On my recent travels it occurred to me that the prerequisite for a happy and successful trip is feeling safe all along the way. Every time I crossed the threshold of a hotel room, I had an instant sensation of comfort or discomfort. My aha moment came when I realized that this strange feeling had to do with the variable feng shui aspects of each and every room.
When traveling we spend on average one third of each day in our hotel room. Even while sleeping, our unconscious mind is exposed to negative or positive feng shui in the space surrounding us. Therefore a basic checklist for feng shui awareness might be a helpful tool for future travel adventures. Qi, yin & yang, tao connections as well as ba gua considerations all have potential impact on our well-being while away from the sanctuary of our home.
Mobility (easy moving qi)
Pack light! Porters are a rare species about to be extinct. If you cannot move about easily with your own set of wheels, you are stuck in a serious dilemma of sha qi. Roller bags with multi-directional spin allow you to move quickly, which could be crucial if you sense imminent danger. With light weight baggage you're independent as you navigate through trains and public venues.
Room Request (tao connection)
Inquire whether you have options for your room location. Optimally you want to be on a lower floor, not too far from the elevator, on the quiet side of the hotel. If necessary, you could take stairs to go down. On a lower floor you feel more connected to the world around you.
Comfort (yin & yang)
If your travels require maximum energy levels for daytime activities or business, your hotel room should give you nighttime reprieve with a yin ambiance. Upon arrival check whether you have adequate supplies of blankets and pillows, robes and slippers, bottled water and coffee / tea makers. Check thermostats for temperature settings, as well as remotes for TV and clock radio functions. Bring a soft shawl or scarf.
Light (yin & yang)
Familiarize yourself with general lighting and switches for lamps. Check outlets for plug-ins to connect computers, chargers and adapters. Be well-informed about internet services and passwords. Know the function of the flashlight on your mobile phone. For the event that the bathroom does not have a night light, an e-candle within easy reach on your night table will provide adequate vision if you'd rather not turn on a sleep-disturbing bright light that causes your pupils to dilate. If blue light power buttons and switches are annoying, drape your shawl over the device. Check function of drapes, curtains and blinds and use to your discretion.
Sha Qi (dangerous qi)
Check your path within and make sure nothing is blocking or tripping you. During a recent hotel stay, I had a beautifully decorated very large room, a generous and luxurious upgrade to a suite, with a large cabinet in the center. It had a swivel TV so you could watch from either the bedroom side or the sofa area. At night however, this attraction turned into a monstrous obstacle with four pointed corners at about eye level. Sharp corners are always sha qi in feng shui and are best camouflaged or avoided. If night stands have sharp corners, drape something over them when you sleep.
Protection (tao connectedness)
Scientific research tells us that placebos are highly effective even for those who know that they are not getting the drug. Our belief system thus is the agent that brings about a change for the better. The same could be said for feng shui and its cures. Since we don't really know what the higher powers are and how they function, it is best to stay with preventive measures. When we travel and face uncertainties and security risks, protection and refuge is our best option. Asian feng shui offers many formulas and amulets for protection, but so do our western belief systems. Therefore the choice is personal. Our guardian angels or deities as well as saints and their talisman will keep us safe on our travels as long as we speak to them and ask for their blessings.
Happy Hotel Room
Finally, if all our most basic wishes and safety precautions have been met, we appreciate and welcome a pleasant ambiance with uplifting artwork and colorful décor. Again, if you detect something disturbing or annoying in a picture on a wall, you have your large shawl to drape over it and block it out of your visual field. A happy hotel room is your launch pad for the day's adventures.