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’
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.