The story of a little guesthouse in Ringebu village

I bought my house in Ringebu in fall 2014. It was an old house from 1947, in walking distance to the picturesque, vibrant village centre. I saw the potential to modernize it while preserving some of its old charm, and the project began shortly after I took over the house. I also started my new job the same day I got the house keys, so this project was not done overnight- but I was excited and full of ideas! The people and culture of Ringebu had convinced me that it was worth investing my time and money here.

Step by step and with a lot of help from amazing family and friends, I renovated it inside and outside. All the time I had in mind that this house is way to big for me and my cat, Melvin, but here we were, and I had to make the most out of the situation! Vacant space = unutilized resource / potential. I had a spare bedroom that I knew from the beginning that I could rent out once it was upgraded. Although the idea of sharing kitchen, bathroom and personal space in general with strangers was kinda terrifying in the beginning, I strongly believed the pros would exceed the cons.  Now that I wasn`t currently “out in the world”, I could invite the world home!

Pappa og Melvin = #dreamteam 💕 #acatslife #qualitycontrol #justchecking #ikea 😺

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About a year after renovating parts of the house, I listed it on airbnb and welcomed my first guests shortly after.

After that, I`ve had the honor of hosting many more! This is first and foremost a hobby to me; I enjoy hosting people and make them feel comfortable and at home. I also get to meet people from all around the world, and I love reading the guestbook notes- what a lovely memory from my chapter in this house!

Further, I have to confess that I never get as much house cleaning done as before I`m expecting guests – hosting is a great motivation booster in this respect. I get to be creative in the making of an airbnb listing, and through sharing moments from my little guesthouse on instagram (#RingebuBnB). Like this time, when I celebrated (with a “celebrator” :D) 1 year as an airbnb host:

Gift from a guest 😍 Beer from a German brewery🍺👌 1 year ago TODAY I listed my guest room on airbnb!🎈 Over 50 guests down the line I still haven't had any negative experiences- rather the opposite!! ❤😄🏡 I've learned that Gangnam is not only a song, it's a hip area of Seul, South Korea. I've spoken with one of the first biotechnicians in the world who can produce human enzymes in plant cells. I've hosted people on their way to their own wedding, been drinking irish coffee at home with strangers, discussed with entrepreneurs, had breakfast with guests before hitting work, and generally introduced a whole bunch of people to Ringebu😜🐒 About a year ago I wrote about how hosting is both good for me AND the local community – still applicable! Check it out if you want, link in bio✏ 😘 #RingebuBnB #Ringebu #Gudbrandsdalen #VisitLillehammer #airbnbmoments #guesthouse #hospitalitylife

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Finally, it has an aspect of entrepreneurship and learning to it that triggers me; It`s up to myself to create the product (a hospitality friendly, local home), promote it and get a (modest, yet) extra source of income. I strive to meet or exceed guests` expectations, and as such build and sustain what can be a somewhat valuable asset in todays digital era;  excellent online ratings from happy guests. The day I stop having fun along the way in this process, I`ll stop. For now, it`s become a lifestyle! :)

Read more about my thoughts on why hosting is both good for me and the local community, here. Have you tried hosting or travelled via airbnb? :) I`d love to hear some experiences! Hit me up on insta or FB or over a good old coffee at Baker Hansen, Ringebu <3

EDIT: When the 3-year project I was working on finished, I decided to pursue studies abroad and wrap up my village life for now. It was strange to leave behind stuff I had worked for a long time to build up, in several ways. On the other hand, change is good and even necessary sometimes. I rented out my house to a very sweet tenant, and Melvin got to stay, which makes me happy. Many things went through my head the final days before moving, and below you can find “the end” of the story of RingebuBnB. For now:)

#Mood #OnMyFridge: Sometimes I look at the attitude in this picture of Kate Moss and manifest her confidence in every fiber of my body. To do: Thrive (some days it works, some days I feel more like the sheep). Magazine page ripped out from a UK magazine I got as a gift from @claucarrere who once worked at #LOVEmagazine, quote notes from a lovely stationary shop in London from @sofiascosta04 and sheep from the annual xmas market at the local farm #RudiGard When you're moving, you realize everything you surround yourself with has a story, and you re-live all of them 3 days left before moving #countdown #moving #RingebuBnB #KateMoss #blackandwhite #attitude #motivation #headup #powerpose #fridgedoor #interiordesign #wallart #thrive #Ringebu

Et innlegg delt av Birgitte Bay (@birbay)

If you write it down, you'll remember the details of your life, someone said. I wanted to remember this moment. Ironically, it was around midnight. Moving day was no longer some indefinite time in the future, it was tomorrow. I had just emptied the shelfs in the bathroom, the house smelled fresh and clean after being washed from top to toe, ready for another person to make new memories in it. Most of my belongings were no longer at their usual place. Instead they were in boxes or blue ikea bags, placed in the car, at the farm, or still in the house, on their way out of the house. Spread out, not in place – like my mind recently, leaving the house somewhat stripped naked. I walked around in the rooms of the house; so familiar, so clean and cozy despite the nakedness. My homebase for the past 3 years. At the same time I saw it from "the outside"; like people you loose contact with, soon these very rooms will be like strangers to me, that I've once known. The page is turning now, a new chapter is about to start, for both me and the house. My first house. Hundreds of hours of renovation and upgrades, shaped by a mix of planning and spontanity, of necessitiy and creativity. Late nights by the kitchen table to finish work before a deadline. Airbnb guests from all around the world. Parties. Alone time. Coffee and sunbaths on the terrace. Grasscutting. Feeding cucumber to Melvin. The sound of him coming home through his small cat door. Snuggling up in front of the fireplace. This song came on, and my eyes filled up by the thought of all of it coming to an end. Nothing lasts forever. #latenightthoughts #movingday #coldplay #midnight #home #RingebuBnB

Et innlegg delt av Birgitte Bay (@birbay)