Going from AirBnB guest to AirBnB host was a big step. Would it be weird having strangers in my home? What would they think of the place? This May, I decided to take the plunge and find out exactly what it’s like to become a first-time AirBnB host.
The city’s lights came into view as we descended from 35,000 feet on a hot March night. The lower we got, the clammier my hands, and the more active the butterflies in my stomach. I glanced at my FitBit. Resting heart rate of 104. Nope, not anxious at all. “What am I doing? Maybe I should’ve stayed in Houston.”
Have you ever been bumped off a flight? If you’re in the US, it doesn’t have to be so bad. Recently I was bumped off a United flight from Newark to Newfoundland and it actually turned out to be a pretty great thing.
Maybe I’m a hotel snob. Maybe I’ve become spoiled. I used to think a Holiday Inn was fancy. These days though, when I check into a nice hotel I’m always a bit disappointed when there’s no robe waiting for me in the closet. To me, it’s a symbol for the hotel experience and the pampering feeling I’m hoping to get out of it.
So there I was, crouched on the sidewalk outside a Rite Aid on West 12th St in New York City with a handful of tourists huddled around me. I was trying to simultaneously dress a wound and keep my shit together. I was only moderately successful on both fronts. So what happened?
Every now and then a new activity will emerge and become really popular. It seems like everyone and their dog is doing it, so you’d best try it too. That was my thought on stand up paddle boarding (SUP) when I went to Puerto Rico. It seemed like fun, based on previous articles I’d read. So how did it go? Read on…
It’s no secret that Valentine’s Day and I don’t get along. We started off ok, then hit some major bumpy spots. We mostly just exist separately these days. But this year I thought I would make the world my Valentine and write some love letters to all the places I’ve loved before.
35 years old and I’d never stayed in a hostel before but with recent house renovation bills coming in and two weeks in Europe already booked I was feeling poor and hostels were cheap. “It’ll be an adventure!” I told myself though I wasn’t sure I really believed it. Wasn’t I too old to be getting on with this foolishness? “You’re booked into a four star hotel in Paris and now you’re looking at a hostel in Barcelona? And a dorm room no less! Foolish.” But you know, curiosity (and my wallet) got to me in the end and that’s how I became a first time hostel guest – booking myself into an 8-bed female dorm at the St. Christopher’s Inn in Barcelona for two nights. I researched hostels carefully and shuddered when I’d see photos of open bunk beds in a room. The thought of sleeping in an open…
It’s currently snowing the first real, stick to the ground snow of the year here in St. John’s as I write this. Since it’s new and I have yet to have to shovel it I’m going to revel in it’s prettiness and break out the Christmas tunes and egg nog. It also means it’s time to get my mittens out.
There’s nothing like a little nostalgia of the year gone by. I’ve always loved looking back at old photos and reliving the memories. It’s almost like you get to experience them all over again. I know I’ve already told you my top travel moments of 2013 but since I’m such a sucker for visuals I want to share some with you some photos that may not have made it to this site or Facebook.
This year felt like it was full of travel but when I got down to details I hadn’t visited a single new country. All the same I had lots of great new experiences. Just proves that it’s not all about ticking off countries on a list. This year seemed to be about basking in nature and also facing some fears.
I’d spent a day in Calgary and all I did was go to IKEA, check out a play and take a dip in the hotel pool. That would normally sound like a good day, right? So why the guilt? Part of my brain tells me that I should be go, go, go, always checking out some new sight or seeking out unique experiences. That just relaxing in your awesome hotel room is time wasted. Travel guilt. It’s totally a thing.
“They like me! They really like me!” I channeled my inner Sally Field when I got my BlogHouse acceptance letter. I’ve been blogging less than a year and I would never have had the guts to call myself a writer, but it’s a skill I’ve always wanted to improve. So when I saw that the Navigate Media Group were going to be putting off BlogHouse – a small group, multi-day intensive mentorship – in Toronto I applied and crossed my fingers. Being one of a dozen chosen gave me validation that I wasn’t wasting my time at this. Maybe I didn’t suck after all.
It’s every traveler’s worst nightmare to groggily open one eye and look at the clock and see 4:36am staring back at you in big green numbers when you have a seat on a 5:00am flight. So…I missed my flight. First time that’s ever happened. I shot out of bed, yelling “oh God, oh God, oh God” as I ran up the stairs and went straight for my phone and computer. Even though the plane was already boarded my brain was telling me there was no time to lose in re-booking. It was hard to talk to the Expedia agent though with my stomach up in my throat. Keep calm and carry on, my ass.
The night air was warm in Dubrovnik as I walked down the Stradun. The streetlights made the polished marble streets shine as if they were still wet from a washing. The cruisers had all gone for the day and the old town had quieted down. A brief respite from the hustle and bustle. It would all repeat the next day but for now it was quiet. One night in Dubrovnik listening to men sing folk songs to entertain themselves helped ease the jaded feeling about the town that had crept up on me. Sometimes you can find those little nuggets of authenticity that restore your faith in a destination where and when you least expect it…and it makes all the difference.
“We can only check your bag through to Istanbul,” the check-in agent in Dubrovnik told me. “But my final destination is Seoul,” I replied. “I can only check it to Istanbul,” she repeated. This is not going to end well. That conversation rang in my head as I stood forlornly at the luggage carousel at the airport in Incheon, South Korea watching everyone else on my flight flit off with their bags. Lost luggage. Foreign country. Just what I needed.