#2080 | #TokyoDiaries – BEST DRESSED KIDS OF DISNEYSEA

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DisneySea Tokyo
Tickets booked on Klook – fuss free, no queue, instant confirmation. Occasionally discounted. More here.

Konnichiwa and all that. Hello from DisneySea, the most alternatively happy place on earth (the happiest being disneyland), best theme park in the world, the place where wardrobes are taken seriously and intensely. I suspect this is more a Japan thing than a Disney thing, because the past three times I’ve been to theme parks in Japan (tokyo disneysea, osaka USJ, tokyo disneyland, and this is my fourth time), the cosplaying going on has been a real and legit thing.

Last October, when I was in Tokyo Disneyland with my boyfriend and friends (anniversary trip, how has three years passed us by so quickly?), one thing that quickly stood out to us was the consideration with which each person dressed – disney-bounding with their favourite characters, matching with their friends, so on and so forth. I myself went as Tiger Lily, with my motley cast from Peter Pan (Shane as capt Hook, Martin as the eponymous Peter Pan, Warren as a lost boy). But we had nothing, I tell you, nothing on the kids.

So this trip, here we go. My schizo alter ego as a street/fashion photographer (read: nonexistent) photographed the best dressed kids of DisneySea.


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All pictures are taken on a Nikon D750, lenses – nikon 35 f/1.8 and 85 f/1.8, save for that one iPhone photo somewhere in there.

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Alice from Alice in Wonderland. Freakin love this costume – and it seemed many people did too. The Alice character was very popular this time round is what I’m saying. And it helps that this kid is pretty cute too.

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A match made in heaven!

It’s Woody and Jessie from Toy Story ◡̈ Pretty pleased to have been able to capture this shot of their backs, looking at one of the rides.

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Random cute kid with a mickey hat.

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DUFFY BEAR!!!

DUFFY DUFFY DUFFY

One thing that really ticked me off in Disneysea were all these posters advertising Duffy bear, and Duffy’s Friend Stella, who’s dream is to be a dancer. Hello? Why cant Duffy be Stella’s Friend Duffy?! Sexist! But then my sister pointed out that all Disney Princesses are main characters with lame ass princess who function as little else than stock handsome love interests, which is a fair point i guess.

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Another Alice, holding her Stella bunny toy. Love Stella, i think she’s a newish character.

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Super cute Pinnochio

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This dude, dunno what he’s supposed to be. Half duffy half donald? Still cute though.

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It’s a very happy Daisy Duck!

A slightly less committed Alice. Alice themed dress but not a full out costume – might be smart, cos then she can re-wear it outside disneyland? Cute kid.

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Not really a cosplay but i like her jacket and hat combi. Future fashionista, this one.

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Same – Love the smize.

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“Can I take your picture?”
“Hold up… ok, I’m ready.”

A very serious and gentlemanly Woody. Haha!

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A really happy Donald Duck! Looking at him makes me happy too LOL

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A significantly less happy female Donald. Maybe cos her parents didn’t buy her the Daisy costume?

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Either Chip or Dale.

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This Elsa was seriously BRINGING IT. I mean, look at that smize! Future ANTM winner right here. Jeez. Can’t deal.

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My one iPhone photo was of this kid who dressed up as Snow white. Don’t think she understood what a photo was tho. She was really confused.

And my ABSOLUTE favourite dressed up kids:

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This sibling pair – Mad Hatter and Alice. Mad hatter has a little white cap with bunny ears (don’t know if you can really see it from here) and he even has that mad hatter clock. His sister is Alice, obviously, with a slightly out of character Olaf bag, but who makes up for it with that incredibly awesome pocket watch necklace!!!! LOVE.

This post was originally going to be titled Best Dressed of DisneySea. But you know, theres no point even trying. The kids win. They always do. The winners of every Disney trip are the kids who’s parents are hardcore willing to spend a ton on their kids costumes. Loving it. You stay wacky, Japan.

Hope you enjoyed the pictures – DisneySea guide to come! x

x
Jem

This was part of a Tokyo work trip with Klook – a travel activities booking site. Tickets to Disneysea were also booked on Klook!

#2079 | DIY KITCHEN UPCYCLING PROJECT – THE DELIVEROO CHALLENGE

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HOLA! From the land of thesis writing, script marking, and near-daily shoots. What a month it has been. Can you believe it’s April already? I cannot. April snuck up on me from behind and smacked me across the back of my head, and the ever pressing question is: what have I done with my life, now that a third of the year has gone by?

