What I Learned From Living in an Airbnb For 3 Months
Well, I know when it comes to my living situation, it’s kind of confusing. I feel like I talk about it all the time (read: too much), but then I’ll be grabbing coffee with someone and they’re like, “So, where do you live now?!” Haha.
The short version is: I moved back to Houston for school, and around that same time, my family began renovating a house near town. It wouldn’t be ready by August, so I needed a short lease at an apartment. I got that short lease at an apartment, moved out before New Years, but the house was sadly not ready. If you’ve watched as much HGTV as me, then you know how crazy and unpredictable house renovations can be! Picture a Chip and Jo house that they would buy to renovate….now make that house 75-80 years older and significantly in need of some extra love. That’s my house! So I needed a place for a couple more months and getting an Airbnb was a much better option than a long-stay hotel or another apartment lease.
And I. have. LOVED. It.
I felt really discouraged the past couple years, not feeling like I had a permanent home. I’m sure some of you who have just transitioned into college feel the same way. Some of us lived in the same home for 17 or 18 years only to one day move into what felt like a cement block where you couldn’t even burn candles to make it feel more homey. Then you go home for the summer and your room becomes your childhood room, and suddenly you hate the posters on your wall and the color of your bedspread. It’s just weird, and it’s a tough period of adjustment.
Living in this Airbnb taught me that a home really isn’t a physical being. It’s not a proper noun you assign to one place in your life and one place only. Even though the plates and cups weren’t mine and the pantry still had snacks in it from the former renters, this place was home for me for a few months. Just like my dad’s house is home. And the home I grew up in is home. And the house I’m moving into is home. Home is where I am. Home is where I rest, where I enjoy slow mornings and a good cup of coffee. Home is where I go at the end of the day to recharge. It’s where I feel comfortable and safe. And now I know I can truly find that anywhere.
Above all, home to me means being with my people. (A.k.a. my family + Cam!!!) So, anywhere I can be where I’m with my loved ones – be it squished in a rented minivan on a family vacation or squeezed into a booth at our favorite sushi place – that’s where I feel at home!
Aside from all that home stuff, I really did love my specific Airbnb. I lived in a studio apartment above a detached garage. My living room bled into my living room, and while I didn’t have a stove or oven, I got really creative with my microwave and was pretty great at cooking a meal on hot plates. Thinking I was only going to be there for a month, my blender, coffee-maker, all my jewelry, and 80% of my clothes and shoes were packed away in storage, but I had more than I needed.
The retired husband and wife who owned the house were some of the nicest people I’d met, and it was so nice to see them every day as I came in and out. (And little Gracie, their pup!)
I got the chance to be in a neighborhood I’ve always adored, and living like a true local was so fun for me. I ran to my favorite coffee shop, wandered around a magical bookstore in my free afternoons, and could drive two minutes for yoga class or a dinner with a friend. I definitely am more likely to travel using Airbnb now in other cities and states! I have a list of places in the US I’d like to go, and I’d love to experience those places as a local who grabs coffee on the go, eats at restaurants with locally sourced foods, and tries out a Pilates or painting class just down the road from where I’m staying.
Another thing I took away from living the Airbnb life, was –
I have way too much stuff.
We, as humans, have too much stuff.
I lived simply. I brought a suitcase with a couple workout outfits, nice outfits, and “class” outfits. I had my two favorite big sleep t-shirts and one coffee mug. The only thing I brought to add to the room was my record player. (Because I love a little Bon Iver in the morning.)
It was so nice.
So nice that I’ve been researching tiny houses and trying to convince Cameron that our first house should be a little studio. Heehee 🙂
Needless to say, when I move into my new place, I’m gonna seriouslyyyyy consider each and every item I unpack. Do I really need 7 gray tees? A pack of multi-colored binder clips? 14 slightly similar gold bracelets? I’m pretty excited to declutter and simplify. (Also, not sharing the official day I’m moving with ya’ll. You’re just gonna have to keep your eye on Instagram and be surprised!)
I’m gonna miss watching the sunsets from my rooftop view, and don’t even get me started on how much I’m going to miss little Gracie!
On to the next bachelorette pad.