Most of the time when we consider our hospitality practice, we do so in the context of our home. We picture the particulars of creating space as it relates to the rhythms of our daily life, the people with whom we live, our kids, our kitchen, our community.
But what about when we travel?
What part does hospitality play when we are not at home?
I do not travel enough for it to feel second nature to me, and while I enjoy new experiences, I often find myself spending a lot of time and energy when I travel trying to figure out the basics. Where do we park? Where is the ice? Where are the outlets? Where can I find coffee? Where is the thermostat?
Part of what makes travel challenging for me is the not knowing. I believe that if I were to travel regularly, I would become expert at some of the steps that currently trip me up. Navigating the airport would become second nature. Knowing what to pack and what to leave behind would become rote. Finding coffee and outlets would feel less monumental and more like minor blips as I settle in to another space.
In the mean time, until I am a well-seasoned traveler, I have found the foundation of my hospitality practice to be a source of calming comfort and knowing care in a new environment. The routines of my daily life, the ways in which I create space for myself, and the tenderness of my inner voice turn the unfamiliar into something resembling home.
Routines are the ways we care for ourselves and create space for our needs in the course of our daily life. Our routines, when built on a framework of hospitality, provide a place of comfort we can bring with us anywhere we go. We can draw on these nurturing rhythms when we are tired, overwhelmed, and stuck navigating unfamiliar territory.
After hours spent in the air, in the rental car, in the terminal, in the baggage claim, and finally to our destination full of its own unfamiliarities, what a joy to know the same calming series of events that help me relax at home are also available to me when I am away. Routines are a tiny slice of home that we bring with us.
Maybe we cannot always execute our routines to their fullest away from home, but knowing what we need and how to provide it for ourself is a tangible way to replenish our reserves when travel takes it out of us.
This is hospitality in action, a home away from home.
The art of creating space for ourself and others begins at home, but it does not apply only at home. It serves us well no matter where we go, which means, we get to extend our hospitality practice beyond the borders of our home and find extensions of that beauty along the way.