It’s funny how each of my travel photos on Instagram seem to be driven by a specific colour depending on where I go. Croatia last year was a mixed of dark blue and natural hues, Portugal in February was a celebration of pale blue and white, San-Francisco last week was an hymn to soft pink and soothing pastels and I can’t tell you how much I loved it!
Last time I went to San Francisco, it was over thirteen years ago…pre-Mila, pre-airbnb, pre-Instagram and it was a totally different experience.
Then too, I travelled alone and while I remember really loving SF, the whole “travelling alone” thing was OK but not fantastic. I was in my 30s, worked at Universal Pictures International, pride myself in being independent and it went fine but it wasn’t as much fun as it was last week and back then, it felt a bit lonely if I’m being honest.
Last week was just the opposite.
First I think the whole Airbnb thing has changed the face of travelling so much in the most positive way!
Staying with my hosts Catherine & Micky rather than a cold, faceless hotel made a big difference to my stay. It was a much more pleasant and warm experience, which helped me to find my whereabouts quickly and experience San-Francisco like a local, which is by the way the message in the new Airbnb campaign…Don’t see a city as a tourist, #LiveThere like a local.
And there is, off course, the whole social media world, which has opened so much for us. I doubt one can travel now without finding someone to connect with anywhere in the world and I find this very powerful and positive. Yes you get the odd negative, frustrated souls on social media but overall, one can make great, interesting connections with people from around the world.Airbnb has also changed a few things on their app. Now you get matched with like-minded people so if you’re a design lover like me, the new app will recommend you airbnb rentals that are likely to match your tastes, interests and lifestyle. This means that your search and your friend’ search on Airbnb for the same dates and same destination may deliver totally different results.
To save you some time, I have listed 20 of my favourite Airbnb rentals in San Francisco:
1/Massive coup de coeur for this bright loft in Valencia (2 people)
3/If you love arty spaces, this garden cottage in Bernal Heights is for you (2 people)
4/Partial to white interiors, this adorable cottage in Mission ticks several of my box (5 people)
5/ If I had travelled with Steve, I would have booked us in this dapper house (2 people)
6/A nice bedroom in a beautiful Victorian house (3 people)
7/Massive love for this SOMA loft (5 people)
8/ Travelling with all your friends, this offsite loft in SOMA is perfect (12 people)
9/This is where I stayed, great hosts and great area with Castro on one side and Noe on the other (2 people)
10/A private room in a nice Marina home (2 people)
11/Going totally boho with this massive compound in Mission (15 people)
12/ A nice bedroom in a lively area (2 people)
13/ Loving the look of this tiny house (2 people)
14/ This home in the Marina is quite something (2 people)
15/A charming, modern flat in Castro (2 people)
16/A quiet, modern loft with private garden (3 people)
17/ A nice place with a 270 degree view in Noe Valley (2 people)
19/ A cosy & sunny 1 bedroom apartment (3 people)
20/And this 3000 sq. ft. loft (11 people)
PS: by the way, I have now listed our London home here