Wednesday Write-Up: Making It Work

Well, after a wonderful trip to Singapore, we have arrived safe and sound back in Phuket, Thailand. I will be writing all about the touristy things we did while in the fascinating city-state for the next couple of weeks for sure. I cannot wait to give you all the details!
It’s funny though, as I thought I would be coming back to a hotel with working wifi, and it turns out we have no wifi tonight! What a cruel world… Yes, I am being a tad dramatic I know.
I have learned that much of long term travel is about just making it work. I was always a hard-core planner with lists and alarms and spreadsheets to help me along. For the past few months, I have given up on the planning. Well, at least the planning of little things (like wifi connection) because I have found that when the small things don’t go as planned, that’s when I get the most stressed out. Of course I am not going to stop planning ahead for flights and cities to visit, or great big details like that. But I have stopped trying to plan exactly what we will do each day. Or what way we should pack our bags. Or to have a working wifi connection.
A good example was the Airbnb host that we stayed with in Singapore. We have used airbnb.com on numerous occasions in many different locations around the world, but this was the first time we actually rented a room in someone’s house. We had always just rented apartments that we had all to ourselves.
We booked the room on Airbnb and it sounded fantastic, it had two great reviews and was pretty inexpensive in comparison to renting a hotel room in Singapore. We were excited and nervous. Excited because we love trying new things and nervous because one never knows how loud a two year old can be until you want them to be quiet and not disturb people who like to sleep later than 6:30am.
We arrived at the two story apartment in a high rise, which was wonderfully close to the MRT station and seemed like it was in a nice enough neighborhood.
Peggy and Jun were excellent hosts and were kind and helpful. The room was clean and spacious. Peggy and Jun even had fresh oranges and water bottles in the room for us. It seemed perfect.
That night we realized the problem with the wifi. They had advertised high speed wifi, but it wasn’t a big deal, we worked our way around it using a week long SIM cards from a Singapore cell phone company. That gave us access to the internet at least. Chad couldn’t work often, but at least we could still keep in touch with others and I could still write my blog posts. Disaster averted.
The next morning, there were two strange men (they weren’t creepy or anything, just that we didn’t meet them before and they left that day) in the kitchen making themselves breakfast as we trundled down to make ourselves breakfast. As it turns out, Peggy and Jun were not only renting out the room we were staying in, but the two others upstairs. So we were sharing the”private” bathroom with 3-5 people the whole time we were there. Lucky for us, our two year old is an early riser, so we always were able to shower before anyone else was awake.
Having to share a bathroom was not a real problem, but it wasn’t what I was expecting. Darn expectations, get me everytime.
These were just minor things in the grand scheme of things, but these are the type of things that used to ruin my days. They would make me into a negative jerk. That is, until I stopped letting them get to me (as often at least).
And that is another reason that I feel so blessed to be on this adventure, it has taught me to just make it work. No matter what could, and often will happen to throw off my day in a negative way, I have learned along this road that there is almost always a way around it, even if it’s just to ignore it.
So… Would I rent a room on Airbnb again? Yes! Who knows what lessons I will learn from it!

Have you ever rented a room in someone’s house while traveling? What did you think?
Also… When you have traveled, what lessons have you learned?
Please leave a comment and share!

23 thoughts on “Wednesday Write-Up: Making It Work

  1. Good on you for trying it out. I think I am beyond sharing a room…I like the whole apt. Especially with the boys and sharing a bathroom with them is a test for me let alone anyone else!

  2. Can’t say I am keen on the sharing room idea. As far as travel tips especially overseas it is carry on luggage only. Almost impossible with small children but with multiple planes/trains/buses/walking/navigating endless stairs a carry on back pack makes all the difference.

  3. My only B & B experience in someone’s home was in Bath, England. It was large, three-story, but thin-walled. Could hear the couple arguing late at night and then had to face them in the morning…..

  4. I always remember the words my first boss told me after I had graduated (coaching groupd back then): “Just keep in mind that what you don’t have, you don’t need. Focus on what you can do”. Good piece of advice!

