I don’t think that I could ever get enough of South America. Being born and (partially) raised on the continent, it feels like home to me. Every time I hear the different accents and interact with the people I feel like I was a kid again. With good reason, I will be returning to make a pit stop in Medellin, Colombia followed by an overland trek to Venezuela where I will be spending the holidays with my Abuela (grandmother), love you Abuela!
As I usually do when living overseas, I plan on renting an apartment while I am in Medellin. Venezuela will be a completely different story since I definitely will be staying with my grandmother (would never want to miss that delicious cooking). Oddly enough, grandmothers know exactly what you want when you want it, it’s an instinct they were born with.
I was recently contacted by Wimdu, which I can describe as a hybrid between CouchSurfing and an typical apartment rental company, about a potential stay overseas. Officially, you can find Bed & Breakfasts and rooms for rent via their site.
They asked me if I wanted to try out their service in exchange for test driving their apartments and bed and breakfasts. At first I thought it was a typical apartment rental company but then I realized that the apartments they rent are from locals, even better! With my cave man internet speeds being absolutely atrocious here in Ethiopia I was happy to find that the website loaded extremely fast and was very easy to use.
One of the great things about Wimdu is they offer rooms for rent in a local’s apartment, or if you are too cool for that, massive apartments all to yourself and even chateau style BnB’s in Europe. You read that right, chateaus. I think everyone can agree that when you are with a local you get a more authentic experience while traveling, hence Wimdu’s logo “travel like a local”.
Another unique thing I found is since you are able to rent rooms and apartments form locals you can also list yours on the site. Did I mention that you can list your property on the site for free? I always considered opening up a hostel somewhere but being able to own a condo and renting it out sounds very ideal!
I decided on where I wanted to stay I quickly found an apartment near my old stopping grounds in Medellin (pics coming soon). The online platform reminded me of how Google does things, simple to use and fast. You can find everything from the places that you want to stay and people that have requested to stay with you all from the main page.
Registering is completely free and once you enter you will that it has a very social feel to it, it’s a refreshing change of pace since most apartment rental companies are all about business. The company has personality as you can see in the video above about how they operate. I arrive in Medellin on December 15th and I’m really curious to see how they operate the check in and check out since its locals that own the accommodations.
Look out for updates when I share how the entire process went!