Our Year of Sleeping Around

When we retired and decided to travel extensively for a few years we adopted a, “Wherever we lay our head is our home” lifestyle. Saturday, January 16, 2016 was the last time Joy and I slept in our own bed, let alone a house or apartment we can call our own. Over the past year, we have slept in 155 different places! That is a lot of motels, hotels, Air B&Bs, campsites, and family and friend guest beds.
At first glance 155 different places seems to average out to a new bed every 2.4 nights. But if we exclude three extended stays during the past year, it means we swapped beds every 1.8 nights. And that number drops to a new bed every 1.7 nights if you count each time we stayed at a friend or family’s house as a “different bed”, because those visits are often 3 months apart.

About our math

  • Our extended stays were: two weeks at a very good friend’s for the last part of January, two months at an Air B&B apartment while I wrapped up my employment, and a 17 day house sitting gig in December.
  • 20 of those nights were camping nights, so while we slept in the same tent and sleeping bag, only once did we spend two nights in the same camp ground.
Bunkbeds in Placerville, CA

Our cross country bicycle trip, which lasted from May 1 through October 1, obviously accounted for most of those “one and done” nights. But even now, we’re rarely anyplace for more than three nights before we move onto someplace new.

During November Joy and I stayed in eight different European hotels/Air B&Bs, in part because we visited seven different countries: England, Wales, The Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, and Germany (Berlin and Munich). Often when I wake up in the middle of the night I spend a moment wondering, “What city are we in?” Twice during that European trip I woke up and wondered, “What country are we in?”


Sleeping around has consequences

There are, of course, challenges with sleeping in a different place so often. Like waking up in the middle of the night and trying to remember what the room layout is and in which direction I should stumble to reach the bathroom. I’m often sporting bruises on my shins because I’ve misremembered.

Often it takes more than one night to figure out the correct temperature interplay between the room’s thermostat, blankets and sheets. And just about the time we’ve figured it out it’s time to move .

Although we’re good about returning those credit card-like room keys, every now and then we forget. It’s embarrassing when you realize, after several unsuccessful attempts to get into your room, that you’re trying to unlock the door with some other hotel’s keycard. It’s even more embarrassing when neither of us can remember which room is ours because we’ve conflated room numbers with the previous hotel.

This much moving around means we eat the vast majority of our meals out. If we’re in an Air B&B we try to do some kind of cooking if we can. Even the most humble of home cooked meals is a great.

And just like Goldilocks, you gotta try a lot of beds before you find one that is “just right.” There are tons of beds out there with really shitty mattresses. Goldilocks’ average, one out of three, seems about right.

Couch Surfing

Technically, we’re not couch surfing since none of the overnight visits with family and friends have resulted with us sleeping on a couch. But it’s kind of like couch surfing because we typically try to split our stays across 2-4 different people when we visit the Bay Area or Seattle.

Thanks to all our family and friends who continue to allow us to stay with them for a day or two when we breeze through town. And for allowing us to take advantage of laundry facilities.




One thought on “Our Year of Sleeping Around

  1. Next time you guys are in the Bay area, it would be fun to see you for a coffee or snack.
    Sending you best wishes for 2017.


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