Barcelona | Gaudi

Why you should not “go” to Barcelona!

It was just a normal Sunday, in just a normal week, just when I realized that I was ready for vacation. I was working endless hours on an exciting but challenging project at work over the last couple of weeks, which I had now successfully completed. My batteries needed a refill so I decided it`s time for a holiday.

Holiday for me means to relax but also to experience the places I visit. See or taste something new, learn about the culture and the people. I was looking for a sunny place to relax, paired with a place or city I could explore. No sooner said than done, I decided to go to Barcelona, a city that offers everything I wanted. Great weather, beach, culture, amazing restaurants, stunning architecture and a great nightlife. My plan was clear. Book a flight, find and decent hotel in a central location, get a travel guide and make a plan to see all the attractions in order to satisfy my demand for the “cultural experience”.

While searching through my regular travel pages, keen to find a nice hotel for a good rate, I landed on Instagram to check on pictures for an offer I had my eyes on. Instagram is great for this kind of research; you see what other people did onsite, how the hotel looks and what the rooms are like. Where to go, what to eat and you usually end up with a pretty good idea of how it`s going to be when you`re there.

Barcelona #LiveThere

2 minutes turned into 2 hours, just when I realized I got completely off track from what I was originally looking at. I was completely zoned into a hashtag (#LiveThere) I had randomly clicked on when I saw a picture of a girl standing on a balcony looking out at the city of Barcelona. The picture as well as the others connected to the hashtag where overwhelming. Full of life and filled with emotions. Exactly what I was hoping to have on this trip and when experiencing the city, culture and people.

I was curious now, eager to uncover what the hashtag meant and where it came from. Only seconds later I found the link which changed my life — or at least the way I book my holidays since. One click and I got redirected to YouTube looking at the latest Airbnb commercial “Don’t go there. Live there.”

airbnb: Don’t Go There. #Live There (Source: http://bit.ly/1DjjiBC)

This was it. Exactly what I wanted but never considered. The comfort of a home in a city and culture I want to experience and not only tour. Escaping the noise of the masses and experience a city like a native inhabitant, in the heart of the local community.

You might guess how my story ends…
I didn’t go to Barcelona. I lived in Barcelona — even if just for a long weekend.

Thank you Airbnb #LiveThere