In June, Airbnb announced its plans to give away a year’s worth of world travel with its ‘Live Anywhere on Airbnb’ campaign. A staggering 3,14,000 people around the globe applied for one of the coveted positions. And now, Airbnb is ready to announce the 12 lucky people who just won the equivalent of the travel lottery. By Stacey Leasca
According to Airbnb, the participants range from a staycationer pursuing a master’s programme to empty nesters embracing the nomadic lifestyle, young families looking for new cultural experiences, a multi-generational family passionate about accessibility advocacy, entrepreneurs, a medical researcher, and even a world cyclist.
One of those selected, Colin Mukri, says being picked out of the hundreds of thousands who applied is simply “unbelievable.”
“We’ve never been selected for anything like this before and don’t care if we ever get an opportunity like this ever again,” Murki says of himself, his wife Meg, and their two daughters, who will travel the world with him. “It is a literal dream come true. At the same time, we feel the weight and responsibility of being given this opportunity from Airbnb and we’re up for the challenge.”
It’s a bit of serendipity that Murki applied. He’d already been working remotely for some time and had even been putting away money every month to one day afford living somewhere new for a month each year.
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“The thought of working from anywhere with my family was constantly a daydream,” he says. “There was only one thing on my mind at that point — to experience the beauty of the world together as a family — and that’s what drew me in right away.”
For their trip, Murki and his family will spend the first few months in Europe and will see where things go from there with border openings.
“We have a plan A, B, and C, and the good news is our world has no shortage of beauty, so we know we will enjoy anywhere we end up,” Murki says. “I’m most excited to spend Christmas in Germany and Chinese New Year with my family in Southeast Asia, and hopefully end our trip in New Zealand.”
As for what he hopes to take away from this experience, Murki says he and his wife want to “incorporate this lifestyle into our family and embed it in our girls. We want them to be humbled by how vast and diverse our world is, to accept its strengths and weaknesses, and create a deep sense of belonging and unity wherever they go in life.”
Keep scrolling to learn more about the other selected travellers via Airbnb.
Ben and Peta from France and South Africa
“With a passion for sustainable travel and art and respective roots in South Africa and France, Ben and Peta have been nomads for the last 14 years after raising their four sons in Chicago. They are hoping to explore underdeveloped countries around the world to further Ben’s eco-focused work and glean inspiration for Peta’s artistic pursuits.”
Hendric from Singapore
“Co-founder of travel content creator community The Travel Intern, Hendric is planning to travel around Asia and Europe, demonstrating the benefits of working remotely for businesses around the world. He’ll capture content and share his experiences on The Travel Intern along the way.”
James from England
“Freelance artist, actor, activist, and content creator James is all about breaking the mould – after all, he is the first Deaf man to secure a place at the Royal Academy of the Dramatic Arts (RADA) in London. When he starts university at RADA this fall, he’ll do so while living more flexibly in Airbnbs in and around London.”
James G. from England
“New dad and surgical Doctorate Research Fellow, James is dedicated to collaborating with international health experts to advance the field of medicine. He will be travelling the world with his family to learn more about how surgery is done worldwide while also making the most of living nomadically with a baby.”
Jonathan from Canada
“An adventure lifestyle activist who has cycled in 40 countries and on three continents, Jonathan still has a lot of kilometres left on his bike. Along with his girlfriend, Jonathan will continue his travels to lesser-known destinations while working on his next adventure: Writing a book.”
Lindsey from Maryland
“Multigenerational travellers Lindsey, her mother, and teen daughter Anna, are accessibility advocates who are on a mission to empower and inspire others by showing that the magic of travel should be accessible to all. Anna, who uses a wheelchair, has experience in road schooling since 2015. This program is their chance to continue their travels and motivate people everywhere to do amazing things, take risks, and get involved.”
Maria from Argentina
“With her children grown up and out of the house, Maria is making the most of her newfound free time and flexibility. An artist, freelance journalist, and designer, she’ll embark on the solo adventure she’s always dreamed of while continuing to pursue her creative passions along the way.”
Marquita from New York
“A self-proclaimed ‘Jill of many media trades,’ Marquita is a seasoned journalist who has turned her passion for people, creativity, and uncovering stories in overlooked places into a successful freelance career. She’ll take advantage of the flexibility that freelancing offers to travel solo around the world (and write about her experiences along the way!).”
Stephanie from Tennessee
“An Airbnb Superhost herself, Stephanie is a dedicated world traveller — she and her husband Peter have been to over 70 countries together. While she’s no stranger to Airbnb, she’s never had the opportunity to experience long-term travel on the platform, so this fall she, Peter, and their two-year-old son Hays will travel the world as a family, all while welcoming guests into their Airbnb listings(s) while they’re away.”
Victoria from Russia
“A global-minded citizen of the world, Victoria will join other students around the globe in remote learning when she hits the road this fall and starts her Master’s degree studies in Chinese Public Policy at Peking University while living in listings on Airbnb.”
Will and Steven from France
“Adventurous duo and digital nomads Will and Steven have been travelling for the past 10 years while educating themselves about sustainability. They plan to use this long-term travel opportunity to learn more about eco-friendly practices across the globe and get inspiration for their own entrepreneurial dreams.”