It was nearing the end of 2020. The lease to my apartment was coming to an end, and I truly didn’t want to renew. I had been house-hunting for a place to rent, and it seemed like rental inventory was at a standstill due to the pandemic. Time was winding down, I was getting stressed out, and almost as a joke, I said to my boyfriend… “What if we just put our stuff in storage and Airbnb it for a while?”
We kinda laughed and it seemed like a far-fetched, ridiculous idea, until it wasn’t.
I mean…why not…right??
We were teleworking for the indefinite future, and all we needed was a secure internet connection somewhere in the US. The more we thought about it, the more we realized…if we can’t go to restaurants and socialize and be around people, if we aren’t going to the office and really have no place to be…why not be somewhere else? We can be holed up in a house somewhere warmer, somewhere quieter, somewhere different!
So that’s what we did! When we packed up our apartment, crammed everything into a storage unit, and embarked on this Airbnb journey, which we have been on for almost 8 months now.
When we began, we really didn’t know what to expect. We knew we were super stressed after a really weird year. We knew we’d be giving up something that was certain—an actual fixed address—for something that was uncertain. We knew we’d be taking things a month at a time, looking for homes that fit our price range each month, and hoping that whatever place that we chose checked off all the boxes on our house wish list.
And we knew that all we really wanted was peace.
We were in the midst of a pandemic which was super strange and scary, and we decided to give up our lease, which was so weird and terrifying. We were going to be staying in places we weren’t too familiar with, after almost a year of being in lock-down mode, after dealing with a really heightened state of racial tensions and after a bizarre election cycle. We were venturing to another state with different COVID policies and possibly different feelings towards us for many reasons, primarily being racial and political.
And to top it all off, after spending a year dealing with a horrible neighbor, we just craved calm.
The first monthly home we selected on Airbnb was an adorable trendy farmhouse bungalow in Garner, NC. Garner is a suburb located only a few short minutes from downtown Raleigh and it boasted of all shopping and dining conveniences.
The home had three bedrooms and two bathrooms, it had been completely renovated and looked like something that would be featured on an HGTV show. It also came with a basketball hoop and fire pit—more ways to decompress. It was in a slightly warmer climate being four hours south. It looked so peaceful and cute, and it seemed like the change of scenery that we needed. It looked like the perfect place to hunker down and work for a month while we remained in lockdown.
Did the home show as well as the pics…
When you book a place online, a certain excitement builds, right along with all types of expectations. And you truly hope that the place lives up to the expectations that you have built up in your mind. It’s one thing to book for a long weekend or a few days. But we were going to be there for a month, and we had no place to go if this home sucked. So we truly hoped that the home was exactly as the listing described.
When we pulled into the driveway and parked in the carport, we got kinda excited. We walked into the home, and we were so pleasantly surprised! You never know if pictures on the web prove to be accurate once you arrive at the property, but in this case, the home definitely lived up to the pictures.
The open floor plan, the adorable touches, the perfect décor and furnishings…and the brand new modern bathrooms, the nice workspace, and the super clean bedrooms…it was just perfect.
There was an Aldi at the end of our street…we timed it and it was a 3-minute walk. We loved it!
What did we do while we were in Raleigh…
Well…it was December/January 2020, the world was still in the middle of the pandemic. There was no vaccine at this point. Lots of things were closed. Businesses truly suffered. And our personal feeling was that we were not doing indoor dining at that time. We were trying to just stick to grocery stores, Target occasionally, and a sporadic trip to Michaels or some store for crafts, puzzles, or other types of entertainment. So the few times we went out for entertainment, we walked around downtown Raleigh, we ventured to a couple of stores at the outlet mall, we found a whiskey bar that had firepits outside and went there a couple times. We socially distanced visited some relatives that lived in Durham, we visited a winery, we did an escape room, and we did lots of grub hub, curbside dining, cooking, and puzzles. And we also took lots of walks around the neighborhood, especially to said Aldi at the end of the street.
All in all, we truly loved this home. It was exactly what we needed at the time that we needed it. We did a lot of decompressing, we watched tv (ummm Bridgerton anyone!?), and we wrote. I discovered my interest in making beaded jewelry, I wrote in my gratitude journal, and quite honestly, I stared out of the huge floor to ceiling windows quite a bit. This was the most perfect home to kick off our journey!
Here are a few other pics of our Garner bungalow:
Could you see yourself doing something like this? Would you try it? If so, where would you start?