Not much in terms of concrete skill building. This is not something that I take issue with, to be honest, because this year I’ve been focusing on getting better at what I already do, plus you know, finishing my Masters degree, of which we now sit in the last leg. But last year, my resolution was to do/learn something new each month, and so twelve new things later, it does feel strange that I havent exactly done anything concretely new this year yet. So it was with apprehension and just the slightest gasp of desperate relief that I took on the Deliveroo upcycling 2017 challenge – a hands on project in redoing your kitchen, DIY style, into a space that my family would actually want and love.

The thing about kitchens is, they’re so full of clutter. I have to admit to being a bit of a technofreak, I get really excited whenever new gadgets and appliances come out. I got my parents a nespresso machine for christmas last year, and we’ve been enthusiastically using it every single day. This, however, is unfortunately not true for the rest of my kitchen gadgets, most of which just sit around taking up space. It’s so silly, because although I love to cook (not very good at it though), I hardly have the time, and so clutter accumulates, condiments, thingamabobs, gadgets, bread that moulds too fast. It was time to marie-kondo this shit, I said.

Let me show you the state of my kitchen before the uprising:

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I know…

The most infuriating thing was, half of this wasnt necessary. All those cups I collected from macdonalds during the olympics all those years ago? Never used them. We dont really eat bread, so I dont know why we got all those condiments, I suspect half of them are expired. And everyone at home has been trying not to eat rice, I dont know why we dont just put the rice cooker in deep storage and bring it out during chinese new year or something. All these things you dont even think about until youre forced to – and then bam! The place is a mess.

Btw, those jars on the kitchen counter were because my mother was trying to grow some beans or something to make kombucha, because she is a HIPPIE. I was like, Mum, i will deliveroo you some kombucha. And she just said, dont mess with my beans. They can hear you.

So this fit in perfectly with Deliveroo’s challenge, which was to rid oneself of all the unnecessary kitchen clutter, and to literally, leave it to the professionals if and when I wanted something a little more complicated to make. Of course, this differs from person to person – so if you’re the type who spends most of your time at home then you may want to always be experimenting in your kitchen, but if you’re on the go all the time like me, then realistically you’re not going to make full use of these random appliances, upon which they become – you’ve guessed it – CLUTTER.

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Deliveroo-ing while sketching out plans for the kitchen

Anyway, on to the planning stage!

Here’s the thing about my kitchen. Because of the way the HDBs in my area are built, there’s not that much light coming in through the kitchen cos the other blocks block it. It’s still bright, but relative to the rest of the house, it’s pretty much the gloomiest part of my flat. It’s also where my cat, her royal highness Athena Wei, eats, drinks, and sometimes sleeps. So my goal was threefold:

1. Create the illusion of space and light by clearing out the area – the walls are white ceramic, so if the area is cleared, the light will automatically reflect off them and make the place look brighter and more spacious
2. Introduce greenery to the kitchen – we love plants in our home, and I wanted my kitchen to look like some hippie pinterest modern fusion kitchen where you could sip a coffee and enjoy some nice fresh air, recycled by your friendly neighbourhood plants
3. Rehaul Athena’s area because she deserves a little upgrade too!

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“Who’s ready for a brand new home?”
*unwillingly, my photo prop*: “Me”

So phase one begun: the cleaning out phase.

To be honest, this phase is a pain in the ass because I hate housework. But I suppose once I get into it it’s quite alright. The gross bit was realising how long some of these “key” kitchen gadgets havent been touched – I had to wipe down and dissolve the lime buildup under some of them! *shudder*

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While this was ongoing, I basically lived off deliveroo, because no one else was allowed to use the kitchen at the same time. So that was a fun week – a lot of inertia regarding cooking complicated dishes is in the washing up, so while I wont make it a daily habit, it’s quite nice to just have dinner arrive readymade and packaged conveniently to recycle once finished with.

My mum and I also went out to buy 1. plants 2. floor mats 3. Athena’s water fountain and 4. Athenas new bedding. Don’t laugh – the reason why cats need a water fountain is because they are snobbish pricks who wont drink water out of a bowl – or they will, but they dont like it, and so they get very dehydrated. Something many cat owners/ cat cafes do is get a water fountain, because cats will drink willingly out of a moving water source. Mine cost about seventy bucks from Pet Safari in Vivocity.

