I am please to announce we have our next Community Spotlight. To recap, the Community Spotlight is where we ask one community member a few questions, to get to know them a little better.
One thing to add, I thought it was about time we had our own Community Spotlight series illustration (only visable here in the CC!), so I hope you like it! 🙂
Here we go...introducing....
How long have you been hosting for and why did you first start?
I’m a relatively newbie to Airbnb as my first guests booked in May 2016, whilst I was on a holiday in Adelaide. I remember the butterflies deep in the tummy when I accepted the request for July. Nervous as! But prior to that, Garry and I had been hosting young adults who had come to Darwin for intensive English lessons through a university homestay program. We usually had two individuals of the same gender sharing the Airbnb space, always from different countries so they couldn’t speak their native language. They would stay usually for a month, and we formed strong bonds with most of them. We fed them for every meal and sat and practised conversations and English daily. Although it was lovely, Airbnb is definitely an easier form of hosting!
Tell us a little about your listing
My home is a traditional elevated tropical Darwin house. We moved into it in 1996. It was like a jungle that needed controlling. A scythe and a pith helmet wouldn’t have gone astray! Lol... seriously! Built after Cyclone Tracy in the late 70s, it was originally only an elevated and louvered dwelling with a storeroom and laundry tub under the house. We use to be able to drive through underneath, but that all changed as my family grew and we needed more space for personal sanity. We slowly built in underneath with final improvements in 2010. I had adult children return to live with us for a short time so we built a separate self contained dwelling underneath for them. After they left, the space felt sad and empty, but we didn’t want to have long term renters on the property. Hence the homestay scenarios began in our life, to offer some income, the opportunity to home improve and the flexibility, to keep it available for family and friends as well as the new friends that we make through Airbnb.. who return visit.
How long have your been part of the Community Center and why did you join?
I use to browse the Airbnb site and see the words “Community Center” without catching on to what it really was..... I looked at it a few times, but never got involved - life was too busy! There was another forum as well that I also visited for ideas, but here I kept my distance, and although it gave some good advice, it got pretty negative. One night I just happened to click on the CC tab and something caught my interest, and I read it. Then some more, and so it began. I come, I go, but I always learn something from the comments.
What is your favourite thing about the CC and if you could make it better what one thing would you improve?
My favourite thing about the Communjty Center is that it exists. It’s a stable for hosts and guests alike to visit for advise and hosting humour. Sometimes a thread can be very serious and the input from experienced hosts is invaluable. Other times what starts as a general post, ends up very funny with “global pen friends” joining in with positive banter. That is what makes the CC a live but also thriving community! The information gained and the positive interplay.
The one thing I would change if I could, would be the internet creep of negativity. We all at times come to the CC when we need help, and might be frustrated or upset... but any “troll like” responses full on negativity towards individuals can spoil the feel of “the place”. But may I say Lizzie and Quincy are quick to mediate and I thank them for maintaining a “really good feel forum”. I keep coming back to the CC because the feel is welcoming...... Knowing that the Airbnb “powers that be”, do actually listen via this forum, gives me heart for other needed changes within the rental platform. So let’s keep up the good work of helping one another....
If you could live anywhere else in the world where would it be? Why?
Gosh, where might I like to live? As a sixth generation Australian, I have lived in different cities and towns in the state of New South Wales, Adelaide in South Australia, and London in England where I met my husband Garry. But for the last few decades, Darwin in the Northern Territory has been home. Ahh, but only one lifetime! If money was no object, I might choose Canberra in the autumn, Darwin in winter, Chiang Mai or Hanoi in spring and Sydney in summer. But the crowds would get to me, so I would return to Darwin for our own humidity and the lovely storms! It’s about the lifestyle as much as the geography....that’s why we are still here... it gets into your veins. But never say never!
If you could have dinner with someone famous (past or present) who would it be?
Who might I have for dinner? I would be greedy and want two dinners. A dinner with some past relatives, grandparents so I could find out more about my history. Never listened enough when I was a kid... head off in the clouds!
But maybe I might cheat and choose a small eclectic group for Garry and I to share a bbq or some simple stir fry food with: maybe Barack Obama, Mikhail Gorbachev, Eleanor Roosevelt and Benazir Bhutto and Malala Yousafzai. Oh and JK Rowling and Bob Dylan for some extra bite and creativity... Now that would be some get together, a real weekender! Maybe they could have a group discount and we would fill up the other rooms in our own space. Lol....
What's your food weakness?
My food weakness is simple - it’s food! I’m a foodie! But my confession is resolute for dark chocolate with a deep strong orange rind flavour or with ginger - it gets me every time.
What makes you get up on a Monday morning?
