Looking after guests fills me with joy, I want my house to be welcoming. Coffee brewing in the kitchen and people looking relaxed and smiling.
I have been traveling for nearly three years, unfortunately, brought to a halt with the Covid restrictions. Traveling gave me the opportunity to relax and be hosted myself. By far the most enjoyable experiences were that my hosts treated me as if I was part of the family. Is it a skill or are some cultures better at sharing their family life with complete strangers? Personally, I do not think it has anything to do with culture. You are either welcoming or you choose not to be.
You forget you are paying when you are treated with warmth and kindness.
In 2000 I bought a farmhouse in France and rented a couple of rooms in my home. Our guests dined with us and became part of our family. With my baby daughter on my hip, I could welcome, greet and still pour the coffee. Our guests always remarked how comfortable they felt to the point we could share early morning breakfast whilst chatting over the plans of the day and still be in our dressing gowns. You had to gauge the guests, obviously, you would respect their privacy if so required, however, most were happy to be open and friendy, firing questions about our lifestyle and how we ended up living in France.
As a solo woman traveler, I try and look for places like homesteads. Sifting through the Airbnb listings it has become increasingly difficult to find accommodation where you move in as a guest in a family. I did not want to be alone in a small apartment and left to fend for myself. Codes are often sent by email so you can access the property. In some cases, there is not even a welcome or a friendly greeting. I try to look for places where I can live like a local and get involved with day to day living as much as possible. In India I had the perfect place, my hosts welcomed me as family and we have maintained our connection and are constantly in touch.
Back in Spain, my house La Gaia lends itself as the perfect property for hosting. I have two bedrooms on the ground floor which share a bathroom. My guests are welcome to make themselves at home. We share the lounge, kitchen, and swimming pool. The garden has hideaway places for a snooze in the garden or a meditation. I am creative so I love hosting writers and artists. Walking is always popular here, Our valley is surrounded by mountains for the energetic climbers, or for those who like to stroll, there is always a Spanish bar on route for a small glass of vino or some tapas.
As a host I am the person to ask about the surrounding area, you may want to practice yoga or need to hire a bike, you could even borrow mine. If you do not have a car, I am always willing to drop you off somewhere, stroll around the local markets and help make your stay enjoyable.
I love having people to stay, I am a writer and a story teller, so exchanging travel tales is top on my list.
My house is called La Gaia, named after the Mother Earth Goddess. There is great energy here which is why I would love you to visit. Stay for a couple of days or a month, there is plenty to do and see locally. Valencia and Alicante are only one hour away. Madrid and Barcelona are easily reachable by air or train. Beautiful beaches stretch out on our coastline and are only 15 minutes away.
Please drop me a message if you want to know more in the comment box below.