    As for the rooms, no, I haven’t rented in somebody’s apartment. I wouldn’t mind so much sharing the bathroom otherwise, but having kids you tend to get emergencies so I prefer not to share. Pre-kids we often stayed in hostels and shared bathroom, which was ok when you knew about it and it was a part of the price too. But the idea of booking a room without knowing who the landlords are seems a bit daunting to me. Like couch surfing, something a client was going happily on about recently to me. Maybe, if I’d be able to pop in and meet the people before deciding, I’d be up for it!

    Happy to hear it all went well for you though!

    • Yes, the bathroom would have never been an issue if we didn’t have ZoΓ«. And if we knew about it. I can do anything if I am mentally prepared for it (ok maybe not sky dive or bungee jump, but definitely share a bathroom!).
      We considered trying couch surfing when we started this trip, but so far it has been a bit too nerve wracking for me. I have single friends that have used couch surfing though and love it.

      • Yeah, I know people who just love coach surfing as well. I never minded travelling solo but coach surfing is still a bit too much for me… And doing it with kids? I think you were brave to just rent a room with somebody! And glad that overall it was a good experience.

  5. Yes. When we traveled in Germany and Austria. I remember I got us and our friends (another couple) a room with my VERY limited German. The lady seemed a little skeptical but she let them to us. And then we had to trust this guy in Austria to take us to the house he suggested. He was just a stranger at the train station looking for lost looking people like us. It ended up perfect but letting go to trust a stranger in a strange city was VERY unnerving! But it was four on one so I felt safer. Life keeps teaching me to let go. Glad your room situation ended up okay. I don’t think I’d mind sharing a bathroom too much, depending on the proximity to my room.

    • I definitely do not mind sharing a bathroom, if I know I am going to. And sharing a bathroom with so many people can be a bit much sometimes.
      Of course I am a mom, so you know that I never really go to the bathroom by myself anyways haha

  6. Wow! I didn’t know about such airbnb in Singapore. That sounds interesting to experience a local life. I think your host should have told you about renting to others. I would have freaked out too. I am glad you were positive about it! You are gracious. I hope your stay here is fun! Looking forward to your blog about this πŸ™‚

  7. I’m not sure whether to read this one to A or not. So far he’s insisted on only looking for entire apartments – not sure the bathroom sharing thing would entice him at all! And I’m also like Free But Fun in that I prefer to have an emergency toilet on tap, at least until they have a bit more self-control (not to mention the noise). But it does sound like you had good hosts and yes, a nice neighbourhood.

    I’m a bit like Christy in that I didn’t know about the AirBnB options here πŸ™‚ .

    The main point, of course, is learning not to let the little things worry you. I read an article recently on travelling with inflexible children and the advice was all “plan thoroughly” with the occasional “try not to get disheartened when they still grumble” and actually there’s so much more you can do to encourage a positive outlook in the face of the unexpected.

    • Tell A that there are many share rentals with private bathrooms (I think we will just email them and make absolutely sure from now on). πŸ™‚
      And that article would probably have made me laugh. I honestly feel that kids are the flexible ones, we parents are the ones that have a hard time sometimes. πŸ™‚ kids don’t usually get that upset when they throw up all over us, or they make noise in a quiet house, or they have to pee off the side of a boat. Hahaha.
      I guess what I am saying is that planning to the minutest detail just makes me negative when I can’t control everything. I think for me, positivity comes with letting go of planning. But I realize everyone is different, and that includes kids and they have to do what works for them too. πŸ™‚

  8. Yep! I’ve done that many times. I’m British and a B&B (bed and breakfast) is pretty much a room in someone’s house however, when I travel with my child I try to get at least a sink in the bedroom so that I can do the basic things in our room and I never leave him alone in the bathroom or toilet. Whenever we can, we get an ensuite bathroom but it’s not always possible so early it is or…..later!

    In the Czech Republic, we have used private rooms all the time and it was fine. The families have been curious but friendly, and the breakfast has always been interesting, ‘cos you never know what you’re going to get!

    We’re going to Poland in April and we’re going to get a double room in a private home, ensuite for €22.00 per day so we’ll see. That’s €22.00 for the room not per person LOL!

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