I’m obsessed with travel. I’m a member of several different travel groups, I subscribe to tons of travel websites, I read travel magazines, and I make constant lists of places I want to see. This weekend I’m in Valparaiso. It’s my first trip since moving to Chile. I checked myself into a small little hostel and spent my first day wandering around and getting lost. I took 10 pictures total and have no plans to take anymore. After treating myself to one of the best plates of grilled octopus I’ve ever had and the yummiest, spiciest bloody Mary, I walked back to my hostel. I fell asleep to the sound of people walking up and down the stairs and talking right outside my door. And I remembered, I’m not a hostel type.
You see, I booked myself into this hostel because I wanted to save some money. I love to travel but I’m also really frugal. Or rather, what I’ve learned on this trip is that I’m frugal in my day to day life but not when I travel. I’m not into adventure travel. I don’t need to bike ride, horse ride, surf, snowboard or swim with whales. I just need high end meals, strong cocktails served in plush settings and a hotel room with a big bed and room service. Throw in a walkable town with galleries and cafes and I’m happy. I used to think, oh, you’re not doing enough, get out there, go take that guided tour. And I did. And I loved it. And by hour 2 I just wanted to roam around and find a cafe to sit and people watch.
So this morning, I made myself a breakfast of kiwi, strawberries, banana and avocado. I had a cup of strong coffee and a bottle of water. Then I checked myself out of that cute little hostel on one of the many hills here in Valparaiso and checked myself into a hotel. I smiled and felt instantly relaxed and comfortable as I walked into my room and saw the king sized bad, flat screen tv and private bathroom with plush towels provided. I inhaled deeply as I drew back the curtain and looked out onto the harbor. Not two minutes later, the front desk called to ask if I liked my room. Yes, yes I do. Cause I’m that kind of traveler. I’ll eat chicken and rice all day, barely go out, cook all my own meals during regular life. And then on vacation, I want plush. I’m still on a budget, this hotel is within my range but a step up from a hostel. Tomorrow, I’m taking a walking tour, cause the streets are too twisty and I don’t feel like getting lost again. But I’ve already given myself permission to walk away if I see a restaurant patio with a view that calls to me.
Thank you universe, for allowing me to vacation the way I want. May I continue to be able to rent hotel rooms and sit on restaurant patios with glasses full of boozy cocktails.