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The Importance of Place


3 months agoBusy5 min read

I moved to a new Airbnb today and what a difference it makes! This place is so much nicer than the last place I stayed.

Below I'll add just a couple shots from where I happen to be sitting in the kitchen nook as I write this, but the other rooms are even nicer.

That's of the covered porch and part of the yard.

That's of me looking to the opposite direction, through the kitchen to the dining room. (Pardon all the groceries on the counter.) I think I'll have my family over for dinner one day while I'm here so they can enjoy the space too. I really love the way it's furnished and decorated. I look forward to finally finding a place of my own and being able to do that too.

The Change

I don't have pics of the last place I stayed, but it was a duplex in downtown in a gentrifying area. The whole place shook with every footfall, whether mine or the people in the other unit of the duplex! Definitely confirmed for me I won't be renting any old houses converted into apartments!

But in general the area was kind of depressed and the house was dilapidated, despite being very tastefully furnished and decorated. The owner clearly tried to do her best with a house with poor bones.

I'm not going to leave a review, since I couldn't possibly leave a positive one about the place, but do like the owner herself who was renting it out. I'm glad though to be in a peaceful neighborhood and well maintained building again. I feel so much more relaxed already, even though I still don't quite know my way around the place.

This all brings to mind in an even sharper way what I wrote about in my last article. Different places draw out different qualities in you. Over time, this results in a different lifestyle, including different kinds of people you know and places you frequent. Choosing a place isn't just choosing a number of bedrooms and price. It's about choosing a lifestyle. Make sure you choose one that actually feels natural to you, or you'll always feel off balance, waiting for escape.


One thing I've found inescapable so far in my NC stay is pollen all over my car! You wouldn't believe how much it is without seeing it for yourself. I'd take a pic, but right now it's gone because I just drove through pouring rain. But think of those images you've seen of sand storms in movies. Now imagine the sand is pollen. That's literally what it's like walking through it sometimes. Black cars turn green and white cars turn yellow. I kid you not.

The gift of this timing for my arrival is that it has clarified that I must rent a place with a garage, or at least a carport. I'll still get some pollen on my car even with the carport, but it won't be as total a coating and will be easier to blow of while driving if it's only on the sides.

More Clarity

I've also clarified that I really want to like my landlord. I've owned for many years now, so I haven't had landlords, just airbnb and sublet owners to deal with. But my last 3 landlords before I bought were people I really enjoyed. We didn't spend a lot of time together, even the one where I rented a cottage behind the main house, but what time we did spend was always as people who really appreciated and enjoyed each other. Sometimes we would even grab lunch. One I helped with his non-profit, or took to doctor visits, and he a couple times gave me a lift to the airport so I didn't have to hire a shuttle both ways. I don't need that depth of interaction, but the mutual appreciation it reflects doesn't necessarily need regular maintenance. It's just the underlying truth of the relationship, and that means something to me.

And being near my mother. There was one place that had all the above qualities that the owners were essentially offering to me at the viewing, but it's a 30 minute drive from my mother. Given I moved here to be near her, kind of important to have a short hop over to her place so I can see her for at least a little bit most days.

The overall process of staying in different short-term rentals this past year has actually been incredibly worthwhile. I'm tired of it and ready to settle someplace, but I can tell that I've developed into a purer version of who I really am through this process of so much change, so much comparing wanted with unwanted. If I had sold in CA, then moved straight to NC, I think I would have been really off balance. I would have been pulled into my family's vortex without having a non-work-related center of my own. I've always been driven by work, so in the absence of that, I really needed time surrounded only by strangers, so I could recreate myself without influences who already perceive me a certain way.

I believe that journey of rapid change is now coming to an end. I hope so! I'm curious to see who I wind up being at the next resting place. Thanks for keeping me company along the way.


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