I’m currently on the last legs of a backpacking trip that took almost a month. While the majority of the hostels I've stayed in have been absolute dreams, jumping from shared room to shared room has made me realize why I love having a place to call home.
Many of my friends don’t really bother to decorate their dorm rooms or apartments, claiming that it’s a waste of time since they’ll be moving again in a year or so. I disagree with this thinking. While a temporary living space may not call for elaborate, expensive decor, this trip has taught me that home is a really precious concept and it's important to make yours personal and comfortable.
Need more convincing? Below are three reasons why you should put in the effort to decorate your room:
Your memories and mementos deserve a home.
Maybe it’s just me, but having some pictures and stories from the past is really important for my mind and heart. While laying in bed at one of my hostels, I went back through my phone and found all the older pictures of me and my best friend doing our thing. It instantly comforted me and filled me with happiness.
My old apartment in Texas was decorated with postcards and maps from my travels, ticket stubs, weird posters I’d found, and pictures I’d printed out. These are the things that you can’t travel with or easily look at, so it’s nice to have a place to permanently display them. For ideas, see how to decorate your room with photos and posters.
You make the choices.
If I’m going to pay only $10 for a hostel, I’m probably not going to have many complaints. That said, after a few stays at different places, I started to miss the familiarity of my bed and the look of my room.
Each hostel I stayed in had a different color scheme (one was bright red and not, um, pleasing to the eye), colors of sheets and comforters, and overall layout, and the choices took some getting used to. I, for example, would probably not have placed a large table right next to my bed that made it impossible to get into save for a two-foot gap. But to each their own.
If you have your own room and apartment, take pride in being able to decorate it how you see fit. The familiarity of your pillows, colors of your walls, and furniture arrangement are unique to your room and nobody else’s, and you should celebrate that.
Because it's your place for privacy.
Sharing a room with strangers is both exciting and nerve-wracking. Most of the time they’re friendly, outgoing people with cool stories and interesting lives. Sometimes, however, they snore throughout the night and force you to lay in bed contemplating whether it’s worth it to climb down and grab headphones.
One of the things I missed most this month was having the privacy to engage in my own personal quirks. For example, if you like lighting candles to relax, you can’t do that in a room that isn’t yours. Are you an avid reader? You can’t keep the lights on to read if everyone else is going to bed.
So invest in these things within the privacy of your home. Have a bookshelf full of your favorite novels, or a set of special candles that you take out when it’s been a long day. Spend the time - and a little money - and give yourself the gift of a space where you can unwind.
What do you think?
What are your favorite things about home? Has there been anything you missed while staying elsewhere? Let me know in the comments!