While our Airbnb host talked to us about keys, wifi, and and other mundane-but-necessary apartment details, I could barely contain my delight. As soon as he took off, I danced around the space, ran up and down the stairs, and climbed the exposed I-beam to look out the window.

“You’re like a cat,” said Kirk.

I clawed the air. “Rarrw.”

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Kirk found this place on Airbnb for our trip to San Francisco. Next to staying with a friend or relative, Airbnb is my preferred type of accommodation while traveling. Every home you stay in is unique, and if your host is decent, you’ll feel welcomed, and maybe even a bit like you belong in this place you don’t call home.

Airbnb - San Francisco

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The area where the loft was located, Dogpatch, has transformed over the last few decades from a gritty industrial district into a quiet neighborhood occupied by young working professionals putting down welcome mats by the dozens in repurposed warehouses.

I mentioned where we were staying to my friend Julie who’s living in Palo Alto while she’s finishing her PhD at Stanford.

“Dogpatch,” she joked, “how very hipster of you.”

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Hipster or not, no matter. Hey, swings!

They looked like fun chairs, but proved to be much too low for the table. The swings were in fact, better swings than chairs. Surprise!

I shoved the table out of the way, and voilĂ ! Playground. I kicked hard enough my toes touched the staircase.

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A space big enough to swing in? Even without the swings the loft felt huge. Occupying this volume of space in San Francisco, one of the most expensive places to live, felt luxurious. Yet the surfaces, decorated only by a few rugs and a handful of framed posters, allowed the bones of the building to remind us of its repurposed life.

In the mornings Kirk left for the office while I remained at the loft. The openness and light fostered a motivating working environment, and the building’s recycled soul sparked creativity in my veins.

I loved the space. ☼

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