I appreciate how friendly and welcoming hosts are in shared homes. It’s only weird if you make it weird.
Staying in a stranger’s home can be a little unnerving at first. The first time I did it, I assumed I’d have my own private entrance. I didn’t, and a polite, single guy opened the front door, welcomed me in, showed me to my room, and that was the last I saw of him.
Most hosts are very professional and give you your space, taking cues on how friendly or not you want to be, and I’ve never been bothered by an over-friendly host.
In my experience, though, most anyone is willing to open their home to traveling guests enjoy people and will be glad you’re there. Several hosts have asked if I’d like to join them for dinner — I usually decline — and will do anything they can to make the stay enjoyable.
A host in Mobile, Alabama, left a breakfast spread for me with croissants, rolls, fruits, and juices and told me to help myself to any canned drink in the fridge.
In Charlotte, North Carolina, I asked the homeowner if I could eat my dinner by her pool and she was more than happy to oblige. I didn’t see her again after our initial introduction, either. It’s been my experience that most owners will clear out if you are using their kitchen, living room, or backyard.
Another time, I mentioned to an Airbnb owner in Vermont that I’d just finished my book. She offered to swap with me so I’d have something new to read. This felt so much more personal than what I’d experience in a hotel.