Ah, the comforts of home
Getting out of your comfort zone is great for some things - and one of the driving forces behind this journey - but I’ve realized that for me, that doesn’t extend to accommodations. Before I started this journey I said I would use couch surfing or hostels to keep costs down. Without even trying it, I realized couch surfing probably wasn't for me - crashing on a stranger's couch, or maybe just the floor. Nope, I value my comfort and privacy a bit too much for that. I stayed in one hostel in Vienna for 4 nights - a 6 bed dorm. It was a fairly nice hostel, the dorm had a kitchen and lounge area and the bathroom was private for the dorm, but there was still 6 of us sleeping in one room. You have no privacy, your sleep can be interrupted by people coming in late, or getting up early. And of course with 6 people in the room, your chances of having a snorer are greater, even in an all female dorm 😊. And you always have to keep your things locked up in a locker, effectively living out of a suitcase, or in my case a backpack. I may stay in hostels from time to time, but will probably only use them for one night if I am transitioning through somewhere.
As it turns out, most of my accommodations have come from Air BnB, which I have found to be a reasonably priced option for short term stays. I have always had a private room but have sometimes had to share the toilet, once even sharing with the homeowner, which I found really uncomfortable. Sharing with other travellers has been easier for me but I still didn’t feel like I could settle in. And settling in makes me feel more at home, more like I am really living my new life. In some places, I’ve had access to a kitchen, another feature I like so I can cook some meals to keep costs down. And not that I was a great cook who loved spending hours in the kitchen, but I have found a simple domestic chore like cooking a meal is another thing that can me feel more like I am at home. But again, with shared facilities you don’t really feel 100% comfortable with treating it like your own place - at least I don’t.
I am writing this post from my Air BnB in Belgrade, where, for the first time, I have a whole apartment - separate bedroom, living room, kitchen, dining area and a bathroom with some storage to put away my things. All the comforts of home… and a stylish home too! I've been here for a week now, and as things have turned out, will be here for two and a half weeks in total. And living in a place like this has really made me appreciate what type of accommodations are important to me, what will make me feel at home, what will make me feel I am 'living' my new life.