What Air BnB Taught Me About Humanity

Y’all! Today we have a guest post because all the things have happened in the last couple weeks, and I have nothing to give. So this is Courtney, who is super funny and has a story about Air Bnb, which is great because that is something I would never do because I value my safety and my innocence (stop laughing, Mother). You will see my commentary in italics, noted Editor’s Note. So, without further ado, here she is!

I’m always a little late to the party. Trend-wise, anyway. So, it should come as no surprise that I only recently used Airbnb for the first time.

My husband and I were planning a vacation with friends who had rented through the website before. They suggested it for this trip. I was skeptical, but when we found ourselves a few weeks out from our scheduled departure and unable to find an available hotel suite within a 20-mile radius of the city Airbnb sounded like the best remaining option (followed closely by camping in tents with a hostel a distant third).

Editor’s Note: I feel like Courtney gets me on a pretty deep level. I’d rather not travel than sleep in a bag in the outdoors. Also, she clearly procrastinates in booking stuff, which I do as well. We will be good friends.

I was terrified.

Editor’s Note: As well you should be.

The listing we found was for a two-bedroom basement with a private entrance. The pictures showed a clean, roomy space with leather furniture and pretty bedding. The home was located at the top of a hill in a notoriously picturesque suburb. It came with a big-screen TV, a pool table, and a wall of windows affording an autumnal, wooded view.

But no amount of pictures could replace the images conjured in my mind the minute I read the word “basement.”

It sounded like the perfect place for a quadruple homicide. Our screams would be muffled by the thick-leaved trees.

Editor’s Note: Not as long as it rubs the lotion on the skin.  

We booked the place, and honestly, by the time we arrived, I was only slightly nervous; after we met the homeowners and took a look around the place, I really never gave the murder theory another thought. It was a perfectly fine stay. Great fun was had. No blood was shed.

Editor’s Note: That was kind of anticlimactic, wasn’t it?

What I have thought about? Why over 1.5 million people across the world are offering their homes for rent to perfect strangers. Why even more millions are renting those homes, safety be damned.

Sure, there’s the Bottom Line. Homeowners make some extra cash; renters save a few bucks. It enhances the mysterious beauty of travel. It’s logical, really, that staying in a local’s home would only serve to spur on our Wanderlust.

But I don’t think anyone would maintain that being slaughtered in your sleep by a deranged renter is worth the benefit of a fun adventure or a slightly fatter wallet.

Editor’s Note: Perhaps not, but apparently POTENTIALLY being slaughtered in your sleep by a deranged renter is worth the fat wallet.

What Airbnb taught me is that millions of us are deeming the risk to be worth the benefit because we don’t perceive it as a risk at all.

I mean, maybe we do in the same way that we know the risks of boarding an airplane or hopping into a taxi. But we go anyway. And really, staying in a hotel may feel safer, but it’s actually just staying in a much bigger place that some stranger owns, with way more strangers. So, we put the horror film scenes and the evening news stories out of our minds and we choose to move forward, holding tightly to the thread of humanity that stitches us together.

We recognize that fear, unchecked, may preserve life but not the kind of life we want.

We choose to live a life informed by quiet hope and understated unity, because, really, that’s the only way to live.

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Courtney lives and writes in her native state of Arkansas where she works as a stay-at-home mom and wife.  She enjoys donuts, philosophy, and the smell of old books.

You can go giggle at with her by clicking here. Don’t be liking her more than me, though, ok? That can’t be how this thing works.


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  1. I didn’t know I was so reckless and daring!! 😉 stayed at a camp site, a hostel, and an Air B&B on vacation last year.
    the Air B&B experience is definitely one I need to write up before it leaves my memory.
    ps – love the commentary!

      • Courtney on February 3, 2016 at 3:33 pm
      • Reply

      Brooke, I would call you admirably adventurous. Definitely not reckless. 😉 I’m interested in the Air B&B experience, but I also want to hear about your time in a hostel! Let me know when you write about it.

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