Today’s post is the third in a series from Boris and Anna, two Airbnb-ers crossing the USA on an electric bike. Nearly every Airbnb experience we’ve had has proven that Airbnb hosts will go to great lengths to make their guests feel comfortable and at home. Hosts not only provide lodging for the night, but also make themselves available for their guests on a very personal level. We’ve been overwhelmed by the kindness we’ve received from all corners of the Airbnb community.
Michelle, our host in Ann Arbor, Michigan, sat outside in the cold night waiting for us to pedal in. I had called earlier to inform her that we got delayed by the weather. “Oh no, are you guys OK? Are you cold? Do you need me to prepare some dinner for you?” she asked, concerned about two strangers she’d never met before. We arrived to her sporting a flashlight, an umbrella, and a concerned expression. “You guys must be exhausted!” There was nowhere better we could have come to than Michelle’s place.
She did everything in her power to warm us up after a cold night of riding. After a hot shower and some tea, we began to pay more notice to the unique features of the house – her husband’s artwork on the walls, the light fixtures, the furniture placement. It felt like home.
We woke the following morning to the smell of freshly fried bacon. A beautiful breakfast was waiting for us on the dining table, in a specially designated area by the large living room window. It was a thoughtfully contrived space, so guests could not only eat a delicious meal, but enjoy a view of the backyard while dining.
For Michelle, hosting is more than providing a comfortable space – it is trying to connect personally to her guests and to make their entire experience a well-rounded one.
It wasn’t only in Ann Arbor that we were graced with such generosity. Hosts everywhere have gone to great lengths to accommodate us as well. Biking enthusiasts Mike and Laurie, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, left us beautifully illustrated notes at night when we arrived late and again in the morning.
When we decided to stay for another day due to the rain, they couldn’t keep us in the room as it was going to be used by another Airbnb guest. No problem: “You can just have our room,” they decided. They quickly changed the sheets and set up a floor space for themselves elsewhere. We were struck once again that someone would be so generous to two strangers. We’ve been blessed to experience firsthand the lengths to which great Airbnb hosts go for their guests. Of course, there are good business reasons to be so hospitable, including maintaining a good reputation and establishing oneself in the Airbnb network. But we believe there’s something more to it. The level of sincere generosity we’ve experienced has convinced us that there’s something universal about the desire to be genuine, helpful, and accommodating. There’s a perfect Airbnb host in us all. Read Boris and Anna’s previous post, The Joy of Slow Travel, and their next post, What’s in It for the Hosts?