Two globetrotting friends proved that lockdown needn’t be a barrier to travelling the world.
Self-confessed travel-junkies James Ware, 28, and David Windsor, 33, both from London, wanted to ‘go on an adventure and liven up lockdown life’ and found a brilliant quarantine loophole – doing lots of Zoom-hosted Airbnb Online Experiences.
The pair realised they could use these to get their globetrotting fix – and things ‘escalated rapidly’. They ended up doing 84 in one week earlier this month, from laughter yoga with a practitioner in Lisbon to a coffee fortune-telling experience with a reader in New York.
Self-confessed travel-junkies James Ware and David Windsor wanted to ‘go on an adventure and liven up lockdown life’ and found a brilliant quarantine loophole – doing lots of Zoom-hosted Airbnb Online Experiences
James and David recorded the sessions for posterity – and the footage is incredible. Hilarious and fascinating.
James, a producer, told MailOnline Travel: ’David and I are both travel junkies, but obviously it’s impossible to get our globetrotting fix with the current situation. Then we tried one of these online experiences and were surprised by how exciting and connecting it was even over Zoom and things escalated really rapidly from there.’
There were many highlights.
James said: ‘Having my fortune told through the coffee stains left in my mug by Uluc, a Turkish legend with a gigantic teddy bear in his New York apartment, was particularly unforgettable. Zumba with an Olympian in Hawaii left me feeling so high I’m surprised it’s not illegal in most countries.
‘Getting to talk one-on-one to an Olympic Gold medallist, Chinese sailor Xu Lijia, was a real privilege and genuinely moving, she was super inspirational.
‘And Bounce & Twerk with MoJoe from New Orleans should have been beyond embarrassing but somehow was gloriously uplifting because she made us feel so welcome despite our wonky waist wiggling replacing her normal superstar clientele.
‘Also a noteworthy moment was the ending of the project. It felt like it was sure to be an anticlimax, but then our very last experience was songwriting in Nashville with Anne Buckle, who’s related to Johnny Cash. She just busted out an incredible song on the spot all about what we’d done that week, which just blew our minds.’
James said: ‘I now make such a high quality tiramisu that I’m awaiting my Italian citizenship’
JAMES AND DAVID’S 84 AIRBNB ONLINE EXPERIENCES
1) How To Write A Book – Australia
2) Flamenco Fiesta – Seville
3) Writing Masterclass- USA
4) Workout With Paralympic Medalist – Colorado
5) Disappearing Hill Tour – Seattle
6) Astrology & Natal Charts – Barcelona
7) Natural Beauty Workshop – Milan
8) Drums Drums Drums – Puerto Rico
9) Chocolate Meditation – Mexico
10) Zumba In Paradise With Olympian – Hawaii
11) Magic Castle Magic – Japan
12) Wine making – Bulgaria
13) Yoga & Slow Living – Florence
14) Storytelling – Catalonia
15) Chocolate Volcanoes – Rome
16) Get In Shape With A Belgian Olympian – Belgium
17) Cow Sanctuary – USA
18) Charity Pancake Flipping – San Francisco
19) Drink & Draw – Lisbon
20) Yoghurt Making – USA
21) How To Spot Fake News – USA
22) Learn To Tango – Argentina
23) Fado Concert – Portugal
24) Soundbath Meditation – Singapore
25) Meet A Shark Expert – South Africa
26) Manga Cartoon Drawing – Japan
27) Chinatown Tour – London
28) Flamenco Guitar – Madrid
29) Children’s Book Author – NYC
30) Drag Queen Singalong- UK
31) Mime Masterclass – Paris
32) Trigger Therapy With Olympian – Memphis
33) Introduction To Tango – Buenos Aires
34) Make Sangria – Portugal
35) Turkish Coffee Fortune Telling- NYC
36) Drag Queen Dance Show – Lisbon
37) Collage Art – Australia
38) Meditative Forest Bathing – Portugal
39) Pasta With Grandma – Italy
40) Photography Class – Barcelona
41) Rescue Goats – USA
42) Wine Guru – Porto
43) Sheep At Sunrise – New Zealand
