We have a lot of time on our hands during ‘enhanced community quarantine’ here in the Philippines. Over the last few weeks we’ve reviewed a lot of our travel photos from the past four years. And we’ve thought of – and wondered about – many of the Airbnb hosts that we’ve had in places all over the world.
A handful of them are friends we remain in touch with – on Facebook or WhatsApp. But all were kindly landlords and helpful acquaintances who enabled our vagabond lifestyle. We can’t imagine our travel adventures without them and the clean, safe, affordable, temporary homes that they provided us.
As such, back before Easter, I sent out the following message to each of our previous hosts.
Our note to former Airbnb hosts
Greetings. We hope this note finds you and your loved ones healthy and safe.
The current world ‘shutdown’ has left us reflecting on our past travel adventures and the many wonderful Airbnb hosts that made it all possible. We can’t help but wonder what life is like where you are now?
We are currently in a general community quarantine in the Philippines. One person per family can move about with an ID pass. This country basically went into complete lockdown three weeks ago.
Still, we are healthy and comfortable and lucky to be where we are. While we wait for the world to restart, we are praying, reading, exercising, playing scrabble & billiards, watching news and movies, and posting to our blog (EarthVagabonds.com).
We sincerely hope the COVID-19 situation causes you and your families as little hardship as possible. But we know there will be disruption – especially with Airbnb business. Please know you are in our thoughts and hearts. And we pray for the health, safety, peace, and prosperity of everyone to whom we are sending this note.
Thank you for the lifelong memories you provided to us – and other travelers. Hopefully, those opportunities will come again soon.
As of now, we can still legally stay in the Philippines up to 3 years. We hope things will ‘normalize’ in the coming months. Indeed, we intend to keep renting, traveling, and exploring this amazing world. We can only wait and see what happens.
Thank you again for your kindness and hospitality. Respond at your convenience/whim. May God bless and keep you and yours this Easter season. We wish you the very best at this difficult time and beyond.
With warmest regards, Ellen & Tedly (and mom Diane, who is stuck with us after visiting)
Almost immediately we received a few responses. Each was appreciative of our note and concerns. And each made us smile, remembering the person and place in question. We’d like to share some news from Airbnb hosts with fellow travelers waiting out this pandemic.
Airbnb hosts share news on the pandemic
News: Erg Chigaga, Sahara Desert, Morocco
One of the first to respond was Ahmed, a young ethnic Berber (a traditionally nomadic people) from the Sahara Desert. Like everyone, Berbers nowadays are connected by smart phone.
Two years ago, Ahmed personally escorted us on our three-day journey to M’hamid, Morocco. and an incredible camp amongst the dunes at the edge of the Sahara Desert. He was such a pleasant, funny, and energetic young guy — mid-20s– so many jokes and smiles – and good English.
Ahmed reports that he and his large family (some are still nomadic camel herders and traders) are well and gathered together and riding out the virus scare near the dunes. He also invited us to visit again ASAP, which we would love to do.
News from Puerto Escondido, Mexico
Another quick responder was Fredo, who hosted us for about six weeks in the first-level apartment beneath his home in Puerto Escondido, Mexico. Fredo was very kind and had traveled much of the world himself. His English was perfect and we spent lots of time chatting with him — when we weren’t at the beautiful beaches near his house.
Fredo said the following:
“Hi Ellen and Tedly,
Everything is very much the same here in Puerto, no lockdown only the schools extended the spring vacation and ask everyone to stay home if possible. You can see people surfing, running, walking their dogs, going to the market, so will see what is going to happened when the holy week starts. Stay safe, best regards.
News from Omis, Croatia
Finally, responding quickly from Omïs, Croatia (near Split) were Sandra and Tonci, who rented us a fantastic rooftop apartment with mountain and sea views. We had a few barbecues and days at the beach with them as well. And like many of our hosts, they invited us back.
They report that they are well, and Sandra is working from home because of the virus lockdown. She says a government pass is required to move around Croatia. And word is Croatia is considering barring all visitors from the country through the upcoming summer.
That would be tough for our friends and many Croatians who depend on income from the numerous seasonal tourists.
Stay tuned for more news…
As we said in our message, we really hope all our hosts are affected as little as possible. But they all do rely on Airbnb rents to some degree – which could be a problem.
Of course, most important of all is the physical health of everyone and we’re glad the news from Airbnb hosts we received thus far don’t mention any illness. Still, these first responses are from relatively small, less-populated locales. We wonder what we will hear from folks we know in larger cities and places where the virus is bad – like Spain and Italy.
We’re really curious and we hope for the best. In coming days we’ll post some of the other replies and experiences as people respond. Meanwhile, we also extend our wellness wishes to all our Earth Vagabonds readers and followers.
As always, be thankful and generous, happy trails, & more beer.
Life is NOW!
Thanks for reading, “Airbnb hosts share news from Morocco, Mexico, Croatia.”
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