Addictions

I normally consider myself as someone who isn’t careless with money. I’m not addicted to shopping, and I rarely buy new clothes and accessories. I spend my money mostly on food and drinks, and the occasional web stuff. Recently, however, there is this one hobby that I have adopted that I have spent so much money on…

For the past two months, I have been staying in budget hotels. In two months, I have had around 5,500 PHP and nine days spent on different hotels. Some of these hotels I liked very much that I stayed in them more than once.

It actually started out as a necessity. I badly needed time alone, and I was getting too overwhelmed by everything, that I needed a break and a change of scenery. I spent one night at a small hotel locking myself up in the room and eating chocolate, drinking iced tea, and watching movies all night. I loved the solitude that I couldn’t get at the boarding house (around that time, we had a new, rather chatty and overly friendly, roommate: there were three of us sharing a room then). It was perfect. I guess I liked it too much, that it slowly became an addiction. The fact that it wasn’t too costly and that it’s so easy to book on Agoda didn’t help at all. On the next weekend, I decided that I wanted another change of scenery, and I ended up going to a more expensive hotel than the previous one. It was amazing. Right after my two nights ended, I decided to get an extension and stayed at the same hotel from my previous weekend. I tried to stop myself from booking another weekend, because it was drying up my wallet quickly. Luckily, I also had engagements in the next couple of weekends that I didn’t have the chance to book. When I didn’t have them, I just tried my hardest to stop myself through sheer willpower.

Then fast forward to one weekend, after spending a night out with a friend, I gambled and said to myself, “If I don’t make it to the curfew, I’m going to stay at a hotel tonight.” Of course, I kind of already predicted what was going to happen; I didn’t really tell my friend that I had to be home at a certain time. I also didn’t tell my landlady that I will arrive home late. So you already know how that day ended. It felt a lot more exciting, too, somehow, because it was a pseudo-impromptu decision (it wasn’t really…).

I was able to control myself for an entire week, before I gave in again two weekends after. And I really went all out with that one. I stayed at a hotel for one night, then decided after it ended that I stay at a new hotel I haven’t visited yet and is a bit far away from where I live for two nights. This, I promised, was going to be my last stay for a while. I decided to get work done, too, during my stay there, but unfortunately, there were some complications with that. The sockets in the room didn’t match with the plug for my laptop, and I wasn’t able to bring my adapter, so all plans of productivity were thrown out the window. And… I guess I can say that I loved my stay too much there, too, that I ended up coming back after my two nights for one more… after having bought an adapter, so I could finally get some work done on my laptop! Phew!

You know, this could be my job. I wonder if there’s such a thing as a hotel reviewer?

I really liked that kind of life. Maybe it was the hot shower (we don’t have hot showers at the boarding house, so I take advantage of the shower a lot), the air-conditioning, the sense of comfort, the entirely new location, the solitude, or the free wi-fi and the cable TV… Yep, it’s definitely all those. Maybe the fact that it was temporary was attractive to me, too, that I could leave that place and not come back, or come back if I want to. I think the formality of it I also liked a lot — the front desk, people checking in and checking out, the elevators, that it felt like home while not being home. It’s like an adventure.

When I first did it, it was because I couldn’t handle the overwhelming presence of my new really friendly roommate, but that was also because I wasn’t in a good place in the first place, and combined by my social anxiety, I really needed to get away. But eventually, it was becoming my favorite way of escaping. Every time I had that feeling of not wanting to go back home, of not having the energy to engage socially with my roommates or anyone at all, I just open an app and look at my options. I didn’t have to tell anyone anything. I just disappear for a night or more and then come back like nothing happened. It’s a great way to recharge.

If I were a little bit richer, I would not have to worry about this at all or think twice about it. But, alas, I live from allowance to allowance — my indulgences left me almost completely penniless if it weren’t for my gigs on the side — I have to think about it. Right now as I am writing this, it’s a weekend, and I’m at the boarding house. That’s an achievement for me!

Now let’s see how long I can last before I book for another one…

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