Abundant Hosts, Serendipitous Connections
Most folks who think of hosting on Airbnb love being in and of the world and thrive on interactions with others. It will not surprise me if researchers one day find a common thread among us all—the hospitality and generosity gene. We live for connection. It’s intangible, unexpected, and each time I connect with a guest in a genuine way, I feel like I’ve been given a gift.
I liken these serendipitous encounters to finding a fun prize at the bottom of my Cracker Jack box or reading the just-right message in a fortune cookie. Connection isn’t contrived, and in this zany world of virtual and in-person connects, you never know when it will find you.
Since my book came out in July, I have been fortunate to be interviewed for podcasts, meet other Airbnb authors in person at the Airbnb Open, and correspond with a northwest father who was simply wanting to keep a roof over his family and host in the most intentional, heartfelt way possible. I was tickled when an artist/host in the UK tagged me when she finished reading my book and again the other day when she debuted a new show. I high-fived her across the miles on Twitter.
Sometimes the connection your soul is seeking is not the person in front of you, it’s the stranger who finds you online.
One of my recent online soul-sister crushes is another Airbnb writer/editor/host hybrid—the elusive and anonymous hostess extraordinaire, The Abundant Host (TAH). Reading her writing is like sipping a cool glass of mountain spring water, “My definition of success is ‘freedom.’ I want to help people feel free to move around this world however they desire.” The clarity of her prose and soulfulness of her message hooks you and draws you in. If you’re a new host looking for resources, I encourage you to check out her toolkit.
Last Saturday, when I was Swedish Chef’ing my way through a juice concoction (sans nasally gibberish and mustache) I thought of TAH and some of her tips about generous hosting and guest impressions. I’d noticed my guest had been purchasing bottled juices from the local grocer. When she tossed her trash in the cupboard behind me, I asked her about her juicing lifestyle and if she juices at home. A novice, I crave tips and tricks.
Living near a remote mountain, taking few trips to the store, she told me that she juices mostly carrots and celery because they keep longer. She admired my bounty of ingredients as she watched me at the counter. I wasn’t accustomed to an audience and wondered if I should offer her some. For a moment, the stingy part of me thought about how I really wanted to make enough juice to have for breakfast the next day. Then the better, more abundant part of me overrode the frugal minx. After the fumbling of my awkward machinations over the Breville subsided, I offered her a frothy glass.
She loved my juice, and in thanks, offered to grab her laptop and read my astrology birth chart. I’d known she was a writer but not what kind of writing she specialized in. It turns out she’s an astrology writer who consults private clients. Suddenly, I was her client, one who was born at 10:12 on a Tuesday morning in the sweltering heat of August. Her charts confirmed some things I knew and made me ponder things I’d secretly suspected.
One glass of juice offered turned into a lively exchange I will remember for a long time. As I cleaned up the vegetable detritus strewn across my counters, I thought of how delightful it is to have these unexpected exchanges in my home. They consistently surprise me and shape me, and I am grateful to be here.
The astrologer/writer checked out this morning to catch a plane east. She’d started reading my book on Kindle during her stay and left a note informing me she’d email me some follow-up astrological information on why December 8th (mentioned in my book) is such a curse for me. I can’t wait to connect with her again.
Dear reader, I hope you’re out there encountering some of your own wonderful connections. And please, go check out The Abundant Host’s site. If you like reading me (astrology pun intended), you’ll like her.
Salud! [She says, raising her green juice glass to the air…]