Hosting friends vs. guests



There’s a conversation I had last year that has stuck with me as if it were yesterday.

I was staying in an Airbnb space in Nashville, TN. The hosts were friendly and talkative to the point of being slightly annoying. For some reason, the wife felt a need to tell me all about her philosophy on every aspect of the hosting experience. 

It was the bit about the dishes that really struck me. 

She told me a brief anecdote about a guest who had accidentally broken one of their glass cups. She summed it up with a sentence that started with “and that’s when I learned…”

Mentally, I had already finished the sentence for her. I was sure she was going to say “and that’s when I learned not to stress the small stuff,” or something along those lines. 

I was wrong.

In reality, what she said was “and that’s when I learned to give guests plastic cups.” 

She seemed so proud of this revelation, but it really irked me. 

So many people host just for the money. And you can tell. When their heart isn’t in it, you’re paying for a bed to sleep in. When they are actually eager to invite you into their home, you’re getting a new friend. 

This is how I look at my guests who come into my home. I would never ask a friend to use a plastic cup while I used a glass one; so why would I do that to a guest? 

It will perhaps cost you slightly more money in the long run to take this philosophy. But in my experience, it pays for itself many times over in connections, stories, and newly forged friendships. 

And if replacing whatever they’ve broken really bothers you, just ask them to pay to replace it!