trip soon, Berlin to Gothenburg. And while the trains will have food cars, I’m not inclined to rely entirely on food available on any moving vehicle. So, travel snacks are a must.
This trip leaves at 7 am and arrives at 6 pm. Realistically, this means I’ll want to have a small breakfast at my place, as well as pack a light morning snack, lunch, and a more substantial afternoon snack. Then I’ll find a place for supper at my destination.
Since traveling means being in a confined space with other people, I’d like the food odors to be minimal. And since I’m carrying my own luggage, one backpack and one purse, I’d like it to not take up any more space than necessary.
Trip Planning with Pinterest
Pinterest is a fabulous search engine, especially for those of us who are visual people. With the added benefit of being able to store what we find in designated spaces, it’s the perfect tool for trip planning.
If you don’t already have an account, it’s time to open one. Once that’s done, go ahead and start a board for your trip. If it makes you more comfortable, keep it secret, but either way, turn on mapping.
Now, where are you going? Pick a place, any place! Good. Now, whenever I write (location) you’ll use your destination. Alright, lets get started with the actual trip planning.