I love to AirBnB when I travel. The nosy person in me is always curious about how people from other cultures live their daily life ever since I took a peek at the Paris apartment that looked similar to the one in the Telenovela. When we went to Europe last year, I managed to turn my cousins into AirBnB-er. We did the AirBnB Europe edition by staying in nine different apartments, from Germany to Spain. Staying in AirBnB apartments made us to:
1. Be a Parisian
I once was a Francophile, the strong attraction faded away after I saw the Eiffel Tower on a day light. It was a little meeh.. And even though I tried to emulate the French chic style, I am now aware, with my questionable fashion choices, it was a far-fetched dream. Over the years, I got rid of my Eiffel Tower necklace and poster, but the book, Lessons From Madame Chic, remained in the bookcase. Have you read it? It’s a fabulous read about an American student who stayed in a Parisian household and learned essential life lessons from them. She often described their apartment in the book. It made me want to stay in one. And we did (in Nice not Paris, but still!). And it was everything I imagined to be.
It was a quaint little apartment building with hydraulic elevator. The whole house oozed coziness. It had a tiny balcony! I finally got a chance to do something I had only seen on TV, to sit and have a delicious breakfast on the balcony. Even though, in my case, it lasted for only a few minutes because it was really cold and I was having a take-away coffee from McDonald.
2. Experience Dutch Practicality
The apartment we stayed in Berlin was, well, functional. Supporting minimalist furniture and decor, everything in the place was white except for the TV, the leather sofa+cushions and the curtain. The bedroom was almost like a hospital ward. But the view captured my heart, especially because it was during my favorite season, Autumn. From the living room windows, I could see the Berlin tower while the bedroom windows had a view of the neighborhood blocks. We sat in this living room for hours discussing random stuff while munching on chili pretzels. Gawd, I could use some chili pretzels right now.
Can’t remember whether this was a sunrise or a sunset. Nevertheless, the sky was gorgeous. Berlin apartment was the most sober one compared to the other places we stayed in but If I had to stay as a tenant, this would be my choice. Wait, maybe I am being bias here since I love Berlin a lot. Like a lot, a lot.
3. Be unassuming about Barcelona
“Looking from outside, this must be the cheapest apartment we paid for“, my cousin told me just before we were let in by the owner. We were standing in front of a small white building with a metal door sans window. There was an Indian barber shop, a laundry mat and a huge garage near by. Minutes later he had to eat his words, we were looking at an aesthetically decorated studio apartment, with its own window overlooking a tiny garden inside. There was a welcome gift of bottled wine and pastries, which we finished right after the owner left us alone. It was one awesome deal. The only weird thing about this place was that it didn’t have a bathroom door and the bathroom was right in front of the bed. What’s up with that?
^^ I am not joking about the Indian barber shop in Barcelona.
4. Stay in Zurich’s suburbs
There was only one reason why we chose to stay in the Zurich suburb, it was because we couldn’t afford otherwise. We dragged our luggage for a good half hour after the bus dropped us before we found the place. There was no lift so we had to lift the mega heavy luggage upstairs. Well the male cousin did it. Me? I cheered and yelled affirmations at him. It was a quirky apartment, filled with colors, knickknacks, drawing and postcards. I love houses with personality and this one clearly portrayed the owner, she was bubbly, very nice and helpful.
Zurich suburbs were not so bad, I should know, I stayed in two of it in a week’s time. It’s quiet and peaceful, too peaceful for someone like me who’s used to living in the concentrated jungle. Also, running to chase the only bus that’s scheduled once every 50 minutes was not my idea of sport.
I know I have asked this before and I really want to know, have you stayed in an AirBnB apartment before? Would you? Give it a try you guys, especially if you are on the budget, don’t mind hostels or nosy like me. If you have written about it, please drop the link in the comment below.