As I travel from place to place, I also roam from room to room. Sometimes in a hotel, sometimes a hostel, sometimes a bed and breakfast, and sometimes in the home of a dear friend. None of these are my room, they are simply a space I am (mostly only) sleeping and bathing in. And yet, they have a bizarre importance as I journey.

Some rooms I have been on, well, kind of sucked. Thankfully all of them have been clean enough. I think what has stood out the most is how a room can directly impact a day. Those that have been uncomfortable, depressing, or just unpleasant have simply encouraged me to be outside as long as possible to enjoy my new surroundings. Some rooms have been so noisy from thin walls or street noise that I was thankful for my ear plugs. Other rooms were delightfully silent – coming from New York, that silence is a wonderful sound!

Small room in Glasgow, Scotland.

The rooms that have been unexpectedly lovely and welcoming called me back to them a little earlier, and even offered solace and a place to write on some occasions. These were the rooms that allowed me to spread out, breathe, reflect, analyze and, for a moment, feel at home even though I was not actually at home. The places I stayed in longer allowed me even to experience the comforts of home, like cooking, daring to be artistic, and spending quality time with new acquaintances.

Some rooms offered safety from whatever outside circumstance I desired escape, and for those rooms I am especially grateful for their protection.

I’ve also enjoyed, for each room I’ve been in, how I see details I want to imitate one day – the kind of bed, artwork on the wall, the color of a wall, the way furniture is laid out, color, simplicity, etc. So even a room is a critical part of a journey.

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