Photography & Travel
AirBnB Travelers Retrospective

AirBnB Travelers Retrospective

How remarkable it is for me to be a global traveler in a day and age where I have access to the thought genius of technological designer’s birthing concepts such as the easy to use platform called AirBnB. It’s the Mecca for opportunity, where non technology savvy laymen can make their underutilized space available for travelers to enjoy. 

I’ve been exploring various countries and cultures across the globe since the age of seventeen. My mandate when I plan my trip is to primarily have ‘no plan’. The only exception is knowing where I am starting from and usually booking accommodation to cover the first couple of days partly because it looks suspicious to immigration if you don’t and secondly because it can take me a few days to assimilate with my new surrounds.

I work so hard to get to a point where I can take time off that I don’t wish for it to be inhibited by anything that would set me in a repetitive mode. If I want to sustain routine, I may as well remain at home where I’m trapped in the cycle of early to bed, early to rise, work, return, do it all again, mix it up with some social time with family and friends. You know the drill. The reality is that my holiday is a break from everything. I get to align the adventure to satisfy my present mood, desires and taste. Hence booking a place in a resort months in advance where I am stuck on a package deal with cramped complimentary tours, doesn’t personally work for me on any level.

My usual mode of operation when I travel is literally to go scope out the neighborhood, settle in a nice coffee house or cafe’ where I suspect there is a large portion of locals. I order a beverage, then sit and listen. It’s rare for me not to find someone who speaks some broken English. This is when I introduce myself and set to asking them where they would recommend that I visit not as a tourist but as a resident. It’s through these conversations and my decision to follow through on some of their suggestions that I have a collated plethora of wondrous memories.

‘Most people enjoy helping people on their travels’

This is where AirBnB comes in. I’II confess that I’m somewhat of a late bloomer to the discovery of this platform. Initially when I was told about it, I was skeptical but very curious. My skepticism I must call out wasn’t related to the company or its service. The caution was targeted at the quality of the accommodation / integrity of the hosts it may or may not have attracted. I’m no fool and have been around the traps long enough to have seen many a scam developed by people who ought to try and leverage their ingenuity to a greater cause than ripping innocent people off. Rant aside, I downloaded the app, joined and began to search.

What I saw made my toes wiggle with excitement. (Yours do too right? You know, when you’re excited about something?) Okay, back to it, let me just say when I saw offers to sleep on a sofa, pitch a tent in the yard, live in a tree house, I was salivating. This added a whole new dimension to my adventures. It provided the opportunity for diversity, flexibility and most importantly location, location, affordability and did I mention location?

“AirBnB provides a service that has stimulated people to utilize their imaginations.” 

I spent countless hours looking at various offerings on the site and decided to settle on first trialling the service when I flew over to Japan. The initial part of my trip held purpose, specifically to spend some time with my dear friend whose precious IVF baby was about to turn one. Post this I knew I wanted to head into the mountains, so I could focus on writing my next novel.

‘Traveling feeds my soul’

Needless to say the place I selected was indeed remote. It presented in the search I made for places in the Kyosan Mountains but in actuality, it was still in the Osaka prefecture. The place was promoted as a temple for monks in strict training. Reality, it was a run down house with a bunch of occasional drunk monks who slept way past the break of dawn. The only thing I felt was accurate related to the statement that the facilities are rudimentary and the views were lovely. In truth, I didn’t go there to meditate with monks or participate in training. My mind was set on having a nice quiet place to write my book, and this is exactly what Le Petite Temple provided.  During the day, the monks went off to whatever their day jobs were while I had the run of the place in complete solitude. I cannot begin to explain the joy I felt experiencing the views while I wrote my book, all for a small dime in comparison to the other more mainstream places I looked at.

“Be adventurous, be flexible, be joyous” ―Truth Devour

Currently, I’m in staying in another AirBNB sourced place in Brooklyn, New York, while writing yet another novel. (Relentless, I know). So here I am in a shared apartment with my roommate who as it turns out is responsible for the creation of a live theatre based parody of Point Break, which has been running as I understand it for well over ten years. Why am I telling you this? Well, I’m glad you thought to wonder.

Jaime needed to rehearse some lines for an up coming production and asked if I wouldn’t mind taking time out from my work to play one of the characters. From the moment, I agreed we set to clearing the living room so it could be converted into a makeshift stage. The wigs and costumes now at the ready, we commenced our first stab at rehearsing the scene in Point Break where the surfer girl saves Johnny Utah from the gnarly waves, and then he approaches her to request lessons. Firstly, I have to say I was playing the role of Johnny, and secondly I am shockingly bad at executing accents, so bad, in fact that I think I could make it into a kind of thing.

Random stranger: “Hey what do you do?”

Me: “I do accents {pause} really badly [looks at nails el casual] Yeah, its kinda my thing.”

Here I am across the other side of the world, living in a complete stranger’s home reading my lines with an atrocious accent to help Jaime rehearse a scene from one of my all time favorite movies. I seriously laughed so hard as I felt my competitive side get the better of me where after several goes, I persisted with wanting to do it one more time because I could feel I was getting it. I wasn’t at the stage where I could do a call out to Keanu to say I’m executing his role with complete justice, but I was definitely giving it a red hot go. Honestly, it was a brilliant, fun break from my work and something that I had never done before. That’s the point right, to hold the opportunity to be present to the moments, to unleash the potential to experience life not just the way I do but the way others do too.

Three cheers with thanks to AirBnB and all the other entrepreneurs who are striving to develop the next big thing. I commend you, encourage you and volunteer to be the one who indiscriminately promotes you on the things that work well and quietly email you to let you know of anything that needs reconsideration.

My life is richer for using the service.

Blessings – Truth Devour

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