That is, why do I bother to leave my house to go on trips if there’s a chance that I’ll end up spending more than half my time lying in bed? The short answer:
The long answer:
Because there’s real emotional value for me in taking that step outside of my door, outside of my house, outside of my safe little home zone. When I pack my suitcase and get out of town, I get out of my world. I get out of my head and into the world.
Hotel and motel rooms are part of the world too, darn it.
Different scenery creates different experiences. Even lying in a hotel bed in a fog of pain or painkillers or both, I’m not having The Same Stupid Day(tm) that I had yesterday or the day before at home. The walls look different, the covers on the bed have a different texture, the bathroom is someplace else relative to the bed. (Okay, that last is not my favorite difference.) Wherever I am, I’ve got new bad art or weird interior decor to look at. In a hotel like the Monaco, I could spend hours musing about what on Earth the decorator was smoking when he picked out the curtains in my room. And then call down for one of the fabulous purple velvet jacketed hotel employees to discuss the, er, local vending of such smoke.
At luxury hotels, the staff expects you to stay in your room a lot. The owners hope you’ll stay in there 24/7, buying pay-per-view porn and ordering $45 two-egg breakfasts from room service. So if all else fails and I’m stuck in a hotel room waiting for my body to cooperate with me, I pretend that I’m rich. If I’ve managed to score a room that’s got Frette sheets and l’Occitane soap, the pretending gets much easier.
But my favorite way to be “normal” while staying in my room–pick out some bad weather. Even most of the intrepid uber-healthy backpacking types will pack it in during a good winter storm. I book a room with a view and a fireplace, bundle up, and watch the storm battering the out-of-doors while I stay snuggled up in my new-to-me indoor surroundings. Just like every other visitor to the inn that day.