MY CAS­TLE, YOUR HO­TEL

WOMAN OPENS HOME TO KEEP ROOF OVER HER HEAD

NewsMail - - FRONT PAGE - MIKAYLA HAUPT JOUR­NAL­IST oSpin­naker Lodge is on 45 Spin­naker Blvd, Innes Park. For more in­for­ma­tion or to make a book­ing phone 0415 425 573. mikayla.haupt@news-mail.com.au

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

Photo: TAHLIA STE­HBENS

SHORT STAYS: Lee Pendle­ton (cen­tre) with cur­rent board­ers Manu Lee, Heekyung Oh, Shizuka Re­becca Goeku, Kayu Hayashi.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.