Have You Been Sondering?

The third time may just be the most charming

Andy Spears


Here’s one definition of Sonder:

The profound feeling of realizing that everyone, including strangers passed in the street, has a life as complex as one’s own, which they are constantly living despite one’s personal lack of awareness of it.

Sondering, then, would mean to have an unexplained connection to others — to strangers.

Sonder — the hybrid between a hotel and an Airbnb — is all about this profound awareness, it seems.

Thanks to Ellen Eastwood, I’ve been Sondering as my latest work assignment has me traveling often between home in Nashville and work in DC.

The picture at the top of this piece is from my third Sonder — the one I’m sitting in as I type this.

All three have been in the same are of DC and all have been in the same building.

Now that I’ve been in Room 14, however, I may see if I can request it on future trips.

It’s slightly larger than the last one I stayed in — and has a spacious bathroom, which I appreciate.

Why do I like this one best? It has tons of natural light!

The windows make this room.

So, yes, a bit more room to stretch out, a bigger bathroom, and lots of light — all big wins.

Why Sonder?

Well, it’s not a hotel. There is no staff — you use an app to enter the building and your room.

That’s how they keep prices competitive. Actually, each time I’ve booked a trip to DC since the start of the year, I’ve compared hotel prices. Sonder is cheaper — by more than a few dollars.

These are basically apartments. In some cities and locations, the rooms also include a washer/dryer…



Andy Spears

Writer and policy advocate living in Nashville, TN —Public Policy Ph.D. — writes on education policy, consumer affairs, and more . . .