• I found hope in Hope thanks to nature and my nieces.
  • Reminder: There is always light at the end of the tunnel(s).
  • Possibilities.
  • "After you have exhausted what there is in business, politics, conviviality, and so on - have found that none of these finally satisfy, or permanently wear - what remains? Nature remains." Happy 200th birthday, Walt Whitman
  • Spring is always the most alive after the darkest and rainiest of winters. #hyggehouse
  • "There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind." C. S. Lewis. Or, as the Secret Sisters sang, "Tomorrow will be kinder."
  • "It was here in Big Sur where I first learned to say amen." Henry Miller

Friday afternoon I decided to take a last-minute trip up the coast. Every time I've driven it, I've  always had some place to be and up against time.

But not this trip.

Friday I spent time in Santa Barbara and Paso Robles.

Saturday I spent time in Steinbeck country (of Mice and Men is one of my favourite books) and finally drove the G16 across to Carmel before heading up for a quick stop to see of my friends who I would literally drive 8hrs for only to spend 2 hours with.

Today I got up super early and got a super big coffee so I could drive down highway 1, through Big Sur and hopefully beat the crowds.

Henry Miller is the author of some of my other favourite books so as I drove though Big Sur I thought of him and Steinbeck and how they wrote about what they knew, what they loved, and what they questioned. I've had this idea in my head for a new project and community that I know will resonate and mean something but just unsure how to begin.

So I made sure today to stop when I wanted to. Linger when I needed. Drive wherever for however long.

And, after all the times driving through Big Sur, I finally stopped at a beach. I spent two hours here practically alone and just was.

People say it but there is something magic about Big Sur and today was the first time I felt it. I felt the shift, the inspiration, the hunger. And I felt wet sand between my toes. 
I'm ready.

  • Instagram Image
  • That time I wore 👖
  • Instagram Image
  • Last week I drove through the area of Malibu that was most hard hit from the fires. It was completely devastated only last December but now, life is blooming again in a way I've never seen it before. The scars are there and it will take 20yeara to get back to where it was but life is back. That's the amazing, heartbreaking and beautiful thing about life. #malibustrong #earthday


Everyday Hygge

How to be a Guest

July 3, 2008

I once wrote a post “For the Love of Guests” in which I shared some ideas of what I do when people stay. Giving people a wonderful experience is important because I understand how travelling can be stressful and tiring and expensive. So anything I can do to lesson that, great.

But I never really talked about being a guest because I don’t have great experience at this; I generally feel intrusive, a burden, and slightly uneasy no matter with whom I’m staying with. That’s why I almost always stay in hotels when visiting because I just don’t want to put anyone out and frankly, I like my privacy and quiet after a busy day out.

However, the past couple of months I’ve stayed with a couple of friends and currently, I’m staying with my BFF. Before I came I asked her to lay some ground rules (what she likes, doesn’t like, where things go, etc.) and then I gave her full-on permission to tell me to leave, pick up or move something or leave her alone. Her friendship is more important than a free night’s sleep so being honest about how we are and what we need set us up for visiting success!

The flowers above are from her; she went to the flower market, arranged them, picked the fern from her front yard and voila. She cooked a feast and had a dinner party last night and today, showed me her secret beauty room in which I sat and put on some make up. She, like me, loves to make things special and she, like me, loves to have guests. And that’s when I realised that if people agree to have me, it’s because they want me and that staying with people can actually bring you closer and can be a lot more fun (who wants privacy when there is 2AM Girltalk to be had?). So with that, I thought about how to be a great guest:

  1. Be really clear about your arrival and departure days and time. This way your host knows how long to prepare, what to expect and when they need to be at the house.
  2. Have your own plans – don’t rely on your host. If your host works or has children or has budget constraints, it’s not fair to put the burden on them to take you around. Likewise if you’re going to do something touristy or fun, invite your host and/or offer to pay for their ticket. But don’t expect them to come or be disapointed if they don’t. Just because you’re on vacation doesn’t mean they are
  3. Be honest if you need private time or space. I have a girlfriend that’s stayed with me a few times and I love her because she’ll say “I need to be alone” and then I don’t feel like I have to entertain or wonder if she’s OK. This is also good if you don’t want people fussing over you who really like to (my mum is a good example of this!).
  4. Take them out for a meal or offer to cook.
  5. Don’t over stay. Even if your host says you can stay for a week, stay for 5 days.
  6. Even if your host says, “Make yourself at home” remember that it’s not your home; be clean, be respectful. Make your bed, keep your clothes together, wipe down the sink, hang your towels. Even if your host doesn’t mind messes (I get everything clean before a guest but have no problem if things fall wayside whilst they’re there), it just makes their life easier.
  7. I always offer to do a grocery run with my host; this way they get food and I can have food in the house and there’s snacks and dinner for everyone. For someone like me who has food allergies, this is really important. I don’t have to stress about eating and my host doesn’t have to stress about having something to offer.
  8. Don’t expect them them to be a chauffer or if they offer their car, bring it back with the gas tank full.
  9. If you have friends in the area, don’t use your hosts house as a party house unless they’re aware and OK.
  10. Do something unexpected for them. I’m staying in my BFF’s dressing room in which she has this lovely little bed thing that’s just big enough for me. It’s in the middle of the room and on either side are closets filled with clothes. She mentioned wanting to organise her closets so I went and bought some of my favourite huggable hangers (50 of them) and then will re-hang her clothes while she’s out.
  • Reply
    ingaNo Gravatar
    July 8, 2008 at 9:50 AM

    Aw, you’re such a considerate guest. I liked all these tips, especially #2. They all make sense though. Great post.

  • Reply
    emmaNo Gravatar
    July 21, 2008 at 9:11 AM

    Thanks for writing this post! I always feel somewhat guilty when I’m staying at someone else’s house, so I found your list full of useful tips to ease my conscience.

    I’ve been staying at a friend’s house for the last week, and since it is located in the middle of nowhere and I don’t have a car or a drivers license, I was so relieved when i found a bike I could borrow. Now I didn’t have to ask for a lift every time I wanted to buy an icecream or go swimming, and I also had a way to pass time and get some exercise at the same time while my friend was doing other stuff!

    I stay there quite often, and I always try to do my share of the housework, but unfortunately my friend won’t let me cook or pay for groceries. So I do the laundry and the dishes, and I usually try to do something extra like oiling the outdoor furniture or giving the bathroom a good scrubdown. But this list gave me a few new ideas. Thank you!

  • Reply
    Hygge House » Blog Archive » For the love of Guests
    March 18, 2009 at 9:21 AM

    […] what if you’re the guest? I’ve got suggestions for that, too! Everyday Hygge | Email | Print | Share/Save a2a_linkname=”For the love of Guests”; […]

Leave a Reply