Hi there, I’m Lauren!
I love chai tea, swing dancing, and quirks of our amazingly complex English language. I think that traveling is wonderful, and that we should try to put ourselves in situations that stretch us.
Hospitality is and always has been a core value of mine. There are few things more valuable to our society or as necessary to the human soul than a truly welcoming home with a host who truly cares.
Radical hospitality has the potential to thaw cold hearts, open sealed doors and forge lifelong relationships.
With the explosion of the short-term rental market and providers like Airbnb, radical hospitality also has the potential to be a great money-maker for the person who knows how to do it well.
That’s why I created this website – to empower women to be more than they’ve been told they can be through radical hospitality.
But wait…I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me tell you how I got to this point.
My journey here has been long and meandering.
I started with the “traditional” story. I went to college, got a bachelor’s degree (2, actually!), traveled a bit while in school, and even followed that up with a graduate degree.
All of this, without having a clear idea of what I really wanted to do with my life. I was just going through the motions, doing what I was “supposed” to do.
After undergraduate school, I started what would be the first of many detours. I went to South Korea on a Fulbright scholarship to teach English for a year. This sparked what has now become two of my greatest joys in life – teaching English as a Second Language (ESL), and the people and country of South Korea.
After returning from South Korea and getting my Master’s degree, I tried to settle back into a “traditional” life. I got a full-time 9-5 job. It was a wonderful company, with engaging work and incredible co-workers that I still miss every day.
And I was miserable.
I simply could not force myself into the standard box of what society expected of me. I wanted the flexibility to travel, to help others, and perhaps most importantly, to be my own boss.
This unhappiness with what should have been a good life brought me to another detour. I quit my job and started writing full-time, a pipe-dream I’d had since I was a little girl.
It didn’t go as expected.
While I did make it into some very well-known websites (Tiny Buddha, The Change Blog, Good Housekeeping, Cosmo, and more), my heart wasn’t really into it. Not because I didn’t enjoy writing – I did, and still do. But I eventually realized that I was missing the human aspect of work. I spent my days holed up in my office churning out content for whoever would listen. I wanted to interact with real people, hear their real stories, and most of all, help them in a more tangible way.
It was during my time working as a full-time writer that I wrote a book about my experiences hosting short-term rentals. This led to a lot of unexpected and exciting opportunities – most notably a TEDx talk – which really changed the trajectory of my life. Eventually, I realized that this side business I had of hosting on Airbnb was scratching that itch I needed so desperately. It was allowing me to connect with people in a real and tangible way, letting me interact with their lives in a way I’d never been able to as a writer.
So I detoured again.
I began hosting and managing short-term rentals full-time. Over the course of several years, I built up my hosting skills and knowledge of short-term rentals to a level I’d never dreamed of before. Eventually I began to focus exclusively on co-hosting – managing spaces for owners who didn’t want to manage it themselves.
Co-hosting has been so incredibly fulfilling to me. It’s given me purpose, an opportunity to help people in a very tangible way, a chance to make my own income and, most importantly, the opportunity to find myself, to be myself. I’d spent my entire life doing what I was told was the best thing for me, never bothering to figure out who I really was for myself.
I could have left it at that. I had already created a business and a life that I loved. But I realized that I needed to share what I’d learned with the world. There are so many women out there like me – women who have lived their lives for others, and now realize that they have nothing that they can claim as truly theirs.
I know from experience that this is a sad, scary, lonely place to be. No one wants to feel like they’ve spent their whole life on others with nothing “important” to show for it. (I would argue that pouring out your life for others is one of the most valuable things a person can do; but that’s a philosophical debate for another time.)
But if no one wants to feel like they’ve wasted their life, why do so many people still feel stuck in a rut they can’t get out of?
They’re scared to try and fail. They’re scared to waste money on something that won’t pan out. They’re scared of the opinions of others. They’re scared to start something they can’t finish.
I understand these feelings because I’ve been there. And I know how to get out. That’s why I’ve made it my life mission to help people get out of that endless rut. Let’s talk! See how I can help you move from a place of dissatisfied apathy to empowered confidence.