44) Bounce & Twerk With Mojoe – New Orleans
45) Introduction To Mexican Cuisine – Mexico
46) Ideas For Authors – USA
47) K-Pop Dancing – Seoul
48) Olympian Flag Bearer – Mozambique
49) Japanese Food Art – Japan
50) Pasta & Opera – Rome
51) Laughter Yoga – Lisbon
52) Cape Malay Curry – South Africa
53) Olympic Gold Medallist – UK
54) Espadrille Shoe Making – Barcelona
55) Magic World Record- UK
56) Calligraphy Class- USA
57) Caravaggio Tour – Rome
58) Tango Posture – Barcelona
59) Healing And Happiness – USA
60) Street Art Tour – Buenos Aires
61) Irish Dancing – Galway
62) Tiramisu World Champion – Italy
63) One Love Meditation – Japan
64) Storyboarding Explained – Russia
65) Flamenco Class – Spain
66) Cello Meditation – Amsterdam
67) Vibe Ride – Detroit
68) Wine Tasting – Paris
69) French Crepes – Nice
70) Day Of The Dead – Mexico
71) Bookmaking – California
72) Judo With World Champions – UK
73) Penguin Pro – South Africa
74) Sake Tasting – Japan
75) Champagne Sabering – Reims
76) Origami Class – Japan
77) Extreme Magic – Ukraine
78) Western Architecture – France
79) Salsa & Passion – Puerto Rico
80) Cat Yoga – Brooklyn
81) Cigar Guru – Miami
82) Meet Vincent Van Gogh – NYC
83) Acoustic Concert- Iceland
84) Songwriting – Nashville
The funniest session was, appropriately, laughter yoga.
James continued: ‘The funniest of all had to be Laughter Yoga with Thomas Cock, his actual name, in Lisbon. Using different exercises, you laugh for over an hour. It was amazing how quickly fake laughter turned into the real deal and it felt so cathartic and positive afterwards.
‘He had repeat customers who were doing their seventh session it was so entertaining and beneficial.
‘I also had the first day I’ve ever cried with laughter twice in one day. We had a goat tour in rural New York which, thanks to the world’s worst wifi connection, became more of an immersive animal comedy. Then later, a Mexican cookery teacher flat out refused to let us leave to our next session, so we were held digital captives in an online kidnapping, which was weirdly hilarious.’
‘Having my fortune told through the coffee stains left in my mug by Uluc, a Turkish legend with a gigantic teddy bear in his New York apartment, was particularly unforgettable,’ said James
‘We were lucky to meet so many extraordinary people,’ said James
The bounce and twerk session, James said, ‘should have been beyond embarrassing but somehow was gloriously uplifting’
The sessions, James revealed, changed him as a person.
He said: ‘It really inspired me meeting so many incredible people who do things they’re so passionate about. It also really reminded me how connected we all are across cultures and borders no matter what’s happening.’
What’s more, he’s now an expert something new.
James said: ‘Having been entrusted with the secrets of tiramisu by Silvia in Italy, who genuinely attended the Tiramisu World Cup (an event now high up my bucket list), I now make such a high quality tiramisu that I’m awaiting my Italian citizenship.’
Airbnb launched the virtual experiences on April 9, with 50 available. There are now over 200
The sessions, said James, reminded him ‘how connected we all are across cultures and borders no matter what’s happening’. But he wasn’t always able to take the expert advice on board, as this image shows
While the video James and David made is a wrap – their journey isn’t over yet.
James added: ‘We’ve made friends for life and already have been offered apartments to stay in in New York, a free wine lesson in Portugal, a free penguin tour in South Africa and a coffee with an Olympic Gold Medallist. We were lucky to meet so many extraordinary people.’
Airbnb launched the virtual experiences on April 9, with 50 available. There are now over 200.
Visit airbnb.com/online-experiences for more information. If you are interested in hosting an experience visit airbnb.com/onlinehost.