I feel like I should have made this post a couple months ago, but…better late than never, right? You may have seen me mention Airbnb life in a few of my IG and blog posts, so here’s why.
“Let’s find some beautiful places and get lost together”
Towards the end of last year, as my apartment lease was coming to an end, I had a decision to make. I had to decide whether to renew my lease or find somewhere else to live. I really didn’t care for the complex I was living in, and finding a new place to rent was proving to be harder than I imagined. Because of COVID and its restrictions on landlords, rental home inventory in my area was pretty locked up. I didn’t want to move into another apartment, (I was moving from a bad experience with a neighbor and just did not want to be connected to another person). I wasn’t quite prepared to buy another property (I already have a condo that I rent out and am not looking to buy anything else right now), and my rental options were extremely limited for the Southern Maryland region. As time was winding down on my lease, the whole search was absolutely stressing me out.
In addition, we were around month 9 of this crazy pandemic, we were knee deep in an unreal election cycle, civil unrest was on an uptick, and I felt like I just needed an escape of some sort. Travel was essentially restricted so a vacation wasn’t really an option, nor was it a long-term solution.
One day, almost as a joke, I said “I should just pack up my stuff and Airbnb it until I’m over it.”
It seemed like a ridiculous idea…until it wasn’t. What does that even mean?? Airbnb it? What are you even talking about?? Airbnb isn’t even a verb!
After a few conversations with my boyfriend, and a lot of hypothetical what-ifs, we decided what the hell! We were both teleworking for the indefinite future, all we needed was an internet connection, and that connection did not HAVE to be in Southern Maryland.
We came up with a list of criteria for a rental home, we entered said set of criteria, and we searched until we were numb. We whittled down our list and tuned in on one home that piqued our interest. We had probably looked at that Airbnb listing a million times before we made our decision. We decided to go for it, and eventually we made our first monthly reservation. We didn’t really know what to expect. Could we live in a rental home for an entire month?? What if we hated it on day 1 and were stuck?? We have no place else to go!
The pictures looked adorable but, in this day of filters and angles, anything can be made to look amazing.
Once the reservation was made, it was time to execute our plan. For the last couple months of 2020, we debated logistics, we purged, stored, and packed all our possessions. We finished out our lease, and by January 1st, we were in our first Airbnb—an adorable modern bungalow right outside of Raleigh, NC.
When move day arrived, we pulled into the driveway well after dark. We were exhausted from cleaning out the apartment, packing up the car, visiting relatives dropping off random this and thats, doing our last-minute Maryland items, and then driving the four hours to North Carolina. We fumbled through the self-check-in, we unpacked the car, (dropping a bottle of red wine all over the driveway…sigh…), showered and went to bed. We barely found our pj’s and toothbrushes before we called it a night. But the next morning when we woke up, explored our new (temporary) home, and realized how much we loved the idea of what we’d done.
The home was exactly as the pictures portrayed. YAY! The décor was adorable, the modern furnishings were so chic, and the personal touches from the host were perfect. It was peaceful. The scenery was so calming. We felt relaxed and it was wonderful.
Anyone who has taken a staycation can probably relate. It doesn’t matter if you go down the street or to another country, there is just something therapeutic about being out of your home, your day-to-day routine, your normal space, and in a new environment. And after nine months of quarantine, and a year of an unpleasant neighbor, new scenery was so refreshing. Even if all we did was sit inside this home and work, cook, eat, and do normal every day things, we felt like a new peaceful space, and slightly warmer weather, would be just what the doctor ordered.
While it feels super weird to have no fixed address, and to not know where I will be living two months from now, somehow my nerves are less frazzled than they were living next to a neighbor that drove me insane, while constantly watching news that regurgitated the COVID/election/racial injustice cycle.
I’m not entirely sure how long I’ll be an Airbnb vagabond, but I’d love to take you all on this little journey with me. I can’t promise it will be super exciting, but I will share some homes, experiences, and lessons that I learn along the way. I’m three months and three homes into this experience, and it’s been a pretty interesting lifestyle thus far.
Have you ever thought of doing anything like this? If so, what would be your approach? What would you want to do? Where would you want to go?
Have questions, hit me up!