Yesterday morning, I woke up with a small smile on my face. I left the bed and walked a few steps to the kitchen, where I put on a pot of coffee. I brushed my teeth, made the bed, and checked my emails.
It’s the most exciting morning I’ve had for ages.
No, this is not because I’m an epic loser. It’s because I’m in my very own apartment which I’ll be renting for the next month here in Oaxaca.
Do you know how long it’s been since I’ve had my own kitchen? Not a hostel kitchen, not preparing sandwiches in a hotel room, not even sharing with roommates or families – my very own. It’s been years.
That means I don’t have to shower, get dressed, and spend the morning hunting for a decent cup of coffee. I can prepare my own meals in a space that’s as clean as I make it without having to rely on a gaggle of backpackers to tidy up after themselves.
I can even use my own new sponge that has never scrubbed meat juice off a cutting board (vegetarians, you know what I’m talking about).
I unpacked my backpack and put it away. My clothes are on hangers and in drawers. My toiletries are unloaded and taking advantage of the shelving in the bathroom.
My new apartment is amazing. I have a sofa. I have a breakfast bar. I have a large bathroom with a tub. Everything is super clean. I love it.
My neighborhood is not in some fancy part of town, nor that close to all the main attractions. I’m a couple of blocks from a modest fruit and vegetable market and a couple more blocks from a Walmart-sized supermarket and movie theater. I can buy hot, fresh tortillas just around the corner.
One of the best parts of my apartment is that I pay WAY less than I would for a hotel room half as nice.
My non-nomadic readers may not understand my exhilaration. Sounds like exactly what you have at home, right? (Well, minus the tortillas.)
For me, it’s the exact opposite of what I’m used to. My normal daily life is cleaning up my hotel room every morning before the maid comes to clean it, not having access to a kitchen or having to share one, never fully unpacking my stuff… basically always being a visitor and never being completely at home.
My apartment represents the new pace of travel I talked about, which includes staying in fewer places for longer.
I think I’m going to like this.