“Life is short, do the thing.”

LESSONS FROM the pandemic

Why do you want to live anywhere on Airbnb for a year, and what excites you most about the opportunity to live nomadically and potentially inform the future of the Airbnb product? (500 words)

“Life is short, do the thing.” COVID has taught us a lot but this is easily one of the most ubiquitous lessons. One I’ve certainly taken to heart as I complete this application from my Airbnb in Oaxaca, Mexico.
Like most people who will apply, travelling is one of my loves (this of course goes hand-in-hand with food being my love language). My parents took me on my first flight before I was a year old and I haven’t stopped since, living, working, and studying in half a dozen countries, visiting four continents so far, and picking up a few languages along the way. The last time my passport was renewed I requested extra pages for all the stamps from anticipated future trips. One of the best things about Airbnb is that it cultivates a richer, more authentic experience of the destination and its idiosyncrasies. As a current MSc International Development student, it would be invaluable to learn the true stories of the places I’ve researched, written about, and fallen in love with from afar like Bhutan and Costa Rica. As a creative with a growing list of projects, could there be a better inspiration than living in multiple countries, influenced by a cornucopia of cultures, and people from all walks of life?! There’s almost a year and a half of travelling to make up for and this initiative is the perfect way to do it!

The term “expat” likely produces the image of a white person in your head. One of the most exciting aspects of this programme is its potential to change and encourage travel for those who are so often underrepresented in the travel and digital nomad space, especially in traditional and social media, and even mediums like tourism advertisements. As a Black woman, it is so rare to see people who look like me having these adventures, that walking past a group of three other Black women in the Mexico City airport just a week ago, caused us all to grin and wave at each other in unspoken, but exuberant acknowledgement. Documenting the year would not be for just myself or Airbnb, but for everyone who has to search “country + racism/sexism/LGBTQ+/disability/etc,” before they travel; a confirmation that we deserve to explore the world as well. Actively including people from different backgrounds in the travel arena opens up a breadth of experiences often held as exclusive and “not for us.” It simultaneously has the potential for Airbnb to convert multiple unreached demographics to loyal customers. I’m an excellent choice to help you do that.

My sunny Caribbean personality, creative skills, and love of travelling (and food) would find their home in this adventure. Airbnb is doing great things, and I’d love the opportunity to be amazing with you.