MY CASTLE, YOUR HOTEL
WOMAN OPENS HOME TO KEEP ROOF OVER HER HEAD
TIMES are so tough a Bundy woman has turned her house into an Airbnb where tourists come to stay:
the going gets tough, the tough get inventive.
A Bundaberg resident for 13 years, Lutgarda Porciuncula Espiritu, known in the community as Lee Pendleton, has turned her home into an Airbnb to keep afloat.
Fifty-nine-year-old Ms Pendleton said her household was just getting by after husband David lost his job and they decided to open their doors to travellers as a means to keep a roof over their own head.
There’s plenty of room to do so – the home has seven bedrooms and six bathrooms.
“It’s tough times at the moment,” Ms Pendleton said.
“I honestly don’t know how we’d survive without Airbnb.”
She said it was their experience with hosting students in the past that made the decision to turn their Innes Park home into “Spinnaker Lodge”, as they’ve dubbed it on Airbnb, easier.
“I was buying strawberries from Tinaberries and found out about Airbnb through Tina,” she said.
“I work as a community nurse, after our children moved out we used to do Home Stay Host with Bundy High – we had Danish and Swedish students stay with us, which was lovely.”
She said they started opening their home to others about two years ago.
Ms Pendleton now resides in a granny flat out the back of the property.
She rents her rooms out to a variety of people from around the world.
“Sometimes it’s students or people on a holiday and they stay for about a week.”
Currently there are travellers from Japan, Korea and Thailand staying at the residence.
Despite the financial hardship that led them to opening their home as accommodation for travellers, sharing their lives with complete strangers hasn’t been all bad.
“I love it in a sense,” Ms PenWHEN dleton said.
Since letting a vast range of different people board in her home, Ms Pendleton said she has been exposed to foreign cultures, particularly those with a European background, and languages.
According to Ms Pendleton, Bundaberg’s multiculturalism makes it feel like she has travelled.
The people she’s met has inspired her and made her proud to be a Filipino-Australian, trying to survive in a community like Bundaberg that she loves.
IT’S TOUGH TIMES AT THE MOMENT. I HONESTLY DON’T KNOW HOW WE WOULD HAVE SURVIVED WITHOUT AIRBNB. LEE PENDLETON
SHORT STAYS: Lee Pendleton (centre) with current boarders Manu Lee, Heekyung Oh, Shizuka Rebecca Goeku, Kayu Hayashi.