Making India great again by just opening our door: Soraya and Fabia
Ever thought of travelling the world by just staying at home? This is exactly what this mother and daughter duo, Soraya Postel and Fabia Postel, did by hosting over 400 guests from all over the world in the last 6 years. It did not just stop with the hosting but extended to travelling most parts of the world being guests themselves.
How It All Started
Soraya was in a washroom somewhere in Paris. She heard a French woman use the wrong word while speaking. Soraya being a French teacher could not resist herself from correcting the woman. What started as small talk soon became a conversation that was soon going to change Soraya and Fabia’s life. The lovely French lady from the ladies room signed up Soraya on one of the leading hosting website and gifted Soraya her first hosting experience just because she felt that Soraya was one of the warmest and compassionate people she had met. Little did she know that over 400 guests and 6 years later, hosting and having guests who have become family over the years would even be on the agenda.
Not too far away from Paris, Fabia lived in an apartment with a roommate in London while perusing her education. Anyone who has ever lived with a roommate, it is almost an exception to have a sane roommate. Sadly Fabia did not fall under the exception and had to deal with a roommate who had put her through quite some emotional trauma. Things had gotten escalated to an extent where she had lost trust entertaining any stranger in her home or her comfort zone.
THE JOURNEY OF BECOMING POWER HOSTS:
When Fabia finished her education in the UK, she chose to return back to India to her mother and city. She was initially reluctant about the strangers staying in her own room, but soon she regained her trust and became a major part of the entire hosting experience. What makes them stand out is their efforts to make it more personal and homely. They tried to achieve more than just the basics and wanted to create a unique experience for their guests. They customized their bedroom with maps, small pamphlets on the various non-touristy places one could travel to. A folder on all the places you could order from late at night if you are hungry. What makes their home special is their determination to always go a step further than expected. They designed their own tours within the city, showing places that many haven’t heard of, meeting people and befriending them with simple acts of kindness and a smile.
Despite all the things that life and society have thrown at them, Soraya and Fabia are two determined strong women who won’t accept defeat that easily. The doubts that are attached to the society when it comes to home stays and hosting are still very prevalent. The idea of two single women opening their doors to “strange men” is still something that makes a few heads turn, with whispers echoing every time you pass by. The main reason? Ignorance or lack of awareness about the whole concept of home stays.
They have nursed a British who needed medical attention and is now the closest thing to a grandfather for Fabia. They have helped an Egyptian man with Visas just so that he could stay a little longer in India to write an exam that would change his and his family’s life and he finally did top his exams. They opened their doors to a German who now calls Soraya his Indian Mother. Take a stroll inside Worli Kohliwada with them and you will have at least 2 people from each street giving some of the warmest greetings one has ever seen. They have made friends and family for life over the years.
Soraya and Fabia have established a firm ground about what they believe in and how they wish to do it even if the world tries to bring them down. For them hosting is one of the purest ways of sharing your country, its beauty, its culture to the world that widely misunderstands it. Soraya often feels she could do wonders if she had an extra room to host more than one guest at a time, which would be an altogether different experience for her and her guests.
To be able to bring a smile to people's face with the little things that they can do. This world could use some kindness.To be able to give a home to people who are miles away from home and helping them see a new world is what drives Soraya and Fabia. Soraya says, "Every time one of our guests' family sends us a message saying 'We will always remember you in our prayers',I think that is all that matters in life.