When Nataliea Abramowitz’s lease expired in October 2020, she traded her cramped Los Angeles apartment for life on the road.
“I had been working from home since March, and it had been really challenging,” the 25-year-old entertainment industry professional said. “My roommate and I felt very on top of each other, and I was trying to find just a way to make my life a little bit more bearable in these really confusing and strange times.”
That led her to the short-term rental site Airbnb.
“I first looked on Airbnb kind of as a joke, kind of not really thinking I would find anything in my price range,” she said. “Before I knew it, I had made a list called ‘TTG,’ which stood for ‘time to go,’ and it was 50 homes strong.”
Abramowitz said she looked for Airbnbs within about nine hours of driving distance, offering more space than a Los Angeles apartment at somewhat comparable prices.
“I was trying to find places that had yards and lots of space for my dog,” she said. “I realized that there were all these different options of places that I could live because I was working from home for the first time in my entire life.”
Abramowitz said she always reached out to hosts ahead of time to make sure her dog, Olive, was welcome. At 11 pounds, the “pure mutt” doesn’t take up much space anyway.
Her first stop was Burly, Idaho. She later stayed at Airbnbs in Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina and Ohio.
Round trip, she’s traveled about 6485 miles, “not including all of the little side adventures I went on,” she said.
The blending of work and travel has been a boon to Airbnb’s business. The company reported record revenue in the third quarter of 2021, driven in large part by bookings for longer stays. In a recent press release, Airbnb said 1 out of every 5 nights booked were for stays lasting 28 days or longer.
“For many Airbnbs, if you stay for more than a month, you get like a 30% discount,” Abramowitz said, “So I was generally trying to always hit the mark where I could get the discount.”
After about eight months into her cross-country remote work road trip, Abramowitz’s employers solidified their back-to-office plans.
“I booked it back from Columbus [Ohio] to make sure that I was there to connect with my team when we finally did do it,” she said.
Though her team’s in-person meetings are currently on hold again, Abramowitz said she’s hesitant to leave Los Angeles with so much uncertainty.
For now, she’s joined the ranks of young adults who are living with their parents, a club that’s grown significantly during the coronavirus pandemic.
“I am tentatively looking for new places to live, but it’s really hard for me to commit to Los Angeles after I’ve had this experience,” she said. “I have so many more places I would love to see.”
Tell us your housing story using the form below, and you may be featured on a future edition of “Adventures in Housing.”