Readers write: “I booked an AirBnB in Ukraine, even tho’ I’m not going”

In Alaska Travelgram by scott

The sunflower is the national flower of Ukraine.

READERS WRITE: Tam Agosti-Gisler asked if I would share her story with you. Here it is.

I love to travel, not only to see new places, taste new foods, and experience different cultures, but to meet PEOPLE.  I have a “collection” of friends from all over the world as a result of my travels.  Some of these friends have come to visit me in Alaska and some I’ve visited more than once in their homes.  

AirBnBs are one way that I’ve been able to meet new people.  Sometimes we “click” in the host/guest relationship and a friendship is formed.  With these friendships in mind,  I’m  focusing my travel passion into a small humanitarian act. An online campaign has started, encouraging travelers book an AirBnB in Ukraine with no intention of showing up.

This allows the host to receive direct funds to offset their loss of income. In some cases, the hosts are donating the money  they receive to the army.  AirBnB has waived its fees so ALL of the money is paid directly to the Ukrainian host’s account on the day the reservation begins. CNN Travel reported on the donations’ impact:

“Airbnb has said it is offering temporary housing in neighboring countries to up to 100,000 Ukrainians who are fleeing their country because of the Russian invasion. It’s also waiving guest and host fees in the country. “We are so humbled by the inspiring generosity of our community during this moment of crisis,” said Haven Thorn, an Airbnb spokesperson. He asked those willing to help by hosting Ukrainians or donating to their efforts to visit Airbnb’s website for more information.”

 I booked an apartment in Kiev and heard back from the host who was grateful but also very traumatized.  

 One day when Ukraine  is once again a peaceful democratic country, I will go and stay at my new friend’s AirBnB. 

–Tam Agosti-Gisler

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