The London Startup

"What we have to remember is that we can still do anything. We can change our minds. We can start over...The notion that it's too late to do anything is comical. It's hilarious. We're graduating from college. We're so young. We can't, we MUST not lose this sense of possibility because in the end, it's all we have."

It's true that I've been all over the place with my career. From accounting to finance, consulting to media, psychology to retail/fashion, my interests have changed as quickly as the seasons. Like most 22-year-olds, I am eager, (overly) confident, and unwaveringly stubborn in my quest to change the world (lawl, *rolls eyes at self*). 

And so as most of my former-banker/finance/media/medicine/you-name-it friends, I've now ventured into the sea of startups, inspired by Marissa Mayer's 13th-Google-employee story and expedited success (forgetting that she's really just one in a million), and have set my eyes on taking my company valuation skills (or so I think) to identifying the next startup of the decade and jumping on that band wagon on the road to explosive success (lawllllllll, *rolls eyes twice at self*). 

And despite this self-mockery of my naive idealistic thoughts, I have to admit that a part of me still believes, and always will believe, in the future. Because as Marina Keegan put it so well - We can still do anything. We're so young. We can't, we MUST not lose this sense of possibility because in the end, it's all we have.

Since last June, I've been following this rapidly expanding London startup called onefinestay, a luxury, full-service version of Airbnb that takes beautiful (often multi-million dollar) homes in major vacation cities like New York, LA, Paris and London to rent out to those willing to pay a premium for that extra comfort, safety and service (including a free iPhone, five-star linens, fully stocked kitchen, and full concierge service) on their vacation.

Homes are curated and photographed by a team of experts, and displayed beautifully online and in their Guestbook Journal - "A Journal about Living Beautifully and Sharing It".

Something about their practice and philosophies resonated with me. I knew a missing piece of my career so far was incorporating an element of design and...well, beauty in what I do. I love anything beautiful. Or maybe that's not the right way to put it. I believe in discovering the beauty in what we do, in the people we meet, in the places we see, in the emotions we feel, in the events that happen and are happening, in everything and anything around us.

Sometimes we are so focused on the future that we forget what is happening right in front of us. And we forget that there is beauty in this moment right now, every moment, because there is beauty in the simple fact that we are alive and breathing in this world, in the fact that any moment now could be the last moment that we have to live.

And I want to share what I see and feel with people around me, to spread happiness, laughter, ambition, purpose, generosity, love, health and goodness in this world. 

It may sound contradictory because onefinestay offers luxury amenities that many of us would not be able to afford. The product is material and it is not free, while all the things I mentioned above are. But what I admire about this business (because after all, every business is in the business of making money) are the resources it has dedicated to creating free neighborhood guides and resources for everyone, to in their words, "[live] beautifully and [share] it". Instead of just taking each property to list it, onefinestay takes the time and effort to learn about the lives and histories of the owners behind each home, to share and spread stories of love, art, history, travel, success, and life itself.

onefinestay is more than just about luxurious travel. It's about a lifestyle, a mindset, and an approach to living life - no matter how busy or unpleasant the situations we are in - mindfully and happily.