It's about my life, one suitcase at a time...
There’s something that feels like a vacation when you step into a hotel room. When you walk into that impeccably tidy room, when you look out the window and see a different landscape, when you smell that new place smell.
Maybe it’s that you don’t feel like you need to be tidy, or that there’s someone else to pick up after you, make up your bed for you, pick up the towel from where you left it after your shower and put it back in its place. That there’s someone who will bring you food if you don’t feel like going out anywhere. That if you want to be a little lazy you can simply go down to the pool and lay in the sun.
Or maybe it’s the fact that it’s always in a new place, a room you’ve never seen before. That if you’ll look out your window what you’ll see won’t be what you’re used to.
Part of being a flight attendant is losing that feeling in a way. It means you can recognize the city you’re in by recognizing the hotel room because we always have that moment when we first wake up when we don’t really remember what part of the world we’re in. It means stopping for a second and listening to the sounds coming in from the window and trying to guess if it’s Tel Aviv, New York or Bangkok. We lose a little bit of that “on vacation” feeling because that hotel room comes with every work trip we take. Because we see these rooms once, twice or even three times a month.
For flight attendants a hotel room can lose its vacation feel, but a lot of times it does gain little things that make it feel a little like a home away from home, when it becomes part of our routine.
I step into a hotel room and somehow my things find themselves in the same place once I unpack. There is always a water bottle next to my bed, something that isn’t there by my bed at home. My bath things that are placed exactly the same in every hotel bathroom, orderly, as opposed to the mess (orderly mess, but still a mess) at home. The usual spot for my work bag, trolley bag, suitcase.
I get up in the morning and I have my usual Starbucks near my hotel for my morning coffee. I go out of my hotel in Bangkok and my legs have a mind of the their own to lead me to my usual massage place. I head out of our London hotel and even after years between stays still remember the way to the nearest trading station to take me to where I need to go. It’s those things that have become a part of me after all the times I’ve been in every destination we fly to, the things that make me feel that even though I’m on the other side of the world from my permanent home, I’m still home in a sense.
(And it’s always a fun feeling discovering new destinations and hotel rooms and making them another home away from home..)