G’day, Airbnb friends,
I’m an Indian Australian based in a small mining town in Western Australia. I’ve been an Airbnb guest for quite some time now, and I’m probably one of the few guests who is a part of the online community.
I work full time in the port industry, and the rest of my time is spent chasing butterflies and scaling make-believe mountains with my two rambunctious kids, aged 5 and 3. My wife is a stay-at-home mum, and between the both of us, we live a fairly busy yet pleasurable life, managing our household and raising our kids.
I paint this picture to give you an insight into how my daily life looks like. Not much different from any average bloke, I’d imagine. And yet, despite all this busyness, I dared to pursue a passion that lay buried inside of me for over two decades now - of writing and self-publishing a book.
After years of dogged pursuit and relentless efforts, I’m proud to announce that my debut travel memoir ‘Red Earth Diaries’ is no longer a dream but rather a living reality – the book has just been released on 08 Jul. 21.
When my wife, Ambika, and I migrated to Australia in 2014, we decided to backpack across Australia instead of settling down straight away like all other migrants. We set a target of two months or ten thousand dollars. We’d decided to pull the pin as soon we crossed either of these milestones and then focused on settling down. Red Earth Diaries encompasses our journey in this peculiar land, and although it is primarily a travel memoir, it is also a migrant’s journal, a delve into Australian history, and a book aimed to inspire people to chase their dreams.
How Airbnb played a role
Cost of travel was the most significant factor when we chalked out our itinerary, and Airbnb proved to be Godsend. However, this was not the only drawcard for us to use the platform. Having lived in ABB accommodation during our honeymoon trip in Sri Lanka on one occasion (Read the post on ABB community which refers to that trip here), we were looking forward to interacting with locals and understanding the ethos of the Australian lifestyle. Australia would eventually be our home, and we did not want to settle down with preconceived or prejudiced notions about the country or its people.
Our experiences during the entire trip were immensely gratifying, and we were left richer with all of our interactions with the hosts that we stayed with.
In all, we stayed in ten different ABBs during our trip, and the book includes stories of all our ABB hosts, some of whom have graciously agreed to share their identities. In a very subtle way, the book promotes the ABB philosophy of sharing homes and, in turn, creating memorable experiences and lifelong friends - an ideology that resonates strongly with me.
One of the very first ABB Hosts proved to be a fantastic ambassador and imbibed all the true qualities of an Australian. Helen threw us an impromptu BBQ dinner one night in a bid to introduce us to one of Australia’s traditions – a warm gesture by any measure, especially when you consider that we were total strangers until we landed up at her doorstep.
I can confidently say that the interaction with our hosts in those initial two months - along with the travel experiences - is what gave us an understanding of Australian culture and a holistic overview of its citizens.
We have always loved being a part of the Airbnb community. Still, after the Australian trip and the positive influence it has had on us, I consider myself an ambassador of this unique platform. If a non-user were to ask me what the essence of Airbnb is, I’d say this to him: “Airbnb is a homestay booking portal which opens up a whole new world of possibilities when you travel. The range of accommodation options and the cost savings, however, is but one of its benefits. The biggest reward of using this platform is that a visitor gets to immerse himself into the local culture, interact with his host, and as in most cases, gain a friend despite all the cultural and linguistic barriers.”
Red Earth Diaries is currently available online on all major online bookstores in eBook and paperback format. I would, however, love to offer the book to all of the ABB community members free of charge as a gesture of gratitude for all of the wonderful experiences I’ve had with ABB. As a first-time author, I am keen to get as many reviews as possible, and I’d appreciate it if you can consider sharing your feedback once you have read the book.
If you would love a copy, please message (DM) me directly, and I can send you a copy in any format you’d prefer - PDF, ePub or kindle.
I’m super excited to see how my author journey will unfold, and I look forward to sharing my experiences within this community.
Stay safe and stay blessed.
just read your story. it's lovely. I'm an airbnb host in Johannesburg, South Africa and my daughter lives in Perth. Australia is a beautiful country. I'd love to read your book. would a pdf copy be ok for you? I'm intrigued with your surname. it is a very portuguese name, do you speak the language? if you ever visit South, would be delighted to meet you.
