Quite naturally, there tends to be a lot of posts in the CC about guests who aren’t as positive as we’d like, and situations that could be better- and huge amounts of support from amazing hosts!
I’m sure everyone has had some amazing experiences with guests through their time hosting- we probably just talk about them less- so I thought I’d share a couple of mine with you:
-I hosted a couple from Mexico who were on the final leg of a European road trip and spent 3 nights with me. We were chatting over breakfast, I said I bet they didn’t want to go home!
One of them said he COULD NOT wait to get back to work, as he missed it so much! I looked totally shocked, and he said he loves his job so much and feels so much passion for it he doesn’t feel like he works at all....the next day I updated my CV and started looking for a new job!
-I hosted an artists assistant who was visiting London to set up a piece of work for the artist she works for, and she invited me to have a walk round the exhibition before the private view and opening.
It was an exhibition of various video artists, the space was HUGE and there was no one there apart from me, it was so empty! I sat and watched one work which was a video piece of a film of a band playing the same song over and over- I sat in that room for half an hour watching it and got so lost in it I came out feeling amazing about life.
My guest helped me to discover a part of London that was totally deserted (at least in that pre-opening moment) that I would never have found myself and it felt like magic!
Have you hosted guests that have changed your perspective or outlook on life in a positive way? I’d be glad to hear your stories.
I hosted a guest from Taiwan, she wrote articles about "Art in an environmental / ecological setting."
She wanted to interview an artist living on an ecological farm (the farm and it's gardens itself being an art object too). She found this artist and location via Internet in Taiwan, she said it is in a very small village in the countryside near my city. I never heared about it ! (I bike regurarly through this small village) . But she showed me the information and after checking i noticed she was right. So in my own area, where i lived for 25 years, a whole new world opened up for me, brought to me by somebody from Taiwan !
It can also happens the other way round: Incidentally a guest is leaving my place in a much better "mental state" when arrived, as a result of some very serious conversations related to what is bothering the guest mind. On one occasion guest changed plans for future allready during the stay, and on another ocassion i recieved after a long time a "thank you" note, as the given advice seems to have worked well....
@Paul and @Emiel, Your stories are examples of how much beauty in Life we can find when we seek it out and be open to encountering it. This is my first post and I am getting ready to experience my first guests. Your stories are very encouraging and helpful.
Thank you, Knoxville, Tennessee
@Jill. I probably do not even have a button yet :).
Hey @Jill you have a button :) great place for you to land for your first post!
Best wishes for your first guests, I'm sure you'll have a great story to share after they stay.
Let us know how you get on :)
I love this and look forward to reading more stories! I don't have a specific story, per se, but I will say that hosting in general has made me feel really good about what I do so in a sense that has changed my outlook.
I have a friend who thinks I'm crazy to rent my room to strangers, thinks it's dangerous, and brings up often what an inconvenience it is to have random people in my house. Kind of a downer and it makes me question myself...
And then I read my reviews. And the notes left in my guest book. I do NOT want this to come across as pure bragging...but most of my guests don't simply leave good reviews, they RAVE about their stay and how amazing it was. I know a lot of other hosts in the CC have the same types of reviews! I say this because those reviews help give me a sense of purpose. I'm GOOD at this! And it may not be brain surgery or saving babies, but every time you can give someone a good experience I think the world becomes just a little bit better. Cheesy? Sure.
I have a humble home that is in no way luxurious or expensively styled, and my double bed and very old mattress can't be the most comfortable but people still love to stay here. I take the time to make sure there are plenty of personal touches and I guess that makes people feel good. And what could be better than making someone's day end a little better than it started?
Wonderful response @Suzanne so great that you get a sense of purpose from hosting and that you're good at it! And totally agree the world becomes a better place from positive guest/host experiences, and a day ending better than it starts...so great :)
I'd love to see your guest book, I'm sure those messages are so lovely and personal.
I guess I'm in a similar situation as @Suzanne
Nothing life-changing........but Henry and I feel that hosting has made our life more interesting and meaningful. We feel that we are paying it forward in our own way, and it's a win-win for everyone. For many of our exchange student guests, it is their first time in Asia and we are glad that we can provide them with a clean, safe, affordable place they can comfortably call "home" for the 1~4 months they are in Seoul :-)
Sounds wonderful @Jessica & Henry
My mum hosted international students when I was a child, and maybe this is where my love for hosting came from! She is still great friends with some of her “students” who now have big families of their own, well over 30 years later and still come back to visit!
Everything you do for them has a wide-reaching impact :)
Henry and I stay in touch with many of our former guests..... we like hearing about how they are doing in school and whenever they cook Korean food or go to a Korean resturant, they like to send us a picture.
I hope we can be like your mother 30 years from now :-)
Great post @Paul. Funnily enough, there is a similar one that has also just been posted: https://community.withairbnb.com/t5/Hosting/When-hosting-is-a-growth-giving-experience/m-p/858861#M2....
Like @Suzanne, I don't have a specific story, but I guess what I love most about being a host is the trust it engenders, both ways. Like Suzanne, some of my friends think I'm crazy, but inviting complete strangers in my home reminds me that MOST people in the world are good and kind and decent, and I think that's a really important thing for us to remember. So, Paul, I would say hosting in general has changed my perspective and offers a beautiful counterbalance to all the crazy things going on in the world.
Great @Kath I shall post over there too :)
Brilliant, so happy to hear hosting offers a beautiful counterbalance to all the crazy things in the world- fully agree!
I suppose there is nothing more personal than inviting a stranger to share our homes .
It’s these small experiences that we give to eachother that make the world a more positive place.
Nice topic, @Paul. Like some others, I can't say that any particular guest experience has been some kind of epiphany, but hosting has led me to be more relaxed (I know some hosts would say it stresses them out !) in terms of being somewhat of a control freak about my home. While it disturbs my sense of aesthetics to have guests' packages of food, or box of teabags on the kitchen counter, for instance, I know it's no big deal in the scheme of things, and have learned not to let it bother me. If they're accustomed to leaving the box of teabags on the counter at home, it would be petty of me to ask them to put it in the drawer just because I don't like the way it looks. Feels like this has made me a bit of a better person.
I can also be quite abrupt or sarcastic sometimes to the point of tactless, but I have a pretty thick skin and forget not everyone does. Many of my friends appreciate that about me- "You never have to worry about Sarah pussyfooting around an issue or wonder what she's thinking" but I'm aware I can sometimes hurt people's feelings without meaning to. Many times I'm totally joking, like I might say, "Oh, you better not eat that, you might get fat" to someone who's not even slightly fat, without realizing that they are worried about their weight, however silly that may be. Dealing with all these guests makes me think twice before I say something so it's either worded in a non-confrontational manner, or maybe doesn't really need to be said after all. And that spills over into my other relationships.
As I host a room in my home, I can honestly say I've learned so many interesting things from almost every one of my guests, from what they do for a living (some jobs I'd never really heard of), to information I never knew, to the places they've traveled, to very personal things they've shared, like a woman who told me her son was conceived by using a sperm bank because she'd just never had a relationship with a man who wanted kids, and what criteria she used to pick the sperm donor. One woman stayed at my place for a few days before moving over to a retreat center nearby to take a very unique course, and we met for lunch the day she flew out, where she told me all about how amazing the experience was. And guests seem to feel I'm safe to share personal stuff with, one guest even told me "I wouldn't normally tell a virtual stranger this, but you seem like someone who won't be judgemental." So that feels pretty good to know.