This morning, Oliver jumped on a trampoline with his two new friends, both of whom only spoke a little English. They ran from the trampoline, to the kitchen to grab a piece a fruit, to the house, and back out under a coconut tree. I watched the game of tag as I sipped on a cup of coffee, sharing stories with the woman who owns the place, who happens to be from Germany, and another visitor, who oddly enough is from Kirkwood. Ariane made us eggs and we ate homemade bread drizzled with honey she bought from a local bee keeper. One of the boys was just sleeping over, so his dad came to pick him up, and he joined our conversation. Oliver was having so much fun, as was I, so we didn’t leave our place until it was time to find lunch. This is the type of experience you get from Airbnb all for $45.00 a night (which is about half of the price of the hotels I was pricing).
The room Oliver and I are sharing is a cement bungalow of sorts with a thatched roof made out of palm leaves. It’s very much like sleeping outside. We hear all the noises of the town – music, birds, dogs barking, roosters early in the morning, and we sleep under a mosquito net. We have a shared outdoor kitchen and a private bathroom, but neither are attached to our room – they are both just outside our door. Our place is one of three rentable spaces on the property (one is a treehouse). Ariane also has her own house and a separate kitchen where everyone meets in the morning for breakfast.
As Oliver and I were invited to join others at the beach today, though we didn’t go, I was happy that airbnb turned out to be exactly what I expected it to me – a way to unite travelers, all the while saving money on lofty hotel prices.