jess & luke's

December 14, 2011
english breakfast

During my last three days in London (and Europe, for that matter), I stayed with Jess and Luke through Airbnb. I'd only ever used Airbnb once before-- during my trip with David to Portland-- and was hesitant to try it out alone.

breakfast- tea & fresh apple juice

Well, staying with Jess and Luke turned out to be one of my favorite parts about being in London. My flight from Milan was delayed an hour and even though I arrived a little past midnight, Luke was still up to welcome me with a cup of tea.

window sills

At the end of each day, it was nice coming back to a home rather than a hotel. My first morning there, Jess and Luke invited me to join them for breakfast (see first two photos). Jess made poached eggs with a traditional salty fish (anyone know what that's called?) and served everything up alongside tea and fresh pressed apple juice. It was really delicious, really kind and really unexpected.

on the walls
oh, the places you'll go
the street

Perhaps the biggest story about staying with Jess and Luke is that they basically rescued me when I found myself in a foreign country with no access to my own money.

Yes, you read that correctly.

Despite calling Bank of America months prior to let them know I was in Europe (and had been for two months at this point), they deactivated my debit card because their system had been hacked. While this might seem like the most logical thing to do upon hacking, they didn't tell me. No email or anything.

So there I was, a little American girl, wandering from ATM to ATM wondering why on earth my debit card wasn't working. I tried to call the bank from a telephone booth, but couldn't call out of the country. Get this: a man who was cleaning the streets asked if I needed help. When I told him my problem, he let me borrow his cell phone to call America. What?!

I eventually reached a BoA representative only for my call to be dropped two minutes in. The phone number stopped working after that. So I was stranded in London, without access to cash, with no banks open (it was a bank holiday weekend), and with no way to speak to the bank in the States (because of the time difference).

Jess and Luke to the rescue. I called them and told them what had happened. They took the tube out to where I was and lent me cash. Me, this random American girl staying in their home. Cash.

Of course I paid them back through PayPal once I got back to the apartment, but wow. Jess and Luke obviously went above and beyond anything anyone could expect from Airbnb hosts. But being with them was an amazing reminder: Nice people exist.

People still have hearts-- and traveling is the best way to rediscover that.


  1. i could NOT agree with the last line of this post more. amen, amen, amen!!!

  2. girl you know how many freaking times ive been abroad only to have my cards shut off b/c they believe they are stolen?! (mind you, i call ALWAYS before i leave!) that is so nice that someone was so generous and thoughtful!!!! :)

  3. I absolutely LOVE Airbnb. We had one hiccup with it during our big summer adventure, but otherwise everything about it was AMAZING. I'm so glad it's becoming this big huge deal now :) it's nice to stay with locals and we found they often had really cute suggestions on places to go and things to do too! xo

  4. Is that fish, cod? Love your photos... The pillows are my fave- love the lighting!

  5. wow. that's more than i would expect from anyone. what sweethearts,

  6. oh wow! what a lovely story. it's so nice to know that there are still kind people in the world!

  7. I love stories like this. It's like nice people still exist. Yay.

  8. Great photos! I love the big map on the wall and photo 3 is lovely!

  9. Wow.. how scary would that be?! I'm so glad it worked out! I love hearing stories about the nice people of the world... so glad they do exist! I haven't used Airbnb yet...need to try it out!

  10. Wow, what generous people! This makes me really excited for the two apartments we're staying in [London and Paris] through Airbnb.

  11. The fish are called 'kippers' for kippered herring - salted and smoked, packed in oil and brine in a tin, usually. I'm an airbnb hostess, too. In La Scie, Newfoundland. Enjoy your travels! Celeste

  12. Thanks so much, Celeste! I knew it started with a "k" but couldn't remember for the life of me! I'd love to go to Newfoundland... maybe someday :)

  13. Goodness this really makes me want to travel!!!

    Ps. you have such beautiful pictures ♥

  14. What an awesome story! Glad you got the best treatment from my home country!

  15. totally. i loved all the help i received from people who really didn't have to help at all when we were over there.

  16. i have so been there, and was lucky to find kind people when i needed help, when i was far from home. something about travelers brings out the best in us all, i think.