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Travel

Africa Community creativity Hospitality Ministry Travel

reverie guesthouse

oasis6

In the beginning of last year, I started a new little venture in the world of guesthouse businesses. I never really aspired to do something like this, but I’m so glad I did. I realized how much I love creating inviting spaces filled with beautiful things that make people smile. One of my favorite things is to see people’s reaction as they walk in and {positively} comment on the space.

January 2016, I listed BEAUTIFUL ARTSY AFRICAN RETREAT on Airbnb. I was ready for business! We didn’t get a booking until March. I wondered if this was a good idea after all. I didn’t get into this for my own sake.

I did it to provide an income for others while at the same time teaching business skills and imparting my high standard for excellence in everything you do.

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I did it to invite people of all walks of life to come to this place where we invite Jesus to abide. Our strict policy from the beginning has been that we don’t discriminate against ANYONE.

And, unashamedly, I did it to make money. Is a business successful if it doesn’t make any money? We have a beautiful property here in S. Africa. It’s a win win to use our space to make a little extra rands for running costs.

I guess all we needed was a booking to get the momentum going.

By July, because of the number of trips we had hosted and our excellent ratings, we had risen to Superhost status (and have maintained it since).

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In October, we added our second listing, BEAUTIFUL OASIS IN THE AFRICAN BUSH (these photos are a glimpse of that space).

Sometime, in the last quarter of 2016, our two listings made it to the top two spots when you google top White River Airbnb accommodations.

By December 31st, 2016, we had hosted 130 guests from 20 nations!

As I review my reasons for getting into this, I’m pleased that I’m right on track as we enter our second year. I’m so glad I get to do this guesthouse thing with this lovely lady who constantly makes me laugh and amazes me with her growth posture and shared drive to make a space that is clean, clean, clean.

smile!

We’ve certainly hosted people from all walks of life! One night we had a husband and wife Muslim couple staying with us who said one of the best things they loved about staying at our place was the people (we do have a pretty spectacular bunch) and how it’s always great to meet people like us. The very next night we had a gay Jewish couple stay with us who thanked us for our warm hospitality. I believe Jesus calls us to be a lover of people, and I’m so glad that people who meet us for the first time feel that when they sleep in our beds.

And we did make money! It’s always nice to recoup your startup costs AND make money on top of that.

Here’s to a successful 2016 and an even better 2017!

Travel

choosing souvenirs

Uganda Market

Because I travel a lot, I encounter lots of options for souvenir buying. I like to think I’ve perfected the art of how to buy souvenirs, but I’m sure that’s not true as there’s ALWAYS things to be learned. However, if you find yourself going on a trip and want to read my tips on choosing items that you are really going to want to display in your home, then click over to Petit Elefant!

Travel

on speaking english

Speak-English

Living in a land where English is one of the national languages is a bonus. It’s also helped me realize just how diverse the English language is. Yes, we might both be speaking English words, but it’s quite possible those words mean two different things depending on what country you’re from. Click over to Petit Elefant to see what I mean and share your own encounters with the English language.

Travel

crazy boutique hotel experience

Boutique-Hotel

Have you ever had a crazy experience that just never seemed to end? Like you didn’t think another thing could happen, but then it did, and then so did another, and another? That happened to Jeremy and I at a boutique hotel in Joburg. Read all about our experience that we now look back on and laugh about over at Petit Elefant.

Family Fun Travel

the chiang mai experience

Our Thailand trip feels like so long ago! Our time in Chiang Mai was such a blast! We experienced so many new, fun things as a family. I don’t even remember anyone getting grumpy! Check out a brief photo journal of our time and click over to Petit Elefant to read the specifics of where we went so you can plan your own trip to Chiang Mai!

riding elephants

elephant kiss

sticky falls

cooking school

food trucks

fish spa