I Lost My Life to Airbnb
Obsessively renting out my home was the only way I could make it in the gig economy. When I found myself sleeping on the subway, I realized I’d gone too far.
Illustrations by Linda Liu
It was a little after 2. a.m. one Friday morning two Novembers ago when I found myself on the Red Line train, on the North Side of Chicago, though I had been all the way north and south a few times already that night. I was tired, a little cold, and things were getting sketchy. I’d never been on the “L” that late before, and my plan to ride all night was seeming less and less safe the more stops we made. My car was empty, finally — the only other passengers had been two drunk men who kept asking where I was going and if they could come — and at each stop I tensed up, hoping no one else would get on.
It was a far cry from the private bungalow in Bora Bora where I had been just 24 hours earlier, but extreme contrasts were becoming the story of my life. I’m a freelance travel writer, which means I get to visit amazing places and stay in some of the world’s most beautiful hotels. It also means I don’t make very much money, thanks to rapidly decreasing magazine rat…
Keep reading with a 7-day free trial
Subscribe to Narratively to keep reading this post and get 7 days of free access to the full post archives.