It’s that time again - another spotlight from the Host Advisory Board and this month we’re talking to @Anna1403 in Pembrokeshire, Wales. Several of you have seen Anna around the Community Center and it’s apt that her piece comes today on Earth Day 2021, as her focus as an Advisory Board member is on Sustainability.
Check out the latest Resource Center article here which details what the Host Advisory Board has been doing around sustainability as well as Anna’s fascinating hosting journey.
Let’s use this thread to say hello to Anna and discuss sustainability! As always, please be respectful and constructive with your comments.
My hosting journey - 'Do the little things’
Hi everyone! I thought it would be nice to properly introduce myself and explain a little about my journey to hosting!
Before becoming a host I led a very different life! I've gone from sending 100's of emails a week on a Blackberry to now picking them and turning them into jam for guests! Ha! I used to work as a corporate lawyer in London - but the pull of the sea and a deeper connection to something was missing. 4 years ago we made a huge decision: it was time to just go for it!! Along with my parents we all sold up and bought an old farm together, with two cottages (our listings), in Pembrokeshire, Wales about 20 minutes away from St Davids - the smallest city in the UK!
Pembrokeshire has always had a special place in my heart - and we just knew this was where we were meant to be. In lots of ways I see my journey to hosting mirroring the process that many have gone through and are still going through in lockdown. Suddenly, our home, our community, the surrounding landscape and natural world have become so much more important. Lots of us are recognising the importance and the beauty in slowing down and reconnecting and really thinking about what it is we truly want out of life. Turns out that for me, it was connecting my family back to nature and sharing my love of Pembrokeshire with the world!
I had used Airbnb numerous times as a guest before we made the move and I just loved it - I loved the fact that Airbnb was all about belonging and that Airbnb homes have soul! We are all about the little personal touches and our love for our county is in every bit of the guest experience with us - my favourite guest stories are the ones that end with a love story - sometimes I feel like cupid! They fall in love with Pembrokeshire and keep coming back!
As well as starting on a new hosting journey I’ve also been on a bit of a 'rewilding' journey too! I always appreciated nature but I knew very little about trees or much else 4 years ago, but since living here I’ve met so many like minded people and learnt how to grow lots of our own fruit and vegetables (even melons successfully in Wales!). I keep chickens and they are my absolute favourite thing. I now know how to tell a blackthorn from a hawthorn even in winter, I even started our own bio fuel willow coppice last year, and I’m now a pretty good forager and usually have some sort of interesting concoction bubbling away on the stove!
Living so in harmony with the land, the seasons and the rhythm of sea, I became so much more aware of our impact on the environment and the responsibility to look after this incredible landscape, people and nature. And so we started our sustainable hosting journey! I am still learning something new everyday, and I am certainly not green perfect by any means, but as St David so famously said 'Gwnewch y pethau bychain' or 'Do the little things'. We try our best to do the small, considerate things that can make a big difference. It has now become my little mantra - when life can start to feel rather overwhelming, I always remind myself that it's the little things that matter.
From tossing out those single-use plastics, to supporting local environmental causes and to always thinking locally, sustainable hosting and tourism is something I am so passionate about; it was something I ended up helping other hosts with locally and as a member of the UK Community Board.
I have just loved sharing ideas and supporting one another on our host journeys - what an incredible global community this is!
Diolch! (Thank you in Welsh!)
How lovely Anna!
I think that you are incredibly brave and wonderful to take that first step of leaving the' ratrace' and taking more responsibility for your own imprint on this beautiful planet that we are destroying!
We need more people like you....
Good for you!
Awww thank you so much @Gilly17 ! Such a lovely message - it is so very kind of you! I feel incredibly proud that we took the gamble and that I have been on this journey but also acutely aware of how lucky I am to be where we are and I really want to try and help change things for those hosts who want to take responsibility too but the systems and help just isn't there yet for them in their areas.
Hi Anna, What a big brave and wonderful change you have made. I feel you passion, and are pleased for your success at it too. We are on a similar journey, but have started out small. Chooks are here, and we are building up to the big possible move with some of our adult children. Like you I am passionate about the environment. And want to not only do my part, but be a force for change, and revegetation of nature here in Australia in years to come. Thank you for sharing your inspirational journey. Cheers from Jytte Superhost at FORANA, Phillip Island, Victoria, AUSTRALIA.
Hi Anna! Nice to meet you as a fellow Airbnb Host! I'm in Victoria (city), British Columbia (province), Canada 🙂 I have an unrelated question to Airbnb hosting: I'm doing research on
Waldo Williams, Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire (September 30, 1904 – May 20, 1971). He was one of the leading Welsh-language poets of the 20th century. Fun to find someone who lives there! I hope to visit one day! Any chance you could provide email info to a Pembrokeshire archive society, museum, or anything else that might have info? Thanks for any leads! Anna
So lovely to meet you too @Anna102 ! And yes, he is a very famous man here! Simon at the Haverfordwest Museum is very knowledgeable and should be able to point you in the right direction! email@example.com. The Pembrokeshire Archives would also be your next port of call but I believe their email isn't active at the moment due to COVID - but it may open again in the next month! firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are on facebook there is a group called 'Pembrokeshire - I LOVE IT' if you post on there I bet you you'll end up talking to one of his family members in no time, it's a very useful resource for people!!
The very best of luck with it all!!
Thank you so much! This is super helpful information. I'm sure your response to me is an example of how you 'go the extra mile' for your Airbnb guests as well :)!