How being a homeshare host for the past eight years changed my life

in
Singapore
Level 10
693 Views

 

Wonderful friendships made throughout the years with my guests from all around the worldWonderful friendships made throughout the years with my guests from all around the world

 

Hello, friends

 

Some of you may know me from the community meet-up. I was welcomed to this online community with an open arm more than a year ago. For those who haven’t seen me around before, I am Yuan. I am like most of you guys here, passionate to host people from different parts of the world. I believe we all have good and bad stories to share throughout the years we’ve hosted or been a guest. However, I want to focus on the good ones. Why do I even bother with the other 0.1% of bad stories? 

 

I find myself sharing inspiring stories of my guests to my close friends over the past years. Some of my friends even met the guests, where we all gathered to eat, talk and laugh over a meal. Although I am not a good writer nor can I express my feeling well in words, I feel the need to share these stories. There are too many who are sceptical about sharing their homes or staying with strangers with many horror stories publicised in the media. 

 

But the ultimate reason for sharing the stories is how meeting these guests has transformed my personal journey - becoming a solo traveller, learning new cultures, gender identity to women’s empowerment. I thought a book would be the best way to put all these stories down. I was honestly struggling in the beginning but several years later I finally make this dream comes true.

 

My background

 

Growing up in the small city, Georgetown, Malaysia, I craved to explore the world at a very young age. I remember asking my dad to get me an Atlas book. Back then, we didn’t have much and I remember feeling bad to make him spend on the book. I treasured the Atlas book very much - it was my first encounter with the world. I started circling places where my favourite boyband lived, then the seven wonders of the world like the Bermuda Triangle, Stonehenge and Pyramid of Giza because I was intrigued by mystery encounters at these places. So, at one point, the page was filled with circles. No guessing, my favourite subject in school was Geography. 

 

When I was in high school, my parents brought us to countries like China, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Australia using guided group tours. They weren’t good with English nor directions. I hated to go on group tours because I felt like I did not have time to ‘absorb’ the culture of the country. We were given a short period at the attractions, not allowed to roam freely, and the tour guide brought us to some rip-off tourist shops so that they can earn commissions. The tour usually lasted less than a week with jam-packed itineraries. That was not exactly my idea of travelling. 

 

I started to have a breather from such ‘travelling’ during my university days when I got the chance to fly to Australia to meet my friends who were studying there. I truly enjoyed the road trips, the carefree itineraries but I was travelling with friends who were from my country and not meeting anyone beyond my circle of friends.

 

Coming from quite a conservative upbringing and environment, it is hard for me to do things freely without being questioned. I used to live my life conforming to the rest of my friends’ expectations. My wandering mind was locked.

 

And then in my late 20s, one decision changes how I perceived life, which is opening my home to strangers. I had friends who commented I was crazy to do that. But I persisted because, after the first year of hosting, I was hooked. The world was coming to me, and I was travelling through their rich, wonderful stories and teaching me to understand different cultures. My mind started to unlock, welcoming diverse ways of living. I had never felt so happy and fulfilled. My life inspiration came from these strangers who came to my home and gave me a gift of friendship. 

 

Key changes 

 

I started to do solo travelling. I didn’t dare to travel solo until I started hosting. Many people who came to my home travel solo. Travelling solo is liberating where it allows me to reassess how far I’ve come in my life and reminds me to be grateful that I have the opportunity to see the world. It is also the time for me to organise my thoughts for whatever issues I face back home.

 

While I did have the experience of staying with other people in the same house, it was still only with people from the culture I am familiar with. Opening my home to people around the world is a whole new experience. My tolerance level being tested and acceptance towards different quirks continue to grow. 

 

Growing up I did not have the opportunity to meet someone outside of my culture, not even during my working years. After hosting, I started to have friends from all around the world with different backgrounds. I learned to be non-judgemental towards a person’s background, country, or by their looks. 

