London is where I grew up. I moved there when I was 20 and lived there for 16 years. My kids were born there. I made many friends, had a thriving social life. London was home. Then POPxo happened - I moved to Delhi. For the first year after my move, I kept thinking I would be back in London soon, then it became two years and now it has been three. After all this time, I finally say I live in Delhi :) As a result, going back to London is always bittersweet. It houses so many memories for me and the sheer thought of going back just as a visitor is hard.
So, I decided to not be a tourist and chose something that would make me feel at home: Airbnb! I chose an apartment in the vicinity of Marylebone - the area where I lived for so many years and it felt amazing. I could walk to my old haunts, order my favourite munchies from Deliveroo, it felt like I was once again living in the city, instead of simply visiting it. My kids loved it as well and it became the perfect oasis to decompress.
Life is super hectic. As the Founder and CEO of POPxo, I am never completely switched off. Even when I’m off the grid for a few hours (say, taking off and landing), I’m constantly connected. In fact, my colleagues tell me that I’m more available when I’m travelling.
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Darling Reya, Happy birthday princess - you are a our heart! As you turn 8 today, I hope you remain the happy, sunny and loving soul that you are. I hope that you grow up strong, confident and ready to take on the world. May your passion for style endure, may you remain as creative as you are right now. Try new things. Don’t ever be afraid. Always remember that we love you and we are cheering for you to lead a happy life full of laughter and many successes.
A break from this fast-paced routine made my week in London seem even more heavenly. We walked everywhere - ate our way through the many places we loved, window-shopped and celebrated my daughter’s eighth birthday. After a long, fun day, back at the Airbnb, sitting on the couch with a cup of coffee, I took a moment and felt utterly blessed – for my wonderful family, for a thriving business and a fruitful life. I was close to the people I love the most.
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Finishing off last-minute emails and slack messages before I check out of my lovely @airbnb. It’s been a relaxing trip - I reconnected with a city I called home for nearly 16 years. . Feeling recharged and excited to head back (physically) to the @popxodaily office! We have lots happening this month!! . This was my first @airbnb experience and I am honestly a convert. It truly is the most authentic way to experience a city! My husband and kids most enthusiastically agree :) . I will most definitely be checking @airbnb next when I want to book a stay. They were also extremely responsive - a big shout-out to Kei in their customer service team for top-notch problem-solving skills! And to @shivangsethiya for putting all this together 😀
I am an Airbnb convert now. The two-bedroom apartment was exactly as advertised on the website – super high-tech, spick and span, and massive in terms of space. It was even air-conditioned - given the heatwave that London is currently experiencing - such a blessing!
Located off Oxford Street, I was minutes from all the places that I love - from Selfridges, my favourite restaurants like Roka and NAC, the delightful Marylebone High Street to my favourite hairdresser.
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Ladies who power-lunch (!) Women support women - no one does it better than @farzanabaduel #BeNice. . Taking time out to recharge, think and plan is what keeps founders going- Breaks keep burnouts away! @airbnb has been the driving force behind my mini-London trip. . Meeting and really talking to smart, driven friends who are on a similar journey keeps me focussed and grounded. Farzana has been with me from day one. We cheer each other on - as confidants and sounding boards. She runs @curzonpr - a global Strategic PR firm. She understands the pressures of working at this pace and the challenges of being a working mom/wife. We bond over the sacrifices required and celebrate each other’s wins and goals!. . . I am wearing: dress by @bhanunidesigns, the earrings are by @sachdeva.ritika, bag by @hermes, pumps: @jimmychoo, sunglasses: @ditaeyewear. Styled by: @drishtysingh, assisted by @kritichawla20
On this trip, I realised a major difference between a hotel and an Airbnb – the latter is more personal and warmer. It’s more than a place to stay; you really live there. You share the space with your loved ones and bond with them in little ways that make a difference; you cook meals or order in and you go about the daily routines and rhythms without any intrusion. My beautiful Airbnb apartment was home for me in every sense of the word. Check-in and check-out were seamless, and help was a quick message away.
I really enjoyed my first Airbnb experience and can totally see it becoming an alternate way to travel. It gave me a chance to reconnect with my past – the city that I had left behind but never forgotten and the people who still celebrate my wins, even if it’s on calls and Instagram messages. London will always be my home in many ways, and now, thanks to Airbnb, I feel I have a place to go back to.
You can book this beautiful home in London here.
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