top of page
  • Writer's picturekate-mackinnon

When A Feng Shui Expert Meets A True Feng Shui Challenge While Traveling

In 2007 two roommates in San Francisco couldn't afford their rent and knew a design conference was coming, and hotels were limited. They thought, what if we turn our apartment into a designer's bed and breakfast with a sleeping mat and breakfast? Well, as they say, the rest is history. Out of that one idea, Airbnb and a whole new industry were born. When we bought our house in 2015, we learned the previous owner rented it and traveled the world for the summer. We knew at some point we wanted to do the same thing. Three years later, we traveled to Spain and stayed in an Airbnb -- our first. It was a great location, a charming place, and we had an amazing summer. After such a great experience, we went to the Berkshires the following year, again staying in an Airbnb. This year we decided to go back to the Berkshires for the summer. The supply of available homes on Airbnb was limited due to Covid and people not traveling as much, and the demand was great. The house we found was small but appeared sweet with a great backyard. The reviews were good and encouraging. And we could bring our cat. So we booked it. When we arrived, the first place we unpacked was in the kitchen. I was shocked. The cupboards were dirty, the refrigerator was unclean, and the washer and dryer were broken. What could we do? The hosts did their best to accommodate us, compensating for any inconvenience, and we took our laundry to the local laundromat. With Airbnb, there is no real recourse -- we'd already paid, so no refund -- and where were we going to go? Our own house was rented for the summer. So what did we do? I did my best to clean and organize the house to our comfort level. I rearranged it in a way that felt balanced, with good flow and empowering. But like the washer and dryer, other things were broken, and nothing was going to be fixed. The house was being sold and already in contract. What is not evident is that broken or not clean things actually affect us on an inner level and drain our energy. This is something I often talk about but really experienced this summer in a deep, profound way. I often talk about rearranging spaces when I travel, but I got to see where there are times I can only do so much through Feng Shui without working directly with the owner. It was very humbly. So what can you do to make the best of it when you encounter a challenging environment while traveling? Whenever possible, here are 10 easy tips:

  • Clean or have the rooms cleaned

  • Clear the clutter and keep things organized

  • Fix or have broken things fixed

  • Bring in as much light as possible - low to no or bad lighting can cause depression.

  • Open windows for fresh air

  • Add fresh flowers, removing any dried flowers

  • Travel with things that bring you comfort, like your favorite wrap or scarf

  • Add a beautifully scented candle

  • Carry essential oils and a travel diffuser

  • Bring your favorite book, journal, crystals, soaps - the little things that totally delight you!

Ultimately, the thing that really saved me this summer was being able to be outdoors, in a beautiful, green place with lots of nature, and listening to live music played outside, filling my senses. And whenever possible, bringing fresh flowers, fruit, and vegetables into our house.

Everyday Feng Shui. It's all right here.

Please feel free to share any travel tips or experiences you may have. I would love to hear from you!

With love and blessings,



bottom of page