So Scott, tell me about yourself?:
Hello fellow Airbnb travelers and hosts. I'm a US Expat from San Francisco, California, who has been living in Barcelona, Spain since August of 2010. I worked in online advertising for the last 10 years in San Francisco, New York, and London, but now I'm pursuing my passion for fashion design here in sunny Barcelona. My interests include international travel (I recently completed a 4 months trip through Asia, Southeast Asia, and South Africa), music (90's hip-hop, soulful house, indie-rock/electro, and Bossanova on Sunday mornings), cruising around cities by bicycle (I bicycled from Barcelona to Lljubjana, Slovenia in August of 2012), trying new foods (every culture has something tasty), and the world of art and fashion.
Thanks for sharing, Scott. So why Airbnb?:
I enjoy using Airbnb both when I travel and when I host people in Barcelona. When traveling, I try to get the most authentic local experience that I can, and unless I have a friend living in the city of interest, Airbnb is the way to go. Airbnb gives me the opportunity to meet local people, see and experience how they live, and get recommendations that are not found in your average tour book. Hotels for me are stale and expensive, and they are usually located in the center of "touristville". I used to stay in hostels, but I feel like I'm getting a little too old to keep up with all the young partiers. Airbnb strikes the perfect balance of a comfortable place to stay, a more local experience, and the opportunity to build relationships with cool people in different cities across the world.
As a host, I use Airbnb because I am proud of Barcelona, the city I live in, and I would love to share my local version and vision of Barcelona with my friends and guests. If you aren't familiar, Barcelona is a very touristy city, notorious for pickpockets, tourist traps, traffic, and too many foreigners on bicycles. Often the first thought that comes to mind is Las Ramblas, but for those who know the city, this is probably the worst place to stay. As a host, I like to help my guests navigate around the tourist traps, and take advantage of what Barcelona truly has to offer. There are so many great local plazas, restaurants, and nightlife, and by hosting people in my neighborhood, I can give them a more local and authentic experience. Sure, I understand that there are people who want to stay in Las Ramblas, party all night long with other tourists, and pay too much for poor quality drinks. These guests are more than welcome to stay near Las Ramblas. Then there are those travelers who want to experience the more local or authentic Barcelona, and through Airbnb, these are the type of people who I want to host and meet.