When I told my close family and friends that I would be renting a room in an Airbnb and living with the host most of them gave me that same side eye and that uncertain “ok.” Some even called me out with a simple “JEN! Now you know this is not the living situation for you. You like your personal space!” All valid concerns!
For those who don’t know, travel nurses are given housing stipends on top of the hourly rate. The goal is to find cheaper housing options and pocket the extra money. After spending many hours on Airbnb, VRBO, corporate housing and short term lease searches, I had to face the realization that having a roommate was the best option financially for my Massachusetts contract.
I was attempting to be open, but I still had to be realistic and safe as a solo female traveler. Apparently New England has a bad rep for being racist so I had to research neighborhood demographics before I chose my living situation. I wanted to see people who look like me or at least other brown/ethnic people.
My requirements for shared housing: close to the hospital, my own room, bathroom, parking space, a female roommate and no children in the home. I love kids, but I’m not trying to live with anybody’s kids but my own (very, very far in the future). I had full access to the kitchen, but I despise cooking so I really just need a place to store my takeout and microwave it.
It seemed that I found the “perfect” private room to rent from a retired Puerto Rican woman who occasionally watches her grandkids and wanted to rent to female healthcare workers. The situation was mostly positive and convenient.
However, I did sense that she would’ve liked me to spend more time with her. She kept assuming that I wasn’t comfortable because I rarely sat in the front room or watched TV with her. There was one day she literally told me not spend time in my room after I had a rough workweek. Her tone was like when a frustrated mom tells their teenager to put their phone/game down.
I don’t know about y’all, but after a long week, I spend my first day resting and catching up on my shows blissfully aware of the fact I don’t have to work. I had to hit her with a nice, but firm no thanks! My voice was sweet, but I’m sure my face was mean mugging. I know she meant well, but my own mama doesn’t tell me what to do or how to spend my time.
This was a very minor and one time situation. However, I discovered that we had very similar personalities. So for the life of me I could not figure out why she wanted to invade my space. If anything she should’ve empathized. She could’ve won me over with a simple Peurto Rican meal in all honestly, but like me she despised cooking! Very similar like I said.
Minus a few differences, the experience was decent. Renting a room allowed me to save so much extra money especially in that area, but I don’t want to do it again. For me it was slightly awkward, for those less picky it probably won’t be a big deal.