“How does it feel to sleep in all those different beds?” my youngest sister Meg asked me. Before I could reply, she answered her own question. “I guess it’s okay since you do it all the time. . . “
I reflected later on how many beds the average person sleeps in over the course of a year versus my latest round of travel.
- My sister Meg travels to a few different places each winter when her seasonal ice cream store is closed: she visits me in North Carolina, heads for some sun and sand in Florida, maybe visits some other friends while there. Throughout the rest of the year, she may do an occasional overnight for a wedding or maybe a night out of town. . . so six beds or so?
- My parents do an annual vacation at Lake George, a biannual army reunion, and a bijillion visits to their lake house. Longer trips include their visits to see their first-born (me!) in North Carolina and river cruises. So six beds or so.
- The average American has just two weeks off per year. If they leave their home during that time, they may stay in a couple different beds. And throw in a few weekend trips here and there. . .
And then there’s me. . .
- In the six weeks we were in Barbados together, Michael and I moved 3 times. (4)
- When we returned to Asheville earlier than planned, our home was still rented out. So we accepted the generous invitation of friends who had a house they weren’t using. (5)
- Next, we got to spend ten days in our home before it was rented out again. (6)
- Then I took off for a writing retreat while Michael spent a night in a hotel before moving into our garage apartment. (7)
- We visited his family in California. Then spent a night in an LAX airport hotel before my early flight to NY the next day. He headed back to Asheville to finish up some things at the house. I went to visit family and friends in NY. (8, 9, 10, 11)
- On July 17, we spent a night in NYC before hopping a flight to Spain. If we count “beds” as “any surface upon which one sleeps,” that airline seat was the13th place I’d rested my head in 4. 5 months.
And then we got to Spain.
- Our original plan was to spend three months in Oviedo (northern Spain), but after just two weeks, due to some visa requirements, we realized we had to head to Valencia. So I took to the Camino for just one overnight, and then we headed south (14, 15).
- Finding an apartment here is no small feat. So we’ve moved between a few short-term places while continuing a search for a longer-term home. (16, 17, 18)
In my dream world, “19” would be some magic number for us. We’d find a place to live out the next eleven months of our visa and I could stop this crazy count. For now, I’ll just remember to be grateful. Grateful that I’m alive and lucky enough to be able to travel–remembering a time not so very long ago when we all stayed in our own beds for longer than we ever thought we would . . .