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    Bài viết của Airbnb, đăng ngày 18 thg 2, 2021
    Bài đọc 4 phút
    Đã cập nhật vào 28 thg 4, 2021

    Điểm nhấn

    • While crisscrossing the globe, this couple found happiness in the confines of a camper van

    • They began hosting a tiny house to show guests the power of living with less

    • Now Superhosts, they say they’ve come to love hosting more than traveling

    Globe-trotting backpackers Erle and Jeremy never expected to run into each other twice. They met in Thailand in 2012, but lost touch and didn’t speak for years. Then serendipity struck when they found each other in Sydney in 2016, and sparks flew. Within weeks, they were happily roaming the Outback together in a self-converted camper van.

    While traveling, they began to formulate a plan to return to Norway, where Erle grew up. They’d both studied business but felt they wouldn’t find “corporate” 9-to-5 jobs fulfilling. Having stayed in Airbnb listings as guests, they kept thinking they'd make good hosts—and that Norway would offer a stunning backdrop.

    Fueled by a passion for travel, minimalism, and environmentalism, they thought hosting a tiny house would let them share a profound lesson they’d learned through years of backpacking: “You don’t need a lot of stuff to be happy.”

    What they didn’t know? Hosting would become the one thing they love more than traveling.

    Making the dream a reality

    Erle and Jeremy, who grew up in Belgium, found their dream spot days after moving to Norway. A tiny cabin 20 minutes outside Oslo was so derelict that there were no interested buyers. But the price was right, and with its private views over a wildlife-rich river delta, they saw only potential. And they figured guests would see it too.

    Their idea was to build something truly unique to the area. "As travelers ourselves, we wanted to create a place that would be inspiring, unique, and unforgettable,” Erle says. “Airbnb makes it possible for anyone who is creative—and who wants to create unique experiences for others—to host. It is really genius!"

    "As travelers ourselves, we wanted to create a place that would be inspiring, unique, and unforgettable.”
    Erle, Airbnb Superhost,
    Norway

    They moved into the cabin, and spent a year planning and getting the necessary permits to tear it down and build a tiny house in its place. They had no experience building houses, but they were undeterred. 

    Building on a budget

    As backpackers, Erle and Jeremy knew how to live frugally; to save money, they worked part-time as boat crew members on the river below, did most of the build by hand, and camped on the property. They cooked and showered “out in the open,” and Erle even built veggie beds to grow some of their own food.

    “We were prepared to put all of our efforts into this, all of our money—everything,” Erle says. It took them a year to build what they call the WonderINN Mirrored Glass Cabin—a name she says refers to how the tiny house makes people “always wonder what is behind the mirrored glass.”

    Not big on planning, the couple mostly went with their gut. “We found a few incredible unique stays to look for inspiration,” she says. “It is always helpful to see what others are offering and have thought about which we haven't, and also inspiring to search around for places on Airbnb and get an idea of what others are doing.”

    They chose a clean and modern look, but added details that reflect their personalities, too. For instance, the tiny guest bedroom they built off the main house is modeled after the cathedral-shaped label of Jeremy’s favorite Belgian beer. They were learning as they went, and they loved it.

    Mastering the art of hosting

    As soon as they’d finished building and furnishing the tiny house, they listed it on Airbnb. The bookings came fast, and within a few months, their calendar was full for weeks in advance. What’s more, they had fallen in love with hosting. “If there is one thing we might enjoy more than traveling, it is hosting,” they write on their profile.   

    “If there is one thing we might enjoy more than traveling, it is hosting.”
    Erle, Airbnb Superhost,
    Norway

    A 4.96 average rating bears testament to the rave reviews: “enchanting,” “truly magical,” with “killer views” and “mushrooms and wild berries nearby.” One guest wrote, “I cried when I saw it.”

    Erle and Jeremy love making their guests happy, but they especially love letting their guests experience the power of living with less. That’s one reason they chose to splurge on the mirrored glass. From the inside, the glass walls let in expansive river views; from the outside, mirrored glass reflects the forest and sky.

    “The feedback has been amazing, and you can outline for people that this is all that you need,” Erle says. “I’m really conscious about the environment, so this is also in line with my values—that you don’t need a lot of stuff to be happy. When you clean out all the useless stuff, you can focus on what really matters.”

    Envisioning a future both bright and tiny

    Erle and Jeremy, who now live in an apartment about 20 minutes away, say they put about $175,000 into their tiny house in total and earned back that investment in less than two years of hosting.

    In fact, hosting makes so much possible for them—in terms of both their passions and their finances—that they’ve built two similar tiny houses on farmland nearby: Cabin Boho and Cabin Kønn.

    Erle and Jeremy are now looking into hosting Airbnb Experiences that would allow their guests to reconnect with nature through activities like interacting with farm animals and exploring the river by boat. “Be sure to stand still and enjoy the view over the delta,” they write in their listing description. “You can regularly spot kingfishers, ospreys, elg, and even eagles!”

    While they hope to continue being guided by instinct, Erle and Jeremy envision hosting even more tiny houses in the years ahead. Whether they’ll return to a nomadic lifestyle is an open question. For now, they are so in love with their tiny houses that they find it hard to leave them.

    “My initial plan was, we would start this and then travel while we had an income,” Erle says. “But now we’re here all the time to make sure everything is perfect. And we feel like they’re our baby, so it’s hard to leave them.”

    Interested in hosting your own tiny house?

    Điểm nhấn

    • While crisscrossing the globe, this couple found happiness in the confines of a camper van

    • They began hosting a tiny house to show guests the power of living with less

    • Now Superhosts, they say they’ve come to love hosting more than traveling

    Airbnb
    18 thg 2, 2021
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