Monday, April 20, 2009

Reflections on Stress and Longer B&B Stays

Stress is known to shorten life. Modern life can be stressful, so we should all seek out ways to avoid stress. A walk by the ocean can relieve stress. There is something about the lapping of waves and the tangy salt air that calms the spirit. I have noticed local service folk often drive their trucks to the ocean between jobs, or during lunch, like the two truckdrivers above. Just seeing the ocean from a distance is enough sometimes. Life in the city can be even more stressful than normal everyday life as a carpenter or town hall employee. We frequently receive guests who choose Chez Sven because it is so quiet and peaceful here. Bed & breakfast inquiries often include reference to the need to get away from it all. Translate that, enough stress already! Just yesterday came the following email: "A spur of the moment get-the-Hell-0ut-of-Dodge for a couple of days just came over us. Please let us know if you can accommodate a couple needing to spend a day walking on some sand." Now the problem with this request is that the writer could only stay one night. Sven and I do not like to do one-night-stands because they involve as much work as two-night bookings and leave innkeepers dissatisfied. Chez Sven is not about buzzing in and buzzing out. Even two nights are not really enough to totally cool down and relax. We prefer to have time to interact with guests so they do not become a blur in our minds. I usually suggest people down for one night stay at a motel. We much prefer three nights, and four is even better. This lovely young couple, over from England for a friend's wedding, spent three nights here last week. The longer period allowed us to get to know each other better. We even have weekly guests who have become friends over the years. The experience of staying at a B&B is different from staying at a hotel because innkeepers are welcoming strangers into their home. I have noticed that British culture provides guests from the UK with a deeper understanding of the bed & breakfast experience than American culture, where staying in someone's home has not been accepted for as long. I remember one couple from New York who simply wanted to sit on the bench outside at night and stare at the stars, much brighter than in the city. So, I guess, in conclusion, Chez Sven can be compared to a great massage: guests leave feeling relaxed and stress-free!