“Whenever you go on a trip to visit foreign lands or distant places, remember that they are all someone’s home and backyard.” — Vera Nazarian
I love staying in bed and breakfast inns, especially if the hosts live in or very near the home where the guests stay. I don’t go for the pricey or frilly ones, just the type that seem clean and comfy and friendly. I tend to be more mindful of my own presence in such places; quieter, less wasteful of resources and more deferential than I am in the impersonal setting of a large hotel.
I think it takes a special sort of person to be a successful innkeeper. The ones Jeff and I met over the years have been professional yet friendly, offering travel hints that only locals tend to know about. Something about sitting at the table of the person who has cooked a delicious breakfast helps me feel a bit more at home, wherever I happen to be.
My hostess at the B&B where I spent my first two nights at Oxford told me of a lovely village, Burford, in the Cotswolds. I hadn’t read about it in any tour books or heard it discussed as a “must-see” destination, but she told me how easy it was to catch a bus there from right outside her door. It was a wonderful place to spend the day, and I enjoyed every minute. I likely would never have seen it without her helpful instructions. I’m sure I’ll eventually share some of the photos I took there on this blog.
On that same trip to England I had my first experience with an AirBnB home just outside London, and am now eager to try it again sometime. Just as the internet has enabled other kinds of online connections, new travel opportunities are possible for us, offering a different window through which to see a famous or lesser-known destination. It’s true that one usually saves money traveling this way, but the real attraction for me is the chance to have a one-of-a-kind introduction to a place that is, first and foremost, someone else’s home.
Have you visited any lovely bed and breakfast inns lately? Feel free to tell us all about it. We might just show up there sometime, and we’ll tell them you sent us!