For the past three-and-a-half years, Michael and Debbie Campbell have been sharing their unique approach to retirement with people around the world.
Since selling their boat, car and Seattle townhome in July 2013, the Campbells have been traveling the globe and living full-time in Airbnb homes. They will speak at Island Books at 7 p.m. on Dec. 8 about their “Senior Nomad” lifestyle and read from a book they wrote for Airbnb hosts, titled “Your Keys, Our Home.”
They’ve been to 56 countries and used the Airbnb app to rent 123 apartments, for one or more weeks at a time. In between travels, they stay in a friend’s guest house in Mercer Island. Their godson plays water polo and lacrosse on the Island.
They said that they hope their story will inspire people to have adventures, no matter their age.
“We’re just living our daily lives,” Debbie said. “We’re not on vacation.”
Michael, a former sports and events promoter, and Debbie, a graphic designer, have always loved traveling. One of their daughters lives in Paris, and that has become their home base during long travels.
In their book, they not only share tales of the different countries they’ve visited, but also give advice for what to look for in an Airbnb and how to be a good guest.
They say that one thing matters most of all in a good Airbnb experience: the host.
“The delightful people we met along the way not only shared unique ways we could enjoy their city, they also helped us live our everyday lives,” they wrote on their blog.
The Campbells also describe frugal ways to enjoy a new city, just as the locals do, often taking free walking tours to explore their new surroundings. They’ve spent “little more than they would have spent settled into their rocking chairs in Seattle,” according to their book.
They aim to spend about $90 per night on their Airbnb, and often cook at home to save money. Some of their Airbnb search criteria include an ample kitchen and WiFi. They said they usually book about four weeks in advance.
Airbnb purchased their book as a gift for 6,000 hosts who will be attending the 2016 Open in Los Angeles Nov. 17-19. The Campbells, along with celebrities like Ashton Kutcher and Gwyneth Paltrow and travel entrepreneurs and authors, will be featured speakers at the event. Chip Conley, head of hospitality and global strategy at Airbnb, was interested in their story from the beginning, and supported their idea to write the book, they said.
“Given their beautiful stories and helpful wisdom, this book is perfectly suited to wanderlusting Airbnb guests, couples imagining how they can travel better together, and those in the second half of their lives wondering what’s next,” Conley wrote in the book’s introduction.
For more, see www.beseniornomads.com.