A while ago, we had a guest stay with us who was going through a rough time at home. She had an anxiety attack only a few evenings into her stay and ended up checking out early because she was under so much pressure back home.

I was so concerned for her.

A side effect of caring about my guests while they’re here is that I still care about them after they’ve left. I often think and talk about my guests after they’ve checked out. The ones going through hard times I can’t help but also worry about.

A few days ago, I heard from this particular guest again, totally out of the blue. 

She had reached out to me simply because she wanted me to know that she was doing better. She’d gotten a steady job, family stress had settled down, and overall she was just in a much better place in life. 

a heart that's never fully whole

I can’t tell you how happy I was to hear from her!

When I first started traveling the world, I struggled with returning home. I felt torn apart, like my heart was scattered all over the world. There were so many people in different countries that I now loved, I felt like I would never feel fully whole again.

This has proven true. And yet, it has been worth it. It hurts being separated from people I love, but I wouldn’t trade any of my travel experiences. 

The same is true with my Airbnb guests. 

As they come into my home, these strangers become my friends. I’m invested in them and their lives. In some ways, this is great. I have new friends to visit, new people to connect with in unknown cities. 

But it can also hurt. I hurt when they hurt. I worry about them when they’re struggling.

Yet it has still been worth it. I wouldn’t trade any of my guests. I’m so glad for the privilege they give me to be a part of their stories, and I look forward to every new guest with gusto!