I’ve long been a fan of homesharing upstarts Airbnb. Since 2010, I’ve been renting my place out to fabulous people—packs of Mormon girls from Florida, film students from Korea, and gap year couples from Australia—whenever I go out of town for a spell. And for almost as long, I’ve booked my own one-of-a-kind getaways from Iceland to Budapest to upstate New York using the site. Win-win!
As a lifelong hippie, I immediately appreciated the business’s founding premises of extending hospitality to those we don’t yet know, and a waste not/want not approach to space and resources. And as a lifelong Frugal Fannie, I also immediately appreciated the extra income I got from renting.
So you have to imagine I was pretty stoked to start writing for Airbnb recently. They’re growing like crazy, and wanted an extra hand to help publicize the many events they throw and shout their hosts’ stories from the rooftops.
Writing my first few pieces for the site was super fun and brought me back to a basic truth about what I do: attending events, talking with people, and then summarizing the experience in words is one of my very favorite kinds of writing. It’s one of my very favorite things to do, period!
In the past couple of years, my freelance work has taken many directions: narrative writing like this, copywriting for websites, editing papers and reports… I’ve liked it all, but my work with Airbnb has helped illuminate for me that I want to prioritize this kind of people-and-place-based work most of all. It’s entertaining, it’s educational, it’s tactile. And it’s often the easiest type of work I do; the writing and editing usually flows the smoothest. That probably says something in itself.
So thanks, Airbnb, for this breath of fresh editorial air. And thanks to all my fellow hosts—like Oliver, Hans, and Seamus—for being so darn friendly, and so very photogenic!