Giving Thanks for Beds

November 26, 2014 14 Comments »

Waikiki penthouse

A bed with a vew! My bed in Oahu for 2 weeks – a penthouse apartment in Waikiki while I taught at Iolani.

Someone just hit the power button to my brain and my mind flickers on and boots up for a moment at 3:43AM. I feel uneasy, confused, panicked. I open my eyes to inky darkness. I can’t see. My mind races like it’s an Indy car going from 0 to 60 mph in 2 seconds.

I’m in bed, but what bed? Where is the door? Am I alone? My brain struggles to paint a picture of my surroundings. Slowly it starts to take shape as my eyes adjust to the darkness.

The next round of questions barrage my brain. What country am I in? What city am I in? What time of year is it? I silently coach myself telling myself it’s ok, don’t panic.

What feels like 10 minutes is probably only about 10 seconds until I get clarity and answers start to flow through my brain. Ahhh – I’m in (insert random country here), I’ve been traveling here for 2 weeks, the door is on my right, I’m staying with a friend. Calm creeps back over me as I determine the answers. Panic avoided, and satisfied with my answers, I roll over and go back to bed.

This process happens about 3 times a month for me. It’s a horrible feeling, yet one would think that I’d be used to it by now. This is the downside to my nomadic lifestyle and sleeping in a new place all the time…this middle of the night ‘where am I’ panic.

But the upsides of sleeping around in many beds throughout the year are also great. It means that I’m moving and satiating my intense desire to experience and learn new things. It also means that I get to see friends around the world – as well as make new ones. It means that I have no commitments and am free to do what I want and go where I want and sleep where I want. It’s incredible that even though I’m homeless, every night I still have a bed. It’s a miracle – it really is.

This year my nomadic lifestyle has been full of ‘where am I’ moments, as I have hit my all-time record of sleeping around in a year. And just for the record I am not talking about my love life – that needs to be a whole separate ‘panic’ post! Are you ready…drum roll please…

I counted up all of the beds I’ve slept in for 2014 so far and I’m at 100. Gasp. How the hell did that happen after I said I was going to slow down in 2014? I clearly have no willpower.

Nomad beds

Sleeping around in 2014

This year I’ve stayed in hostels, hotels, cabins, tents, condos, domes, guesthouses, motels, lodges, apartments, homes, planes, air mattresses, floors, couches, and cots. I’ve also had some of the wildest swings of highs and lows when it came to beds. From decadent luxury of the fly-in lodge of Nimmo Bay located in the Great Bear Rain Forest to sleeping in dingy smelly hotel rooms in India during the Rickshaw Run. I think my most memorable place through was Room753 on the Gold Coast of Australia where I was given a ‘home’ for a week stocked with all of my favorite things – including photos of my family. This year I even glamped in the same place Prince William and Kate stayed in while visiting Uluru Australia.


Luxury glamping views at Longitude 131 next to Uluru

Room 753

My bed in Room753 – waking up and looking out over the Gold Coast in Australia

However I’d have to say that my most comfortable bed this year was in the Ridgeback Lodge glamping domes in New Brunswick where I shared a bed with my mother. I’ll never forget her exclaiming the next morning, “That was the nicest bed I’ve ever slept in. The sheets must be 5,000 thread count and the mattress is memory foam”. I had to agree with her, and maybe it also had that special element of traveling with my parents for which I’m eternally thankful that we can still do that together. After all I’m sure my moments of sharing a bed with my mother are dwindling, so it’s good to experience still while you can.

Ridgeback Lodge

Our bed at Ridgeback Lodge Domes New Brunswick. My mother declared, “That was the nicest bed I’ve ever slept in!” And I had to agree with her. The sheets were like silk, and the mattress like a cloud you slowly sink into. It’s such a good mattress you don’t even notice there’s another person in bed with you! As the other person moves there is not a single reverberation of movement on my side of the mattress. This was sleeping heaven.

Familiar Beds

Many of my 100 beds are ‘one night stands’ – however there are those special beds – the ones I come back to again and again.  These are the best beds by far.  They aren’t the nicest that I have slept in but they are my familiar beds such as David and Jason’s sofa sleeper, Charlie’s bed, Ron and Mark’s bed, the bunkbeds at my sister’s cabin, my bed at my parent’s house, and Alison and Andrew’s futon at my ‘European home’ in Brussels. These are the people who are consistently welcoming me into their lives and homes and for that I’m eternally thankful. They provide me a pillar of stability in a life of constant motion and instability. After depending on these friends and family for so many years, I often feel helpless to express my gratitude to them – and even though I can’t seem to put it into words, trust me when I say it is a feeling of thankfulness I have deep in my soul.


Charlie’s Bed

sofa sleeper

David and Jason’s sofa sleeper

Ron and Mark's bed in Oahu

Ron and Mark’s bed in Oahu

air mattress

Wynne’s air mattress


Lisa’s futon

Giving Thanks!

Giving Thanks!

As you sit down to eat turkey and pie, I’ll be flying high above the Atlantic. However we will all be giving thanks – and my thanks will be going out to all who have put me up this year in my 100 beds!

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