Ready to see Athena’s new corner? :3

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Ready for your new place?
Notice: the new japanese patterned floor mat for her food bowls

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New cat bed from Pet Safari, Cat mirror from the Airbnb team – it was a birthday gift from them a couple years back. Thank you Grace! 🙂

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Overall look 🙂

I think we might have gone a bit nuts with the plants, but thats okay! Maybe now my hybrid greenhouse-kitchen dreams have been achieved?

I don’t know if you can tell, but if you’ve been following my Snapchat/Ig stories for awhile you might have guessed that actually my mother is obsessed with plants. We have plants all over our living room, and the theme has now spilt over to the kitchen! I love having plants around because they make the whole place look fresher and somehow, cleaner. They also inject life into any living space – and I’ve found myself drawn to apartments that have little pockets of greenery during my travels when looking for places to stay in. Even in my office space I keep flowers and little potted succulents around so my space always looks fresh, and so when planning for the kitchen this was really a no-brainer.

Anyway, it was soooo cute to watch Athena explore her new home. She’s a bit of a snob, so its rare that she openly displays curiosity or affection because she is damn act cool. But she was pretty pleased with her new upgraded corner, so that was nice!

And now! The rest of the kitchen:

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totally cleaned up this space. got rid of all the stupid cups and condiments, and made the mid shelf a green space instead! And yes – we left space for my mother’s kombucha station

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we dont bake that often, but to be honest i think the kitchen aid looks great, so we left it there. haha!

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“Look, ma! No dishes to do!”

I figured – if I really want some peanut butter cake or a really complicated and elaborate meal, I can always deliveroo it. How often am I realistically going to get down and dirty to cook a three course meal anyway? Their motto is “leave it to the professionals” after all. So away with the air fryer and away with the storage tins! The toaster gets to stay because it’s white and matches the rest of the kitchen, HAHA. #priorities

I also made the executive decision to move the nespresso to the other end of the kitchen, to replace the rice cooker, and create a kind of ‘Coffee Corner’ because my parents and I always make a point to have a coffee every morning, whether together or otherwise, and so it makes more sense that everything is congregated at one spot. This is also right under our cupboard where we keep beverages – coffee powder, tea bags, sugar and creamer, etcetera – all hidden away behind the clean white ceramic cupboard doors. So it makes more sense to have it here anyway, I think!

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My coffee corner..

This part of my kitchen actually also has a pull out table masquerading as a top shelf drawer, so if my parents and I want a coffee together, we can just pull it out and sit around the mini table.

It’s right next to the stove, so if we want to brew coffee and bring it out (my dad does this a lot), then our tumblers are all congregated there as well, next to the kettle. Shoutout to my gorgeous rose gold chrome tumbler from Starbucks, because I know I’m going to get emails asking where it’s from!

I’m just gonna say that this is what this corner used to look like before…

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See what I mean about the pull out table?

Ha! I feel so happy with my coffee corner lol. I just have to say, that my mum is actually really good with interior design. She basically had an idea of what she needed, then googled what kind of architecture would suit it, then got someone to come in and design it. That’s why we have these random things like pull out tables and small shelves to put condiments and now, plants on.

Finally, the cooking area..

Before:

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After:

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I
KNOW
RIGHT??

Here’s a break down of what I actually did:

– move the cooking oils and spices into the top left cupboard, where it is easily accessible should you want to cook
– keep the pots and pans in the cupboards below (my kitchen is full of cupboards)
– moved the salt and sugars into the – no prizes for guessing – condiment cupboard, then replaced it with creeping plants
– put a plant next to the sink
– added a nice floor mat (cant see it here, but you can see it in the first pic in this blogpost)
– cleaned up the area

Seems so easy but it makes such a huge difference!

I feel so optimistic just looking at it, LOL. The thing about clutter is, it keeps coming. So I’m sure it’ll start to accumulate again, but for now at least I have a fresh and clean start, and I think it looks great! Fingers crossed my family manages to keep it this way for a good while 🙂

Alright, so that’s about it! My deliveroo challenge, completed. I think I did pretty decent, and dont tell me if you think otherwise because take your negativity away from me! I feel extremely accomplished and very adult, and I hope this inspires you guys to at least get up and pack your room.

Thanks for the challenge Deliveroo – what’s next? Bring it. x

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x
Jem

#2078 | A note on sleep, on time management

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I feel like I might have said this before, somewhere, but it’s the kind of thing that needs to be nudged once in awhile, so here I am again.

