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Tastemaker: Wisdom and Friendship Packaged in an Airbnb Rental

As life changes and evolves, so does our traveling style. Or, should I say our travel accommodations. We have a baby girl, Sunny Bea, who is almost two years old which in itself is crazy how times flies. But since then, we have been renting homes vs. staying in hotels on our getaways. Initially, the mind-set was to have more space, to create a balance of cooking and eating out, and enjoy the comforts and informality of renting a home vs. booking a hotel.
This switch has become so rewarding and such a fun way to travel– regardless of having a growing family. Besides gaining a substantial amount of living space and a kitchen in which to experiment with the local ingredients, the immersion into the culture and area goes so much deeper.
More on this topic, as I am collaborating with brands to showcase how to get the most out of your travels by choosing home rentals over hotels… #staytuned
Last summer we rented a home on Martha’s Vineyard, very last minute. Visiting the island for many years, we have learned the island’s many hidden gems and nuances.  Our experience was so positive and relaxed, marrying staying in and enjoying the beauty of the home and exploring;  it was another confirmation why I have switched my travel stays to rental homes over the hotel option…most of the time.
Below I interview a well-rounded, spiritual woman who has lived a life peppered with travel, discovery and exploration. Let me introduce you to Gracie Barrie, the home owner of the MV rental we stayed at last summer but now I consider a life long friend…
BE: How did you end up in Martha’s Vineyard, one of my favorite places in the world.
GB: So always being up for an adventure and a new learning experience, I was on a break from having been in college for 4 years of undergraduate studies and 4 years of post graduate study. I was studying for the MCATS, with the intention of going back to Medical school to become an MD who preached preventive medicine. I accepted a summer job  as the Head Professional at a local club and  jumped at the opportunity to explore this beautiful island. As fate would have it, I now own 3 homes on the beautiful island of Martha’s Vineyard and 1 in Florida!!
BE: I know you teach tennis in Florida. Is tennis your true passion?
GB: I would say that tennis is One of my true passions. Having played #1 for Duke University and being part of a team, I am always drawn back to the sport and still find it very rewarding. It’s also a sport that is constantly evolving so I am able to  grow along with the game and continue to learn. Learning new things in general is my greatest passion.
BE: With airbnb and VRBO, home rentals have exploded. I was so impressed by your upkeep and care for your home. Tell me about how you got into renting out homes?
GB: I have had my real estate license since 1999 in Massachusetts and recently in Florida and enjoy everything about this profession. I love to explore different properties and have learned what looks terrific and how best to maintain a propertys’ value to maximize it over time. I have a very good eye for decorating learning from talented friend who is a true master of designing and building on the island. Renting my homes came as a natural progression as my 2 sons graduated and moved on with their lives.
BE: What do you love most about the Vineyard?
GB: The natural beauty of the Vineyard is most captivating. From its beautiful, serene beaches to unique clay cliffs and winding little roads that lead to trails that I love to spend hours walking with my 3 dogs. The beauty of the island is unmatched and continues to draw me back every year.
BE: When I rented your home last summer, I noticed you were in photos with some heavy hitters. What was your most interested encounter?
GB: Tennis continues to give me the opportunity to meet the most interesting people in my journeys. Since I never talk about anyone I am actively teaching, the following persons from my past have left a very lasting impression. While on Marthas Vineyard I have taught  Princess Diana, Bill and Melinda Gates, John F Kennedy Jr, Katharine Graham and Michael Straight.
BE: What is one of the best lessons you have learned along your journey?
GB:  One of the best lessons I have learned is that God has Given to each one us the grace and the capacity to endure all of life’s challenges.  Giving and Loving is much more rewarding in this life than Receiving.
BE: What is on your bucket list for travels or personal exploration?
GB: I very much enjoy spending quiet and personal explorative time at  places of Personal Well-being. Because the more inside you can go to find your joy, the more you have to offer in the way of healing others in this lifetime.

Satisfy your senses,
Amanda (follow me on Twitter!)

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