Life in lockdown and through coronavirus has been tough, even on the most optimistic souls. Travel feels like a lifetime ago, especially for those who enjoy adventure and the outdoors.
Many who ensured they packed in as many glamorous vacations in 365 days have been feeling lows like never before. While the world slowly reopens, travellers prefer not to catch flights, even to domestic shores.
Airbnb comes to the rescue with the launch of 'At Home With Airbnb.' The accommodation firm presents a unique set of curated online experiences delivered by artists, influencers and brands which bring the joy of travel and human connection to your living room.
Each experience has been curated keeping in mind diverse and engaging ways in which guests can connect with people across cultures and hone their skills through the platform. It allows guests to visit the host's personal spaces to learn their craft in small groups that allow for conversations.
Experiences range from personal training with Deepika Padukone's trainer Nam Wook for fitness enthusiasts, to zero-wastage cooking with Sandeep Sreedharan for food fanatics; giving people the opportunity to learn something new and interesting.
Sandeep Sreedharan, head chef of Mahe, Goa is a culinary expert who specialises in Goan cuisine with a twist. This gastronomical maestro takes to Airbnb to explore techniques around sustainable and zero wastage cooking.
Sreedharan believes that "entertaining at home is the new normal and it is going to be based on interaction with known communities." He adds, "Personally, I would prefer to go to places where they are responsible and always aware of the situation so that we all are safe."
With a lot of people turning home chefs during lockdown, Sandeep believes adopting zero wastage processes while experimenting in their kitchen is fun and fulfilling. "I have been trying my best to adopt a zero wastage process both in my home and restaurant kitchens. It is not easy to adopt 100 per cent zero wastage, but you can always make a start. Understanding ingredients closely will also help to understand what wastage means. Wastage doesn't mean one has to consume everything about an ingredient. You can have a banana and can discard the peel into a composter or use the peel to fertilise plants at home, which is also zero wastage. Some people discard the parts of vegetables because they have different texture and using those to make another dish is also zero wastage. During my online experience for At Home with Airbnb, I will be talking and demonstrating these aspects of sustainable cooking," he says.
With the focus on all things sustainable, Sreedharan suggests tips for sustainable cooking, emphasizing "the first and the most important thing in cooking is the heat source. The optimum use of heat is a part of sustainability – whether it is using the right amount of water for boiling or using a heavy pot over medium heat. Another tip would be to buy vegetables from small vendors and include more variety of vegetables and tubers which are local. One can also look at reducing the wastage of each ingredient rather than looking at a constructed dish. These are some of the areas that one can work on. Just start by being conscious with the above listed even in a very little way is a great start."
The new campaign is positioned to help people enjoy experiences they would ordinarily have while on holiday but are constrained due to safety and social distancing norms.
Amanpreet Bajaj, country manager for Airbnb India reiterates that despite the lockdown people should not feel starved for stimulation and travel. He says, "At Airbnb we believe in the power of Human connections and technology being an enabler to make that happen, more so in times when people can't physically travel. Today, we are delighted to launch 'At Home With Airbnb,' which will bring intimate and engaging online experiences curated by well-known Indian personalities across fitness, food, fashion, calligraphy and yoga, and many more. These online experiences will give our guests a platform to interact with their favourite personalities whilst learning a new skill, all within the comfort of their own homes."