A couple of weeks ago, Roz and I put out an open call for an Ask Me Anything episode we were doing for Hype Hunt (upcoming, stay tuned!). It was pretty interesting to see how the type of questions we got differed between us, but one of the overwhelmingly recurring questions I got was that on time management. It seems there are a lot of you struggling with work/school, having a social life, getting enough sleep, pursuing your life passions and hobbies… and I can understand how you would relate to me, as I do to you, a person struggling to keep afloat with all that has been going on especially in the final leg of my Masters programme.

A very flippant reply I give most people when they ask how I manage to balance everything is that I have no social life. This is true to some extent – I have significantly cut down on all my social activity, and at the start of this year, I sent out a round message to my different groups of friends telling them that I would be a sort of hermit in the coming semester due to #thesis, not to take it personally, and that I would be back again properly after August, which is when my submissions are. I do miss making plans to go out with my girlfriends after a long day of work, I miss being able to freely commit to a painting class date two weeks in advance, things like that. But something’s gotta give. You can’t have everything. And in any case, it wasn’t going to be a permanent thing – and everyone thankfully was very understanding and supportive and also, they all had their own lives to lead so I flatter myself by thinking that they might miss me too much anyway.

I’m thankful that my work in filming and hosting forces me outdoors and to participate in activities outside the academic, and I’m surprised and grateful that I still find time for spontaneous dinners when my friends are in my office area. So in some sense, I still have that semblance of balance in my life. I think if I didn’t, I would go crazy. All in all – it’s been a stressful year or so, and it’s been tiring. This is not a complaint – I think that life becomes meaningful when you have challenges and from this you grow – but I’m just saying, yes, it’s been tiring. But when I compare working patterns between myself and my two younger sisters, both of which are also still in various stages of school, I can’t believe how recklessly gung-ho I was in my younger days in prioritising what to give up in favour of my schoolwork.

It seems that a lot of kids these days are still championing the you can sleep when you’re dead motto when it comes to their studies. I sure did. In fact, I think it was my MSN byline for the longest time – I’LL SLEEP WHEN IM DEAD, GPA IS FOREVER. Jeez. MSN. I feel old. That doesn’t even exist anymore. But ok, that’s besides the point. The point is, the idea of giving up sleep and pulling all nighters is part necessity and part romanticised, and I have to tell you in retrospect, it’s bullshit.

I’m perpetually trying to force my sisters to go to sleep. My youngest in particular gets very frustrated when I do this, because she says that jie if i sleep i literally cannot finish my work. It’s her A level year, tension is running high. And I get it. I do. This is a problem, that we are loading kids with so much work that they are literally hunching over under the weight of the sheer volume of content they need to memorise and regurgitate at will. And it creates panic, and this mill horse kind of mentality that no matter what, you just have to keep going. I pulled countless all nighters in my secondary school, JC, and uni undergrad days. And I regret them.

Yes, there are friendships forged from the occasional comradeship that a room full of desperate undergraduates studying for finals form, and they do occupy quite a significant space in my nostalgic memory of schooldays. But seriously, if you’re just looking purely at productivity and effectiveness of study, a lack of sleep does you way more harm than good.

One of the most important things someone ever said to me was, just because you’re not sleepy doesn’t mean your body isn’t tired.

I cannot emphasise enough how important and true this is. When your body is tired, it suffers. And it tries to warn you that it’s suffering, so to signal this to you, your mind slows down, you become sluggish and moody, and heck, it’s bad for health, body, and fitness. It messes with your eyesight, it makes you less effective and productive as a worker, and it makes you more prone to depression. On the other hand, sleep regenerates you, refreshes you, and i mean, come on buddy. I don’t have to tell you why sleep is great. Everyone loves sleep. I actually get emotional about getting into bed because it feels so good I could cry.

Perhaps you can trick your body into not feeling sleepy, but this changes nothing about the fact that you’re probably still tired as heck. I think the problem is partly our culture, that we are such a generation of overachievers that we feel like if we can keep going, we should. But no. Im here to tell you that this is terrible for you in the long run. It’s ok to tell yourself that tonight, this is as much as you will do, and you can continue tomorrow. Allow yourself to sleep. Forgive your body it’s failings. JUST GIVE YOURSELF A DAMNED BREAK.

