Most summer mornings start out with getting my Airbnb rooms ready for their evening guests. These include Happy Lolita, the adorable 1979 Airstream that came to live with us following nine years living in the bushes, last summer.
Every day, as I get “her” all spruced up, I take a peek at her guest book and read the love notes left the night before.
Day after day, they amaze me:
“Lolita, I barely know you and what an impact you’ve had. I will always remember you.”
“Lolita, I don’t know where I am going these days, but your warm embrace was the perfect hug."
Lolita is beautiful, sweet, comforting, safe - and very affordable.
At under $30 a night, I love, love, love offering her shelter to travelers who just need a place to rest their heads before catching the ferry to their next adventure. Or to super budget conscious people who may not otherwise have launched on a mini vacation. Single moms, young lovers, older people … Lolita charms them all. Inexpensively.
A few days ago, a friend was telling me that I could almost double the nightly price and still be consistently booked. Given the island’s summer appeal, he is probably right. Given that she is a rare vintage camper with a growing following, I probably could.
As I place a couple of wrapped chocolates in a small Mexican bowl on the bed, fill a vase with a few sprigs of flowers from my yard, or spray a bit of rosewater in the air before walking out, I know exactly what it is that lights me up so much in the process. I know because I remember.
As a single mom with three young kids, finding a place to sleep that would still allow us to buy ice cream the next day (“ice cream every day” was one of the rules of our extreme-budget road trips) was a huge blessing. Finding one as welcoming as Lolita would have been a reminder of so many things I needed to hear.
Thing we may all still need to hear.
So, I stay close to me and to the reason why I am doing this. The Essences of it all: generosity, hospitality, inspiration, ease.
We can always make more money. We can always squeeze more __________ out of any situation.
But what I invite you / us to ponder today is this: where is The Sweet Spot? The place where our true values meet other people’s needs? The place where we can give from our hearts without hurting ourselves? The place where the goodness is so good and so easy that it just swirls right back towards us?
That spot is where the magic happens.
If it can be done with an old camper, however cute she is, I think we may be able to do it with bigger things.
Maybe even things as big as countries.