On Practicing Poverty

This week, I went to San Diego for a team offsite. After the offsite, I decided to stay in the city for a few days. Instead of getting a hotel, I booked a cheap hostel. I used to travel in South America two years ago, living out of a backpack and staying in hostels. I thought it would be fun to experience that again, as a throwback to my solo travel days.

Last night was my first night in a hostel, and it made me realize how much my standards have risen. I had to sleep in a top bunk bed last night, which was inconvenient to access. The person sleeping below me was listening to music with their headphones on, but the sound leaked through, and I could hear their playlist with 21 Savage and Drake all through the night. Additionally, I couldn’t access my laptop as it was locked under my dorm mate’s bed, which is why I’m publishing this blog post late (I wrote it on my phone last night instead). In the past, during my university days, I lived in many shitty apartments with low living standards. But now my taste in living spaces and overall standards has increased: I like wearing nice clothes, I have a skincare routine, I like going to bed at night with the smell of essential oils. I can afford to stay at a nicer hotel, why am I still choosing to stay in hostels?

One of the reasons I chose to live in a hostel is to practice poverty. The stoic philosopher, Seneca, would fast, sleep on the floor, and wear ragged clothing for one day each month. The purpose is to remind oneself not to take things for granted and to ask yourself, Is this the condition I feared?”, and realize it isn’t that bad. Living in a hostel may not offer the same comforts as I’m used to, but it allows me to adapt easily, save money, and meet new people.

February 8, 2024

Previous:Times Make the Man
Next:Play to Win