The planet is our home; we need to be more responsible. Here's what I do.
Waking to the gentle swishing of water as a tourist cruiser leaves a slight wake. Church bells sounding in the distance and birdsong.
Even the rain dripping on the roof and the skylights is soothing as boats meander past.
The bed sways slightly with the ticking motion of the canal. Who knew Saturday morning in the bustling Dutch capital city of Amsterdam would be as peaceful as this.
The smell of hardwood on boats is unique. Old and watery but cosy and welcoming.
The skylight allows enough luminescence to wake us quietly. Portholes and fitted cabinets making a cosy atmosphere.
Our home this weekend formerly known as Wilhelmina is a wooden barge built in 1907.
We came by this idyllic retreat through AirBnB.
I could get seriously addicted to this site.
As someone fortunate enough to have travelled a lot, I’m not keen on big, fancy, faceless hotels. They are so often ugly and rabbit-warren-like with standardised heating, fixtures and fittings and a strong sense of anonymity. Plus they’re not cheap.
AirBnB offers something unusual. Set up by two guys who wanted to rent out their spare room it enables anyone with a space to rent it out. And those spaces can be very unusual.
This lovely room in a house boat is one such example. There’s the bonus of meeting new people too.
A peaceful haven in a bustling city. No neighbouring rooms with paper thin walls, no hustling breakfast buffet or jammed lifts with wheelie bags.
The owner’s boat is alongside. There’s another resident at the bow end but we haven’t seen him.
This is our holiday at home, just an hour on the train.
So if you’re looking for a less globalised accommodation option this might be your best option.
(This is my independent view.)
So far we’ve used it in Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Costa Rica. I wonder where we are going next?
a blog by a multilingual expat-since-birth, linguist, researcher, mum of three, living in the Netherlands and writing about bilingualism, multiculturalism, parenting abroad, international life...