This is the reason why today, I can compromise everything – social life, watching TV, taking a break from my hobbies for awhile, not meeting my boyfriend as often… but I will not compromise sleep. I have experienced first hand how shit it is to be tired all the time. And yeah, sure. Maybe you can give up everything and have enough sleep and still not have enough time to finish your work. Fine. But at least you’ll be a happier person, and more productive, and, you’ll actually get to do the best thing ever, which is sleep.

Keep hanging in there, guys. x

x
Jem

#2077 | #LADiaries | The Undercover Host

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Airbnb Open, Los Angeles

I don’t need to mention that one of my childhood dreams was to be a journalist for you guys to have figured that out on your own. I had my eye on Columbia for the longest time because of their journalism degree, but such dreams are not made to be self-funded, and so, sans-scholarship, I stayed in Singapore for under/postgraduate. Though this by no means is a complaint – having met some of the best people in my university here, having stumbled into media and presenting, having been offered so many opportunities by the grace of God and the kindness of people around me… my life would have been so incredibly different if I’d spent the last six years of my life elsewhere. And all that was my roundabout way of saying, kind of, that I got to live out one of my journo dreams last year end at Airbnb Open 2016.

I’ve been labelled press many times, but this was the first actual full blown press conference I’d attended, and it was an insanely eye opening experience. From the early morning breakfasts at the press center where journalists from all over the world were aggressively typing out stories and bouncing ideas off across the room, to rockstar press talks where the crowd went wild as the founders of Airbnb walked onstage (seriously, those dudes are like the Zuckerburgs of the news world or something), to hanging out in the interview room where a million interview were happening simultaneously.. it was surreal. It was like living in a television set while also watching it unfold. I looked around, I thought, this is what an alternate universe for me would look like. I thought, I’d better do some interviews. And I did.

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Live Streaming the press conference – the broadcast arena

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Breakfast at the press center! + my weak attempt to be healthy.. which didn’t last long. HAHA

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A grainy picture of me at the press centre, in between keynotes and panels by the Airbnb team

Despite sitting on the traveller, not host side of things, I found myself attending a bunch of talks specifically catered for hosts around the world. That was another thing I liked about Airbnb Open – that it wasn’t just a press-centric conference – it was an entire festival where Airbnb Superhosts from around the world flew in to meet each other and exchange tips on hospitality and hosting, as well as get the chance to meet and talk to the Airbnb folk themselves, to see what was upcoming and to get their questions answered. Because I am a busybody, I sat in for several of the discussion panels for hosts (quietly of course, trying to be invisible at the back end of the room) to listen in, and boy am I glad that I did.

Different talks cater to different audiences, and when you listen in for something that is not catered to you, you learn so much about the other side of things that can also be unexpectedly very useful to your own experiences moving forward. This is something that holds true for everything, and I am and have always been a big supporter of stepping out of your comfort zone and expanding your interests beyond what you’re good at/familiar with. This is why I encourage my students in school to read books about things in genres they’re not used to, to participate in debates they don’t agree with, and to generally try and stay open to learning about the other side of things. This as a practice imparts empathy, perspective, and is generally interesting. And of course, this is just me being long winded (again) – what I meant to say was, sitting in for the host talks paradoxically gave me as a traveller a lot more assurance about my experience using Airbnb, and taught me what additional things to look out for when starting to embark on trip-planning!

You guys already know about how to select an Airbnb listing from my previous posts on the subject. If you haven’t read my Guide to Picking the Perfect Airbnb Listing, I strongly suggest jumping on it because it isn’t just a guide I wrote for the blog, it’s one that I put into practice every single time I travel – and it’s one that is formed from experience!

However, here are a couple of the more interesting things that I didn’t have to learn through experience, but learnt through the panels and talks:

1. All hosts are legally required to disclose surveillance devices in their listings, and strongly discouraged from having them, including but not limited to CCTVs, baby cameras, and recording devices. If they disclose this after a traveller has booked, then the traveller can cancel with a full refund without penalty. This is something that I’ve always wondered about, vaguely, so I’m glad i have a firm answer on this.

2. The search result placements of Airbnb listings are sorted based on relevance, ratings, and rate of acceptance. Which means that if a host is likely to cancel on you, or has cancelled on many guests before, their listing will be negatively affected on the search result placements! This was super interesting to me, because I’d always wondered how you could get so lucky as to be placed on page one of the search results HAHA.

