It’s how you look at it. The same building from different angles, the same Airbnb from different angles.

Is it the worst Airbnb I could have found in Barcelona, or is it the best? That depends.

As an analogy, take The Torre Glòries, a 38-story skyscraper. One of the landmark buildings on the horizon of the city. Many people, like me, will exit the metro station and, upon seeing the tower, will take a few shots. They might walk up to a better vantage point, and get an even nicer shot. Having made multiple images from a few angles, they can now move on to the next best object of interest. I mean, it is just a tower after all.

Me, I am always looking for something different. Never happy with the ‘standard angle’ and almost without thinking, I search out the angles that the rest might have missed. This building does not stand on its own, but rather, is a part of the complete landscape. So, as I explore the landscape, I also keep an eye out for new ways to view the same building. Not only does this deliver up some delicious shots, but it helps to keep me connected with and aware of the environment I am moving through.

So, what does this have to do with my choice of Airbnb? Well, if I only see a tower in front of me, then I will end up with the same pictures as everyone else. But if I start looking at the tower in new ways, things get much more interesting. In the same way, if I just stay with the perspective of judging an Airbnb by amenities and cleanliness, then my choice would ultimately prove to have been a poor one. The neighbourhood is less than desirable with poor lighting and smells of urine everywhere. The room is cramped with only a bed and a side table. Electrical wiring is sub-standard. The kitchen, while technically clean at first glance, is unlit and hardly useable. The mouse droppings in the drawers most likely belong to the same mouse who visits my room at night. Twice I was woken up to the sounds of the little rodent rummaging through my groceries.

One can just manage to squeeze into place when using the toilet. Even though I am presented with a padlock for the room door, I see there is a man size opening higher up in the wall which opens to the hallway. The ‘healthy’ breakfast on offer is nothing more than a few packaged products picked up at the corner store. To top it off, the most ubiquitous amenity of all, the WiFi, is no longer working.

Clearly not a lot of bang for my euro-buck!

Most people would have turned around and walked back out of this mess, but with my motorcycle already parked in a garage nearby and more bags than I could manage at one time, changing hosts was not practical. As it turns out, it also wasn’t necessary. What was necessary was a change of perspective. Taking a hint from my younger son, I decided to look at what was good about this place. And I surprised myself in the process.

My biggest surprise is how well I have slept. Incredibly, this mattress supports me better than most I have slept on. I wake up with little or no back pain. This is a rare find! The shower, though a little small and impractical, delivers nice hot water for as long as I need. The more I find my way around town, the better situated the apartment seems to be. Far enough away from the noise, but close enough when you want to join in. And another rare find, a brunch restaurant practically around the corner. Trópico serves up some amazing pancakes and coffee.

The lack of WiFi meant I restricted my data use to only the most necessary communications and the rest (facebook, YouTube)…apparently wasn’t necessary.  Even so, the 24-hour shopping mall on the pier functioned nicely as a temporary office space to plan the next steps of my trip, providing free wifi in the sun. Even on Christmas morning!

Yes, there are certainly better choices to be made when it comes to Barcelona Airbnb’s, but after adjusting my expectations and perspectives, I am content with my choice. I even left a corn chip for the mouse on Christmas Day.

>> Enjoy even more beautiful images in the gallery: Through my Eyes: Barcelona <<

To view more galleries in this series got to the galleries page and click on ‘Through my Eyes’