Learning to Live With Less Again: Part 2

If you haven't checked out part 1 of this story yet you can find it over here.

The apartment just wasn't working out. At all. The trouble was we couldn't just move out of an apartment. It takes a lotta work and preparation.

Instead of leaving the apartment empty we decided to do what most people do—spend a few days in hotels here and there.

...and then the peak of the pandemic in Portugal hit.

See that peak in January? Yep that was when we started a few nights in hotels.

It was quite frankly the worst luck. We started exploring hotels again at around 10,000 cases per day and it was terrifying. We spent most of the day on our terrace. Being in the lobby made us feel uneasy.

Much to our shock, the hotels were still offering spa services. At one point I asked if I needed to make an appointment to go and no was the answer. Needless to say, I skipped that activity 😣

It was a tough adjustment going back to hotels. Because of COVID we had less freedom. Putting on a mask each time you leave your 20sqft room is difficult, tiring, and it makes interactions with the team at the check-in desk tricky. In your own home, you can walk around without thinking about it most of the time.

What was worse though was the constant moving around. The packing, unpacking, and packing again was a chore. What little we had in our backpacks had to go in and out multiple times a week.

Any form of transportation required intense thought. Driving meant thinking about which route to take and finding parking, flying meant a COVID test with the result in a specific amount of time, and trains just weren't the same with timetables and schedules being reduced.

Re-evaluating the Situation

With any life-changing situation you have to jump in headfirst. There's no point in half-assing it. So we'd packed up our furniture, moved out of our apartment, and found ourselves living out of a backpack again and full time in hotels.

It turned out to be even more tiring than before. Living with less meant our life wasn't convenient anymore.

That kettle we had that held enough water to make a cup of tea? Nope—the hotels had travel kettles with dust accumulating. The fresh cup of coffee brewed each morning with speciality beans? We were lucky if it wasn't instant.

Everyone was rightfully tired which meant most situations were pretty intense. It was emotionally exhausting.

A travel kettle placed on a carpet plugged into a socket near the floor
A typical kettle situation in a hotel

Minimalism comes at a cost. You have to be willing to give up your conveniences—and we did for years. But it turns out we'd changed as people. We didn't want to live with less again. And we didn't want the uncertainty in uncertain times.

Having that speciality cup of coffee in the morning was important to us. Knowing we had a stable and fast internet connection was a priority. Having a larger space of our own in a pandemic felt more comfortable.

Machine coffee has a specific terrible taste 😖

Maybe it was the pandemic or just getting older but we didn't feel comfortable being around people in public spaces as much. We wanted more privacy, more security, and to reduce the unpleasant price spikes we had to endure for different seasons.

Applying Lessons of the Past

I know what you're probably thinking—in Part 1 didn't ya say you'd had enough of apartment life?! Yup, that's what I said.

The thing is we now know what we want having dipped our toes back into hotels. There are a few criteria we now have for our next place:

  • 🏞 Outside space. We want to get fresh air most of the day so the apartment would need a large balcony or terrace.
  • 🎤 Enjoy the city more. In my defence, this one was pretty tough during a lockdown. In the future (after the pandemic) we'd like to go explore more food, drink, and music events in the city.
  • 🧘 Enough space but not too much space. We've decided to look for a place with a little more room to breathe but not so much that it needs thousands spent on it to furnish it.

At this point, we're still looking for the right place but we're taking our time. We're certainly gonna keep the lessons we learned from our previous apartment in the back of our minds. Less clutter, more space, and we'll definitely we keeping the IKEA trips to a minimum 😆

Who knows! Maybe I'll create a third instalment of the series so you can follow along to see what happens. For now though thanks for reading ✌️