3. The number of options under Amenities are always being updated, so it becomes easier for a host to define and distinguish their listing, and conversely, for a traveller to filter down listings according to what they want out from a place! For example: I think most recently Airbnb has added a whole bunch of options under the Family amenity section, and so you can possibly filter for a listing based on whether they have a changing table, a babysitter recommendation, so on and so forth.

4. There is now co-hosting on the Airbnb platform.

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Sitting in on the Airbnb Co-hosting talk

The co-hosting part was the most interesting thing to me. In fact, the co-hosting announcement was part of one of the keynote for Hosts that I sat in on, regarding their new and improved Airbnb app for Hosts. Another announcement they made during that talk was the impending launch of photo sending capabilities in the Airbnb messaging app, which is honestly going to be the best development we see in both user and host experiences with the app, I think. It’s not so bad for city listings, but when you head over to the countryside, like I did last July in the Isle of Skye, it can be pretty tough to find your listing if you’re driving for miles and miles on an unending highway – so the ability for a host to send you a photo of a landmark or some kind of visual indicator of where to turn in, etcetera etcetera, can be incredibly useful.

But I digress, again.

Co-hosting, which they announced as slowly being rolled out worldwide, is the ability to add a trusted family member or friend as a cohost from their own account so that they can help you manage the listing when you’re away, without giving that someone access to your personal account, personal details, or payment information.

This may be a point of convenience to hosts, but it is so much more a point of safety to travellers. Just the fact that you have to add another account’s profile as a co-host already ensures the second host is more or less legit and verifiable. But beyond that, the new feature means that you’ll never risk being met by someone who isn’t your host and isn’t officially verified by your host, and also offers hosts an option beyond just leaving their keys under the shoe rack somewhere if they’re not available. It means that I don’t have to worry about what happens if I arrive at a strange timing – cos my host can just add a neighbour as a co-host who can let me into the house, and it being endorsed by the Airbnb platform also acts as a safeguard for me so that I know beforehand who’s coming to meet me, I can see their profile picture and face, and I can communicate with them beforehand. It also allows the host to pay the co-host a percentage of the rental fee – which was a small point that I really liked, because it meant that bored old aunties have a way of making extra income by helping their neighbours check in guests, and it not only promotes a sense of community within the actual local neighbourhood, it also injects more money back into the local economy directly.

One of the hosts I spoke to – not about this, just in general – mentioned to me how putting up a room in her place on Airbnb gave her the extra income and final decision-making push to scale back her full time job into a part time one, just so she could also work on her art. And I thought to myself: there is an academic paper in there somewhere, a social study, that needs to detail the way Airbnb has played into the gig economy, and enabled individuals to pursue the less financially feasible passions in their life. And here you go – cohosting might just be one of them.

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Listening to Brian Chesky, the face of Airbnb and one of three founders, give a keynote

Lastly.. sitting in with the hosting community gave me a lot of insight into what the host goes through.

Perhaps this isn’t the most useful or pragmatic thing to takeaway from a conference, but it certainly was the most emotionally resonant. I already wrote a piece last year on the way certain hosts use their listings as vehicles for social commentary, and given my own experience with multiple hosts world wide, I also love how they take it upon themselves to share their culture and life through friendship and food with guests in their own home. But on a more local, person-to-person level, I loved getting to see the human side of the hosting community as a whole. I listened in on a group of hosts enthusiastically discussing the best way to make their guests feel like the first guest in the place – exchanging little touches to make them feel welcome. I listened to them talk about cleaning techniques, how to make your home smell nice and welcoming, how to get rid of lime buildup in crevasses and corners of your listing, what the best cleaning equipments are.. Basically, I listened to them try, passionately, to turn their homes into a home for me. It was incredible. It felt so .. is cute the word? But the word feels too trivial. Human, perhaps. It was endearingly, amazingly human and sincere. And that reminded me that this was what Airbnb was and has always been founded on – people, wanting to meet other people, and wanting to make homes all over the world. I think sometimes I forget, especially when booking whole listings and not just private rooms within Airbnb listings, that I’m not leasing a place from a faceless professional entity, but from people who have found it in themselves to open up their homes and invite me into their lives. It could have been you. It could have been me. Welcome home, the Airbnb website says.

The corporation is the corporation, and it does a wonderful job. But the people make the warm and lovely building blocks of the community, and they are the stuff that fuels and fires up Airbnb as an entity.

Thanks for having me at the Airbnb Open, guys. More #LADiary entries to come. x

x
Jem

#2076 | The Wasteland

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I. THE BURIAL OF THE DEAD

April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.

x
jem