Why I want to live in a hotel room for the rest of my life

Swiss Family Travel: how travel inspires a minimalistic lifestyle at home.

The Hotel Room Pre-Reveal Excitement

Grasping the plastic card in my hand,  the kids and I tumble into the elevator amid a scuffle to be the first to press the button and we travel up the 4 floors to our room. As the elevator doors burst open, the kids trip over themselves as we all try to get out of the lift at once.  They win, and they run down the long hallway, leaving me to wrangle with the suitcases and the stroller. We finally reach Room 418, and with great anticipation we insert the key, open the door, and … wait for it …. Ahhh, we made it.  

The fun of unpacking begins—I always have such great enthusiasm for this part.  I open the cases and quickly load our belongings into the beautifully empty and clean drawers.  The suitcases are able to be neatly hidden in the closet.  I lay down on the bed and for the first time since we’ve stepped out of our house to begin our journey, I relax.

and Ahhh relax, enjoying our chilled out time at the Sheraton Hotel Brisbane.

and Ahhh relax, enjoying our chilled out time at the Sheraton Hotel Brisbane.

What is it about settling into a hotel room that feels so nice?  So comforting?  So relaxing?

I love the feeling of a fresh hotel room:  the perfectly made beds, just enough furniture and a clutter free bathroom.  Even with the kids and their endless chatter, excitedly opening and closing the cupboards and jumping on the beds next to me, I still feel worry free.   And then all of sudden I realise that this is it, this is what I want - I’m going to move into a hotel room!   I want to feel this relaxed, have this “hotel room” feeling, every single day!  

Our room at Parco San Marco Resort in Italy, perfectly clutter free.

Our room at Parco San Marco Resort in Italy, perfectly clutter free.

OK, let’s get serious for a moment.  Of COURSE I cannot live in a hotel room.  But I do have an “aha” moment to share, and you may find it true for yourself too.  Let’s dive in deep and discover why I want to live in a hotel room!

Why do we love going on holidays? 

I LOVE going away on holidays.  From the planning to the actual travel, right down to the precious days we spend together away as a family, I love every minute.  I haven’t given it a lot of thought before, I’ve just taken it for granted that I’ve just always loved holidays.  But lately I’m asking myself why—maybe I can duplicate part of that experience and feeling in our everyday life.

Have you ever stopped and taken the time to think why you like to go on holiday? Is it the need to escape the hustle and bustle of your every day life? Is it a quest to learn?  Or to see new things?  Or is it to escape those mundane tasks we must do everyday? Recently, when pondering this very idea (ironically on holiday!), I came to the conclusion that while its partly about the adventure of learning new cultures, people and food, its more than that. 

Travel is more than exploring, it is escaping from the day to day stresses.

Travel is more than exploring, it is escaping from the day to day stresses.

It’s more about stepping out of the daily routine and being able to forget about all the things I need to remember on the “normal” days.   It’s the freeing up of my brain, allowing it to be used to think about me, about ideas, about life, about truly living.   It’s about escaping the commitments and stresses that pile up day after day. It’s knowing that during those precious few days, I won’t be reminded about that bill sitting on the counter, or lunches I have to pack, or toilets I have to clean, or doctors appointments I shouldn’t be late for.  It’s the break from reminding my kids about their keyboard lesson, or to tidy their rooms, or to be sure to hand that signed Maths exam back to their teacher by noon.  It’s the break from meal planning, preparation, and clean up.  We all need to forget about our every day life once in awhile in order to have the space to be able to rejuvenate and nurture our own bodies with whatever it is that feeds us.  For me it’s thinking about ideas and possibilities.  It’s about planning for the future.  And it’s thinking about how I can be a better mum and wife and friend, and how I can do things better and be more satisfied in my life.

Often I find it downright difficult, if not impossible, to be able to do that in my own home, to be able to truly relax.  And that’s just not right.  Even when I do yoga every morning, I sit on my mat and stare at the DVDs that I have been meaning to get rid of, or the books I haven’t touched for 5 years. I suffer intense waves of self-loathing every time I open my garage and look at the growing pile of stuff that I need to find homes for, or repair, or clean.  I power up my desktop and I’m reminded that I have to organise my digital files. While it’s true that over the last 3 years I have reduced the amount of stuff in my home by more than 50%, there is still so much clutter I allow to stress me out. 

My home has become a storage unit for thousand of things we have collected along our life journey. 

It took me a long time to realise that the clutter in my home was causing so much stress but I now accept the fact that clutter will always stress me out.  It’s not about me just “relaxing” about the clutter,  it’s about me clearing the clutter in order to even be able to relax.   I owe that revelation to the reading I’ve done about Minimalism and its effect on our everyday lives. Minimalist advocate, and father, Joshua Becker nails it with his quote “Own less stuff. Enjoy more freedom. It really is that simple.” 

Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project has said that “Outer order contributes to inner calm” and I can tell you from my own experiences that this is very true. I’ve tried many different techniques and theories in order to organise my home over the years - but Minimalism has gotten to the bottom of why I keep my things, and the way I am living my life. Minimalism has been my bridge to outer order and it has taught me that I should not want to escape my own home--my home should be my sanctuary.  My home should be a place where I can escape the crazy world outside. My home should be a place where when I walk through my front door, my pulse slows down and my shoulders drop in relief.  

Today, part of my home resembles a peaceful hotel room much more than it did three years ago.  The difference in our home, and quite frankly in our life, has been dramatic. I often stand and stare at our living room and just smile - realising how far we have come.  But life is a journey, and I still have a long way to go toward connecting my surroundings at home to moments when I can have that “hotel room” feeling.  But I’m always striving for it. 

The one corner of our home that we keep as clutter free as possible.

The one corner of our home that we keep as clutter free as possible.

I will always travel, it is often when I learn great life lessons - but now I realize that getting that “hotel room” feeling is as much about learning to relax in my own home as it is about getting away.  And with conscious choices I’m making today, I am getting there.  And if you’ll pardon me, I’m going to go and plan my next holiday.


How a hotel room inspired a minimalistic lifestyle.
Lessons in minimalism. Why I want to live in a hotel for the rest of my life.
Why I want to live in a hotel