I’m alive and I work! Lol....... Life has its sorrows and ups and downs, but you aim for the highs and keep them in sight. No seriously, I know I am loved and love back. I have a husband I love with our 40th anniversary this year. Woah! (Not bad since we got engaged 35 days after we met) I have three beautiful humans for our children who are all in loving relationships. I have four delightful and insightful grandchildren, with another due soon. I have friends from my childhood and new friends. So that’s what gets me up in the mornings....I am truly blessed. I use the internet to stay connected. I still work three full days a week away from any hosting. So that keeps me very busy. I try to maintain the balance between the work, the hosting, the family and the self. I’m not very good at the “self”, but the CC forum also falls under this category. If it wasn’t for the CC, I would never had made contact and met Robin and Ade! So the forum is REAL.
What do you like to do when you are not hosting?
I’m a procrastinator and a creator. I also love to veg out and do nothing... so I’m my own yin and yang, my own worst enemy! I like to maintain my “green” garden. I draw and would like to master paint and pastels. I like to fiddle with crafts etc, but not projects that take too long. I have many of them .... I love books, the cinema and imagery; and the fresh air and the green. I like to feel the wind on my face and the sun on my back. It makes me smile.....
Do you have a fun fact?
Sometimes I like to rhyme, because it’s fun at the time.....but not necessarily sublime. But that’s fine!
Anything to add?
Just be true to yourself, without injury or stepping on others to do it! Cheers my dears! Till the next forum thread......
A huge thank you to Cathie for taking the time to share a little bit more about herself. There are some great things here, I particularly like your dinner party! 🙂
Please do ask any questions about the above or share any nice comments, I am sure Cathie would love to hear from you.
Thank you and enjoy!
@Lizzie Thanks for posting this sweet Spotlight on Cathie - it's really special to learn more about those other hosts that we share our community time with. Cathie I loved that you'd want to dine with your relatives cause you didn't get the history. I can so relate to that and when they're gone who tells us what was true history. I imagine you too have many stories you've heard in the family and would love more info or question if the reports of those stories are really true or not so ......we know how a story can take shape, change and expand with time. I enjoyed hearing about your life. all the best and many blessings, Clara
It’s true @Clara0, I always remember my dad telling me stuff about relatives, and as a kid or young adult... you’re invincible and think you’ll remember it all. There were other times it sounded boring, so it didn’t sink in..... Joining the dots would have been so much easier if I knew this, or that person’s name...
That’s a beautiful life story @@Cathie 😉
There’s something very special about Darwin. I can see why you love it so. 😉 apart from the closeness to nature I used to enjoy the night markets and one of my most favorite prints is of a brolga which I bought from there.
Many congratulations on your forthcoming anniversary ❤️
Why thank you @Ria0 for the anniversary wishes. Garry is currently away cycling 1000kms + with his brother, from Adelaide to Melbourne, across three to four weeks..... no support crew, via the Coorong and the Great Ocean Road. Crazy stuff!!! But they left at the end of January so he can be home for it. 💛
Yeah Darwin is a place that polarises people. I’ve seen a number of people come and go over the years, who fall in love with this small city with a passion, or can’t stand the heat, the humidity, the vastness from southern Australia.
I’m a market girl, I love them. Saturday - Parap Markets for some heliconia flowers and a laksa soup. Nightcliff, Rapid Creek and many more... not withstanding the infamous Mindil Beach markets during the Dry Season. When were you here? Just for ol’ times sake, here’s a jabiru I took a few years ago, when we were fishing on Corroboree Billabong.
Thanks @Ann72 for the compliment. I do hope your heated floors are not working overtime with your current cold weather.
On the other hand, my swimming pool is overflowing from the monsoonal rains... and needs some grandkids to come and splash in it! Quickest way to empty it... 😆 LOL
@Lizzie Thanks for spotlighting Cathie, loved her story!! I also enjoyed her reply to the question
"What is your favourite thing about the CC and if you could make it better what one thing would you improve?"
Her answer to how it can be improved was on point.
I agree @Lawrene0. Once I found myself preparing meals and freezing them for an international student, when we were away for a few days. It felt crazy, as I wouldn’t have precooked meals for my kids when they were the same ages, in their twenties, not unless it was a family meal! No way, no how! Their arms and legs were not cardboard cutouts, but here I was doing it nightly.... I thought I can’t sustain this...
Lovely article and @Cathie definitely practises what she preaches. I have often noticed her positivity in her responses here on the forum. We could all do with being more thankful for what we've got rather than resentful for what we haven't.
@Cathie19, I was also thinking about your foodie weakness...I'm exactly the same dark chocolate is my favourite too...well that and museli (I just love it before bed!) hehe.
It's not a weakness! Dark chocolate is good for you. It's packed with anti-oxidents (more than those trendy health foods like goji berries), is high in iron and has less fat than cheddar cheese. I developed severe anaemia last year, so I used that as an excuse to scoff a lot of dark chocolate. Didn't do me any harm 🙂