I was at a cross-road in life… My partner and I were living in Germany but it was not an ideal situation. I was well-educated with a Master’s degree in Business Administration working as a factory operator. Even though I loved my partner, there were no jobs available in my field in Germany, so I decided to apply for jobs back in Spain where I was born.

After applying for many different positions, I received an email regarding a job interview that would be conducted via Skype. Although it was an entry level job, it seemed perfect for me because it was in human resources, my main area of study. I thought it would give me the experience I needed to further develop my career, and it would allow me to move back to Spain which was a bonus! The only downside was that my partner had a great job in Germany, one that she couldn’t give up. We discussed all of the possibilities, but ultimately we went our separate ways.

I passed the interview and accepted the job in Valencia. I hadn’t been to Spain in over two years, so I decided to go back a little early to get reacquainted with the area. I was actually unfamiliar with Valencia as I’m originally from a different city. It was an overwhelming time in life… I was giving up a great relationship to move to a new city where I didn’t know anyone. At the end of the day I really wanted to be closer to my relatives and return to my home country, even though I would have to start over in many aspects of my life. It was a tough trade-off.

My first task was looking for a place to live. I had one month to find an apartment but needed a place to stay in the meantime while conducting my search. After sending out countless emails I received a message from an Airbnb host who had a shared space available in their home. This option made the most sense because my budget was very limited. The Airbnb was cheaper than other alternatives and it was also in a great area near the middle of the city.

I was thoroughly surprised when I arrived at the Airbnb, as it was a beautiful home. The house looked exactly like the photos on the Airbnb listing. The owners of the Airbnb were a couple who had been living in the city for almost ten years, and we got along instantly. It was a major relief, as I didn’t have any friends in Valencia.

The hosts couldn’t have been more helpful. They guided me around the city, helped me get a bus card, showed me the best places to buy furnishings for my new apartment, and took me to the best restaurants and bars. In all honesty, it was an amazing experience and I will always be grateful for their hospitality. Unfortunately my time at their home came to an end, as my apartment was ready for move-in. I packed up my belongings and said my goodbyes. We exchanged phone numbers so that we could keep in contact and see each other again in the future.

I took a taxi to my new apartment in Valencia, but when I arrived, no one was there to greet me. I rang the doorbell–no one answered. After 15 minutes I decided to give the landlord a call. She picked up after 4 tries, but when she answered the phone, she explained that the room wasn’t ready and I couldn’t move in until tomorrow. What the heck? What was I supposed to do now? I explained my situation to the landlord but she was not empathetic. Despite our agreement on the move-in date, she wasn’t going to let me in.

My only option was to book a hotel. The problem was that I didn’t have very much money, probably not even enough to stay for a night! I decided to call my Airbnb host and see if they could help me. Fortunately for me they were willing to help and gladly hosted me for another night. They even picked me up in their car so I didn’t have to take a taxi! I was extremely grateful for their kindness and understanding. It is uncommon to find people who are so gracious and hospitable.

I stayed with them for one more night while I sorted out the dilemma at the apartment. My Airbnb hosts were practically lifesavers, lending a hand in a situation where I didn’t know where else to go. I will always be thankful for their help.

About the author

Juan moved on from his job in human resources and currently works as a copywriter for a SEO agency in London. Juan continues to use Airbnb when he travels and frequently remembers his transitional time period in life as he moved from Germany to Spain.

One Comment

  1. Lourdes Sanchez- Flewelling

    James, thank you so much For sharing your experience with us. I have been doing / hosting Airbnb for a month and half only . All my guest were amazing people that we still keep in touch with. I hope you are doing Airbnb in Spain , I would love to come and be your guest. Best of luck to you !
    Lourdes

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