My name is Cate, and I live in beautiful Madison, CT, where we watch the tides change and the ospreys nest in the marshes of Hammonasset. It's about 20 miles from New Haven, where I moved in order to return to grad school at Yale a few years ago.
I am a former hi-tech business executive who took way too many years off to raise my kids to go back to what I did before. Earlier in my "time off" when the kids were younger, I was a volunteer EMT, an emergency room tech and a middle school history teacher -- all things I could do with the girls' schedules -- and still am a very active volunteer in the arts and education, and with the homeless. These days I may still be a full-time mom, but I'm also branching out: I'm a part-time geek, working at the Apple store and helping people learn to use and love their technology. I also take private watercolor classes weekly and keep my creativity alive by making "art quilts" -- sometimes via improvisation, sometimes collaged and stitched, sometimes mixed with other media. Along with my partner and girls we love to play tennis, go hiking and practice yoga. I love the fact that life has slowed down so we can savor it more. We don't travel that often, but our goal is to start to take short trips every few months to places we all want to discover. We've done two trips so far with Airbnb, and it's been interesting to be on the guest side of the equation. It's an entirely different learning curve, and I'm learning to ask good questions and find great hosts.
When I say "guest side of the equation" I mean this: I was a regular airbnb host for quite a while in New Haven and absolutely LOVED the experience: the chance to meet interesting and open people from all over the world, the opportunity to help others feel safe and comfortable in New Haven and help each guest individually maximize their experience, whatever brought them to town. It was very enriching for me, and I discovered an entirely new side of myself; my longer-term goal is now to run some sort of bed & breakfast but use the Airbnb model to do so. My partner and I are looking for a new place where we can make that happen.
I love Airbnb as both a concept for the sharing economy and as a company. They have always provided me with excellent support as a host -- everything from the professional photography they provided for free to the structure and processes that they continually improve -- mechanisms that allowed me to manage this venture as a highly effective and efficient business that provided both the guests and hosts with a reassuring and easy-to-use system. What's more, they are always there to help with all sorts of unexpected situations.
As guests, we are very quiet people. Matt gets up early to run every day (here, he goes to Hammonasset beach -- often he takes our yellow lab Snickers with him.) We go to bed early and love to read when we're not out exploring. We don't need TV. Internet connectivity is nice to have but even that's optional. We like to explore when we are in a new area, so when we're home, it's either to plan the next venture, eat, rest/read or sleep! If you allow dogs, we would love to bring Snickers. She is from therapy dog stock, and is a therapy dog in training, and you will see in my reviews that she is a gentle, exceedingly well-trained dog who is a delight to have around.