I’m traveling again, it seems like forever since we have done this, and it is fantastic! As I walked into this latest hotel room, the Radisson Blu Madrid Prado, I had the same thought strike me again – how does this stack up against my home? It is especially relevant now as I am wrapping up the renovation work, and have spent the last month or so thinking of, and implementing new designs in the house.
For what its worth – the bathroom here is way better, because we haven’t got to that yet, and the bedroom is kinda close. Though we do have fancier art if it ever makes it out of storage. A reason that this thought always grabs me is primarily that I am a value driven home owner. As a renter, I would look at any hotel as a well much appreciated ‘upgrade’ on my current digs – but when I started owning property I realized that every penny that I waste on a hotel room I can’t enjoy in my Home. Despite this knowledge I find myself often trapped in a paradox. I still find myself being ‘cheap’ on some items, such as a HDTV, and willing to settle for a 55 inch 1080p rather than a 80 inch 4K, but willing to splurge on ‘travel’. A corollary might be that I rarely buy Rib Eye steak at $16.99 a lb in the store, but I will gladly pay $20 for a strip steak in a restaurant.
I know a common response is that ‘experiences change you’ and that you must consider the long term value of the power of travel. You don’t need to convince me of that as I have been on the move since birth! However, I think that wherever there is a pure thought – such as the power of travel, people will tack on other junk and hope to brush it off with the same excuse.
Ultimately, both the home, and the hotel have the same intrinsic shelter need. Anything above which can be considered a luxury, although some luxuries come with real value. Location is clearly one – both Hotels and Homes that are closely located to where you need to be save you time, which means you can do more, more easily and also save money on transportation. I too am a believer that investing in luxuries that ‘put your head in the right place’ are clearly worth it – if you need certain things to feel right, then you should consider them valuable. I explore this in my post Contrarianism.
However, there perhaps comes a time when we rely on the ‘fluff’ that is above shelter need too heavily. Perhaps in the same way that we might rely on a glass of wine more than we once did. We’ll never really know when this has happened, but it does to many, including myself. I think that a great reset button is the home. Look at it, see how it feels, if it doesn’t stack up to the hotels you stay at make changes. Once you start, you might move beyond the fixtures and fittings and improve the more intangible things.
Hotels and travel can be a way to open up the soul to the world, and equally they can be a way to hide from what world you have built from yourself. If your hotel room is that much nicer than home, you might want to stop and think about re-evaluating your priorities.