 

The ultimate lesson is having faith in humanity. Living with different types of people has shown me kindness, respect, trust and empathy exist in this world. Deep and meaningful conversations lead to a better understanding of one another which is important in creating a healthy global community. 

 

Sharing my dream with you

 

Finally, my dream came true, I released ‘My Home, Our Stories’ on Amazon last month. If you’re interested to read in more detail, just drop me a DM. I will send you a free copy of ’My Home, Our Stories’ in PDF and ePub. 

 

This book is self-published and not sponsored by Airbnb. My goal is to share these stories on how we can welcome people into an environment we’ve created without prejudice and judgement. 

 

I’m no longer a host now, but it was a wonderful journey and the defining chapter of my life that will be forever be marked in this book. 

 

Stay well. 

 

Taking a refuge in Thailand now, and loving life every second, every minute of every dayTaking a refuge in Thailand now, and loving life every second, every minute of every day

 

❤️ Yuan

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22 Replies

Betreff: How being a homeshare host for the past eight years changed my life

in
Stuttgart, Germany
Host Advisory Board Member

So wonderful to read this!

Betreff: How being a homeshare host for the past eight years changed my life

in
Singapore
Level 10

Thank Till!! 🙂

Re: How being a homeshare host for the past eight years changed my life

Online Community Manager in
London, United Kingdom
Online Community Manager

Excellent read @Yuan100 thank you for sharing - I'll move this over to the Hosting board 😃


Month of Celebration is turning 5! How to celebrate with us

Re: How being a homeshare host for the past eight years changed my life

in
Singapore
Level 10

Thanks Nick!! Glad you enjoyed it!

Re: How being a homeshare host for the past eight years changed my life

in
Bordeaux, France
Host Advisory Board Member

Thanks @Yuan100 for your testimony. I am an "home sharing" host in France (Bordeaux) and a solo traveller too. Even if I am older than you, I recognise a part of myself in your story. Congratulations for your book.👏👏👏  I'd love to read it 😊

 

I wish you the best for the next chapter of your life,

 

 

Pascale

Re: How being a homeshare host for the past eight years changed my life

in
Singapore
Level 10

@Pascale144 Aww, much thanks!! We could all relate to these stories because most of us here are passionate hosts! You can send me a PM with your email. I will send it to you 😄 

 

Thank you so much for your good wish! 

 

Re: How being a homeshare host for the past eight years changed my life

Online Community Manager in
London, United Kingdom
Online Community Manager

Lovely post @Yuan100! Thank you for sharing this! 😊

Heb je vragen? Stel ze hier

We also have a Dutch-speaking community - Click here

Re: How being a homeshare host for the past eight years changed my life

in
Singapore
Level 10

Thanks @Quincy  !! 😄

Re: How being a homeshare host for the past eight years changed my life

in
Ruinen, Netherlands
Level 10

@Yuan100 What a great story to read. Even your lives pad is an adventures story to read. 

Groetjes Katja

Re: How being a homeshare host for the past eight years changed my life

in
Singapore
Level 10

Thank you @Katja202 !! Happy to hear you enjoyed reading it 😄

Re: How being a homeshare host for the past eight years changed my life

in
Huskisson, Australia
Level 10

@Yuan100 Great read of your short story, I  bet you have many stories that can tell with different experiences. I hope you are enjoying your stay in Thailand. Take care with the Covid bug lurking about.

Re: How being a homeshare host for the past eight years changed my life

in
Singapore
Level 10

@Laurelle3  Yes, so much to share, past 8 years of my life was colourful and interesting. Thank you. You keep well there too!!

Re: How being a homeshare host for the past eight years changed my life

in
Auckland, New Zealand
Level 10

Thanks @Yuan100 
It's wonderful to hear your positivity shine through.

Life is so short and precious , treasure those fond memories.

 

Re: How being a homeshare host for the past eight years changed my life

in
Singapore
Level 10

@Helen427  that's very true. When I re-read my book, it feels like I hosted them not too long ago. Hopefully, in the near future, I am able to resume this hosting life! Take care there xx

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