The Journey to Hospitality
As children, my siblings and I spent our vacations traveling to the beach with our alligator rafts, paddle boards and other essentials that come with going on a trip with a large family. With our vintage station wagon for a companion, we drove off into an 18 hour journey down I95.
This time, we were headed to Hilton Head Island for some summer fun. The beach, the water, all set up for a perfect getaway it seemed. There was something about the air that was so inviting that we visited the place even on Easter and Christmas, occasionally. While there, we occupied ourselves with all sorts of activities as one does, as a child. Once, if I recall, we decorated an entire Christmas tree with nothing but paper cut-outs of Care Bears from a coloring book. It was also that year that I caught on to a very familiar signature saying “Thanks for the holiday cookies,” that wasn’t Santa Clause’s. I’m sure you can imagine the horror on my face.
As family traditions go, we too had something that was unique to our own. Or so I thought. Our parents unusually insisted that we get our beauty sleep for the night at rest stops. Ideally it was understood that rest stops were meant for quick breaks, but instead, we cracked our window, piled on our suitcases and dozed off into oblivion. As kids we weren’t really huge fans of this but our parents never budged.
It wasn’t too late before all sorts of questions raced into our heads. Why couldn’t we just sleep on a comfortable bed in a safe, air-conditioned, hotel room? Were they being cheap? As we grew older, we jumped at the first chance to grab hold of flight tickets, just to do away with this tradition as soon as possible. This particular memory of spending my childhood, perpetually wishing for hotel rooms and their ambience, has been so impactful that it encouraged me to pursue a career as a Hospitality Interior Designer.
As a globetrotter, the definition of hospitality for me starts with packing up my bags, only to journey to a place where I will create new memories to bring back home. After having a daughter last year, I now understand why my parents had us all just suck it up. Kids sure are expensive, but more importantly it was about the journey. It’s not about where you start, rather it’s about where you end up. Embrace the road ahead and remember to check into a hotel for some much needed R&R.