We have rediscovered the joy of meeting a new generation of people from around the world.
To put it in context we have to do Airbnb to help make ends meet, but when we were first married with young kids we used to host foreign exchange students and our kids (now grown up) benefiited (I think) enormously from meeting people from other cultures.
Now that we are older we ourselves are meeting the international "next generation", and it's an eye-opener. They are like we were, but instead of fearing nuclear Armageddon as we were in the 1980s they are worried about climate change and global stuff.
We are meeting the nicest people on Airbnb. How about you?
@Kevin1322 I have also had lovely guests. Never had the issues many hosts have with guests who haven't read the listing info and arrive expecting something other than what is clearly offered.
They have also all been quite interesting folks- everyone has had some fascinating life story, and as I host in my home, we've had many a conversation over coffee or a bottle of wine.
Hosting has helped me somewhat overcome my "control freak" tendencies, which has served me well in other aspects of life, i.e. picking and choosing what I allow to stress me out. I've become less stressed in general. As an example, I prefer my kitchen counters to be mostly clear- I don't like seeing groceries left out, it offends my sense of aethetics. But guests often leave a small pile of non-perishable items on the counter. This is not worth speaking to a guest about unless they are just being messy in the kitchen, which none have been- it's nit-picky. So I've learned to turn a blind eye to it.
I think hosting can teach us to be more tolerant and understanding of the fact that just because someone does things differently than we would, there isn't anything wrong or unacceptable about it.
@Sarah977 most of ours are hikers, and it's been really nice to meet people with a different outlook, Mrs Kev and I are bikers, we originally thought we would get a lot of like minded bikers, as we have a secure garage which is always No1 priority for bikers, but we are literally yards from a hiking trail and I'm staggered at the variety and all walks of life we have had the pleasure of hosting. And almost all have been lovely. We'd have had them as house guests for free LOL.
Edited to add... this is why we are poor, but it's too late now, we haven't got a DeLorian to go back to the 80s and have another go, so what the heck ;)
@Kevin1322 I'm not getting rich either, and don't expect to with the city property taxes being very, very high in a small university community and the house is in a desired neighborhood with prime location....thus the reason behind the city gouging us in taxes. But we also put in 10K worth of necessary upgrades in a 50-year old home that were absolutely critical. I don't see paying that off for another year or so because the city is primarily an autumn weekend destination. In the winter, very few people want to go to Iowa, USA! We'll close it up until May when the snow thaws.
@Rosalind41 Yes, most of my guests have been people I quite enjoyed hanging out with. I'm not exactly "in the house"- I live in the tropics- doors and windows are always open when I'm home, the dining table is on the outside covered terrace, and my property is a tropical jungle- it's not like places where people are cooped up inside because of inclement weather or because it's an apartment with no yard. People live outside here as much as they live inside.
Guests share my kitchen and the outside terrace area. Of course my bedroom is private, I have my own bathroom so don't share that with guests, and guests don't use my living room, although it would be fine with me if they wanted to sit and watch a movie there. I also have a small workshop building in the corner of the property where I do my sewing work.
And I've never had the kind of guests who just hang out in shared spaces all day- they are normally out and about in town or the beach, and when they're here, they're relaxing in their room reading, napping, online, etc. We cross paths and connect when they come down to use the kitchen, if I happen to be there, too, or sometimes they like to sit at the outside table to do online stuff- the reception is better downstairs than upstairs where the guest quarters are.
A lot of the time I have no idea if the guests are actually home or not- they access their room via an outside staircase to a balcony (which my bedroom opens onto as well) so if I'm busy, I often don't hear them go out or come in.
@Kevin1322 Bikers for hikers, love it. A friend once dragged me to a Hell's Angels weekend camp-out festival. Aside from the decibel level of the Harleys, I was amazed at how much like a hippie festival it was.
Craft and food booths, good music, quiet areas with noise restrictions for families, well self-policed, everyone just there to have a nice time and nothing scary or out-of-line.
@Emilia42 we really *need* the money ;)
I once went on a course related to my work, which we had to pay for ourselves and attend in our own time, it was 300 miles from home, at the end of the day we were handed a feedback questionnaire, the last question "What have you gained from your course today"...
I wrote "this blue pen" and pocketed it.
I thought you'd like that :)
@Kevin1322 I echo your thoughts, & those of @Sarah977 . I travelled the world, when I had a well paid (foreign) husband, now that he's legged it, Airbnb helps pay the bills. And give me something enjoyable to do, with just a bit of challenge - not too much, too old & weary & battle scared for that! And I'd hate to have to go back to work, after years of being a housewife & world traveller, it would all be too much of a strain. (And I wouldn't want to leave his lordship, the border collie!) So, earning by pottering around the house suits me fine! I no longer have the money, nor the inclination to travel, so now the world comes to me! Like you, Kevin, I host a lot of walkers, in my case cos I'm near the Lake District, and the Cumbrian coast path. I climbed most of the Lake District mountains in my younger days, so it's good to relive them thru the tales of others. And offer advice! I host cyclists too, being 2 miles from the start of the cycling Coast to Coast route. And walkers & other outdoorsy folk tend to be nice people, I find, generally grateful & undemanding. I often think we are lucky in the UK: we generally get good guests - the horror stories of guests with a bad attitude seem to come mainly from American hosts. I've hosted a few bikers - an American couple, an Australian, a South African living in Southampton, a Polish lady up from London, & a German living in London, who was my nicest guest ever!
Sometimes, I think @Kevin1322 , if I didn't do Airbnb, I'd go crazy! I'd be horrendously socially isolated, without these interesting folk coming & going.... I've lived here 24 years, & the locals are a no go zone -Airbnb connects me with 'normal' people.... with interesting tales to tell. (Mind you, end of August, I was sufferring overload... Getting second wind now, now bookings are slowing down.) In a few days I'm hosting an Australian living in Africa, who is staying 1 night between walking the 95 mile West Highland Way, & the 182 mile Coast to Coast! Now there could be a conversation! But I expect he'll just want to sleep!