A Mutual Schooling

IMG_3198“People travel to Paris for two weeks and think it gives them the authority to justify their perceptions of all French people based on their experiences with Parisians, and that is such a narrow way to see the world. It would be like traveling to New York City and thinking you can speak for all Americans based on the melting pot of people and perspectives you encounter there. It’s simply not the case.” Continue reading

Airbnb in Beta

photo (3)I live in Seattle, the picturesque city best known for grunge rock of the ’90s and the movie Sleepless in Seattle, filmed on quaint Lake Union, shown here. It’s also home to the headquarters of Microsoft, Starbucks, Costco, Nordstrom, and Amazon—just to name a few. More than half of my friends work for Amazon. Lately, I’ve started to notice how they sound and I feel when they talk about their company. Continue reading

Little Things

photo (24)“I don’t know where the idea came from, but I asked whether she used a good luck totem when she was playing.”

We are both writers, and as we sipped our tea in the late hours of morning, we talked about our love of people and the craft of writing. We reveled in how, again and again, unexpected things appear and make magic out of nothing. Continue reading

Airbnb Tips for Hosting: The Social Animal

IMG_1778“We have never used AirB&B before so this will be a new experience for us, and, not being social people, we are concerned that we might need to ‘socialize’ with our hosts. That would be so not us!”

I received this message from a guest a few weeks ago and I have to admit, I appreciated her candor. In a perfect world, if I could add features to the Airbnb interface, I would add a personality portion where guests could state their social inclinations. Continue reading

Showing Up

photo (7)On Friday afternoon, as I sorted laundry—matching duvet covers to sheet sets and pairing taupe towels—I went over the details of who’d be arriving at my house that day. I was out of practice. A family friend (and Microsoft intern) had left earlier in the week after a three-month stay. My other guest, a woman from Boston who’d interned at a financial company, had checked out that morning on her last day of work. She’d been with me since mid-June. Continue reading

Airbnb Hosting Tips: The Coffee Conundrum

photo (23)One of the struggles I experienced when I first started hosting on Airbnb was trying to anticipate things my guests would want and need. For example, I didn’t own a microwave. I’m a gal who grew up with a mother who raised me on a steady diet of warnings about possible radiation from cell phones and microwaves—and guilt trips about not slowing down enough to heat something up on the stovetop. Continue reading