Living with People while Traveling: From His and Her POV

For a couple who's lived together for practically two years, the thought of suddenly having to share a space with other people can seem scary. In the months before heading out to The Surf Office to take part of the project, The Tech Beach in Gran Canaria, we found out that we'd be doing just that, only we had no idea what the layout would be. 

Once we arrived in Las Palmas, we were taken to our new home for the next month. One long hallways connects our project partner David's room, the bathroom, our new room, and a third space for whoever comes here next. At the very end we have a shared dining/living room area and kitchen. 


Sharing the Bathroom

It took a few days to get used to the idea of sharing a bathroom. Neither of us had needed to wait for someone to finish showering or brushing teeth since college. This puts a lot of pressure on the only girl in the apartment since there are only two mirrors in the entire flat - one at the entrance and the other in the bathroom. As for the guys? I'm still wondering who keeps on forgetting to leave the toilet seat down!

I’m the kind of girl who likes to look nice. I take hot showers and use a variety of toiletries to make my hair and skin feel silky. My usual shower time is 10-15 minutes. It’s been a struggle for me to get ready before noon since the boys use up all the hot water before I get a chance to shampoo and condition my hair, then by the time I dry my hair I can’t even begin to style it because somebody else is asking for the bathroom! My solution has been to dry my hair without a mirror in my room, do my makeup at the entrance with the door open (natural light!), and style my hair (in the bathroom) as quickly as possible just before leaving the apartment!
— Marina
I definitely don’t have any of the same problems as Marina, since I don’t need to put on makeup or anything. For me the bathroom is literally just for brushing my teeth or you know... hah, I don’t see this as a big problem.

I guess the only issue arrises when we all go out for beers and come home needing to pee!
— Tomy

*Travel Beauty Tip: Stock up on your "fancy" hair and skin products in travel size containers, but use a solid shampoo bar for daily use. 

*Travel Skincare Tip: Collect sample packages from magazines and local beauty stores! It's a great way to get a skincare treatment on the go! 


Sharing the Kitchen: Cooking, Fridge, Etc.

When it comes to eating habits in a shared space, you're going to have to get used to things like doing your dishes immediately after eating, only buying enough food for your section of the fridge/cupboard, and alternating your mealtime to fit everyone's schedule.

I’m not the best flatmate when it comes to cleaning up the kitchen. I honestly don’t know what we would do if we didn’t have the cleaning lady who comes by once a week to fix things up. It’s been three weeks and I’m still getting used to returning my empty glass of water to the kitchen! Warning: Being the only girl in an apartment full of guys will be a test of your hygiene, for clean and messy types!
— Marina
The fact that Marina doesn’t clean dishes makes me responsible for cleaning both of our portion of dirty dishes. I’m not a messy guy... in a sense, I’m more of the ‘lady of the house,’ than Marina. I still have high hopes that one day she will learn to love the art of cleaning. Warning: Just because she’s a girl doesn’t mean she’s going to clean up your mess!
— Tomy

Going Out, Parties, and Overall Getting Along

It goes without saying that if you're living with others you should go out of your way to get along with everyone in your shared space. If that means giving up some of your alone time, then so be it! 

Not all personalities are a match, but if you’re willing to put a little extra work into it you may just form an everlasting friendship!
It’s easy to get talked into things like going out to dinner, playing another round of beer pong, or carrying home an extra 2 liter bottle of water when you’re being overly friendly. Just make sure to find a way to say ‘no’ without making it an excuse. If you can’t afford another night out, or if you just don’t feel like partying, be polite and say ‘no thank you.’
— Marina
I have the advantage of knowing one of our room mates beforehand. Living together definitely puts things into a different perspective... a new level of our friendship, if you will. I’ve learned to back out of potential arguments by simply backing off of a tricky subject like cleaning up or even doing them a favor.

Living with people gives you the option to save some money by splitting the bill X ways or having that extra person there to take your photo ;)
— Tomy

*Tip: Have an at-home outfit that you're not ashamed to be seen in available for all lounge activities. It sucks to have to feel like you need to be "all made up" just to eat breakfast.

*Food Tip: Try cooking together as an activity. Split the grocery bill and get hands-on in an activity you can all enjoy!