What exactly are we doing?
We’re spending one year living solely out of Airbnbs throughout the Bay Area. Each month will be spent in a different neighborhood staying with a different Airbnb host.
What is Airbnb?
Airbnb is a website that allows people to rent unique places from local hosts in cities across the globe. They are our preferred method of accommodation when traveling because they allow us to stay in a place where we can cook, meet new people, and give our trip a more personal touch. We have never had a bad Airbnb experience, but we’re aware that they exist, just like bad hotel experiences exist. The nice thing about Airbnb is the guest and the host are encouraged to rate and review one another after the trip, which incentivizes creating a high quality experience for the host and a code of conduct for the guest.
We are in no way personally or professionally affiliated with Airbnb. We are just two people who are majorly inspired by the lifestyle that the company allows for.
Why are you doing this for a whole year? That seems excessive.
Chris Guillebeau’s book, “The Happiness of Pursuit” discusses the anatomy of a purposeful quest (the world travel kind, not the LOTR kind) and how clear criteria are what sets apart a quest, from say, a really big lifestyle change. For that reason, we decided that it was important to create a start date and an end date for our adventure. We begin on April 1st and we chose a year because it seems slightly longer than we feel comfortable with, and hello, no one said quests were supposed to be easy.
What happens if you find a place to live before you complete your quest?
Towards the end of our year, we’ll be aggressively looking for a place to call home, but we’d be lying if we said we weren’t keeping our eyes and ears open for any opportunities along the way. Our desire to feel like we’re traveling, while we spend time in so many of the Bay’s amazing neighborhoods is what will keep us moving forward, but we’re also trying to be realistic. If a perfect place drops out of the sky and into our laps, we might not be able to say no. Can you blame us?
What are you bringing with you?
We are each bringing one suitcase, one backpack, one bicycle, and one luxury item. Kyle’s “luxury” is his baby Chemex and Emily’s is her yoga mat. We also intend on getting a storage unit close to Kyle’s office downtown for the remaining items that we’re dragging up from Texas.
How much will this cost you?
Based on our current Airbnb bookings for April through June, we’re looking at spending between $1,600 and $2,400 per monthly rental. While we figure that those prices are pretty close to what we would expect to pay if we got an apartment with roommates in San Francisco, we also won’t have to pay utilities (“or clean!” says Emily) like we would if we were on the lease. On the other hand, we’ll be getting to know a new set of roommates each month and the only private space we’ll share together is the bedroom we rent. So I guess it’s a trade off.
Side note: We are both self-proclaimed “experiencers” and are therefore annoyingly gung-ho about calculating the value of our experiences into our cost of living. When we look at the cost of our trip with the added value of living in different neighborhoods all around the Bay and meeting all sorts of new people that regularly open their home to different kinds of visitors, the whole adventure feels like an absolute steal.
Update! We wrote a blog post called How Much Does It Cost to Live Out of Airbnbs for a Year? That’ll give you a full cost breakdown of six months of Airbnb bookings.
How can people visit you?
Since most Airbnbs charge by and limit the amount of guests that book, having friends stay with us in our Airbnbs is not a viable option. However! We’re encouraging our friends to plan their visits ahead with us so we can help find them another Airbnb close by, or if it works, rent a larger place together. Emily has a billion Wish Lists of places in all of the different neighborhoods that she’d be happy to share with you.
Who are you?
I’m Emily, and the dude next to me watching Game of Thrones, is Kyle. You can read our story here.