Best wishes and a lot of success for you and your family
Hey @Filomena62 ,
Thank you so much for your kind words, and for expressing your interest in reading my book. Can you please DM me your email so I can send the book across to you? The book has just notched the No.1 spot on Amazon.com in three categories by the way. Stoked, as we Aussies would say.
My name does sound anything but Indian, doesn't it? You are right in saying that it has some Portuguese connections. My ancestors hail from Mangalore in the south western state of Karnataka, a sleepy coastal city that neighbours Goa, an erstwhile Portuguese settlement. My ancestors are probably a few of the Indians who embraced the Christian faith, and along with it the anglicised names. Incidentally, my mum's name is Philomena too 😉
I hope to return to India and trace my genealogy someday. It will be an interesting journey back in time, I'm sure.
@Jason1470 what an incredible, inspiring journey. I'm thrilled you shared it with the CC, and I'm curious to see what your peers have to say, both in Australia and the rest of the world, so forgive for tagging a few of them here: @Emiel1 @Melodie-And-John0 @Sarah977 @Jessica-and-Henry0 @Yuan100 @Helen427 @Cathie19 @Clara116 @Laura2484 @Ann72 @Nutth0 @J-Renato0 @Trudie7 @Miloud0
Also, is it true @Robin4 that you've already own the book?
Sending out love to Hosts
Yes Nick, in the course of conversation with @Jason1470 here on CC messaging it came up that I had also published a book about 14 years ago, and Jason was keen to not just find out how it went but also get some feedback on 'Red Earth Diaries' so he sent me a PDF copy which is wonderful reading.
I pick it up when I need a lift, as an Aussie it makes you feel so da*n good that a couple from India at the peak of their careers, Jason was a merchant ships captain, and Ambika was a senior sales manager for India's largest newspaper should throw it all in for the red dirt of Australia and successfully make themselves a new home here.
Jason said, "The central message of the book is for everyone to chase their dreams - however distant and impossible they may seem." .........and he and Ambika have done just that and now become Australian citizens.
I hope Jason won't mind if I give him a plug here via his web page.........
Hey @Robin4 ,
Thanks so much for your kind words of appreciation. Coming from a fellow author and an Australian who has grown up here, this really means a lot to me. The book is but a medium for me to shake people out of their reverie and tell them to dream the wildest dream possible, and to urge them to pursue those dreams relentlessly. After having achieved No.1 status on Amazon today, I finally feel a sense of peace knowing I have achieved what I had set out to achieve three years ago when I first put pen to paper.
It's true: The Sky is not the limit ... We are!
@Nick, Robin is being too modest. I have read snippets of his book and it is extremely well written. I believe his book too had achieved a good level of recognition when it was published. @Robin4 sorry for dobbing ya' 😉
Hey @Nick ,
Thanks so much for the shout out. I had read something a long time back that has stuck with me forever: "If you are moved to praise, shout from the rooftop; if you are tempted to criticize, bite on your tongue."
Most of my ABB experiences have been uplifting and rewarding, and I have always got a lot more from my hosts than I could have ever given back to them. I want the world to know that there is a new way to travel, to make friends and to create colourful memories. In the insular world that we live in, where we seem more and more disconnected from people around us, homestay living provides the opportunity to bond, to seek friendship and to immerse in different cultures. If not for our interactions with the hosts during our initiation trip, I doubt we would have assimilated as easily as we did after the trip.
I hope my book is able to convey this message across to the reader in a subtle way.
I can only thank you and the ABB community for doing such a fantastic job with it all.
I look forward to reading Jason's journey in the next few days. It is always delightful to hear one's life stories which are uplifting and inspiring.
Yuan, you of course are aware The Harry Potter series of books was written by Joanne Rowlings (JK Rowlings), what you may, or may not know, she also writes under three other names......the most famous of which is......
Robert Galbraith - The cuckoo's calling and The Silkworm.
She also uses the names.....
Newt Scamander - Fantastic Beasts and where to find them.
Kennilworthy Whisp - Quidditch through the ages.
The last two pen names are related to characters in her Harry Potter series of books.
She is a far more prolific writer than you might think Yuan, and at 55 years of age she no doubt has a good few more books in her!