4 years ago I went on a business trip to San Francisco for my first start up. I did not want to stay in a hotel. More in a home and make local friends. I did that the year before in San Francisco via looking for a place to stay on Craig’s list. This time I saw the link to Airbnb twice on Craig’s list and then thought that that was far better than Craig’s list because you do no need to go for a viewing. My host was amazing the place was amazing. My host took me to a night club where I met her friends and another new arriving guest from her, who also was from London. Back home in London I already had guest from Gumtree at my flat while I was away and in the empty bedrooms which I had reserved for foster children once I get approved as a foster carer. One of those guests had a couple of month earlier stayed at one of the founders of Airbnb’s spare bedroom and had just the highest regards for this community of peer to peer rental exchange. When I placed my first Airbnb booking Airbnb offered $15 discount on my next booking with them if I make an ad with them, which I did. 3 month later I just have Airbnb guests in my flat. That was very distracting from building my start up. I spend a lot of time holidaying with my guests. Now I was the one taken them to clubs. It was an amazing time. We often ran out of space, so I build wooden loft beds in the rooms and put sofa beds under, that there was more flexibility. With that extra sleeping space available I got more and more interest from bigger groups. Once I got approved as a foster carer I rented a flat opposite and let the guests stay there. This has been going on now for a couple of years and the flats have changed as they are just rented. I have met thousands of inspiring people. I also hope to give some inspiration back. The bigger successful hosts work with professional cleaning companies. I still work with the local person who cleaned my flat before I was a host. The cleaning work was more than one person could do as it is not often, but can be on any of the 7 days of the week, so we found more locals to help. These are cleaners, but more important they are local and can let you in even when your flight is delayed. These are often mums who bring their children with them when they prepare the flat for you. The flats are made to fit a small family to a touring Brass band. The kitchen has big cooking pots and enough glasses and plates for everyone, if more people want to join the stay. The art in the flat is all from a local friend. I have worked and travelled at a number of places in the world. We just have one life and should choose the location we spend wisely. I love that feeling you have when you come back to a place you have been before when you are travelling. You will always remember the area where you have stayed and get a bit attached to it. I have a number of guests who call my flats their London home and when they come back and I do not rent that flat anymore then at least they would like to stay close by. This area of London where my flats are is very special and I am proud of being able to call it my base. I would like to share this amazing area with you and will it forever stay in your memory.
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