Sunday, December 23, 2018

Thank you for an amazing 2018!

Thank you for an amazing 2018! I love to share this year's highlights with you.

In January, I co-hosted a Changemaker Chat as San Francisco Director for the first time. 
We bring together women across the world for off-the-record conversations with female changemakers – women who have inspired us through their achievements. We ask them about lessons they have learned in their professional and personal journeys. Our focus is on creating an honest and open conversation about their successes and failures, personal philosophies, and advise for future changemakers.

Interviewing Obi Felten, Head of getting moonshots ready for contact with the real world
@Google X (Photo by Allison Walsh, TwentyTwenty Studios)

I started Piña Colada, with the mission to connect groups of six like-minded singles over great food in San Francisco’s best restaurants. To date Piña Colada has acquired 650+ users with diversity in gender, age and sexual orientation and hosted 25+ group dinner dates with 150+ paying clients at its partner restaurants The Perennial and Commonwealth.

Photo by Anthony Rogers, Bob Cut Mag

I gave two keynotes at Social Media Week in Hamburg and reconnected with my friends from business school. One of the talks was focused on Female Entrepreneurship, the other one on Corporate Career vs Entrepreneurship. Mark Levy, Airbnb's former Global Head of Employee Experience, introduced me to Gravity Speakers and they created a beautiful speaker profile for me. I really enjoy public speaking and engaging with the audience and am looking forward to upcoming gigs.

Photo by Malte Klauck

My friend Miri was visiting San Francisco. As a reunited trio we did our traditional weekend road trip to Big Sur along the California West Coast.

Brunch at Cafe Nepenthe 

I spent a few days at my friend Sarah's in the desert in Joshua Tree National Park and helped her turn the house she bought into a nice Airbnb. You can book a stay at Esmeralda here.

We participated in a sound bath at Integraton - a little too hippie for my taste.

Most of June I spent co-working with my good friend Matteo, former Airbnb country manager of Italy, who was in town for a few months on his impact sabbatical. Some early mornings (7 AM) we were watching Germany play in the soccer world cup.

Watching soccer at Schröder's with Britta & Caro, fellow Atlantikbrücke Young Leaders

My friend Matt hosted me for a week in his beautiful apartment in Venice, Los Angeles. I reconnected with friends who had moved to LA over the years and tested Lime (Code: RBZYZLL) and Bird (Code: EEAGYQ) scooters for the first time. Riding them is quite fun and addictive.

View from my Venice office

Our friends Natalia and Marek got married this summer. Carlos and I had a lot of fun and spent quality time at their Bachelor/ette parties and wine country wedding.

Wild West style photo booth

After working 7 days/week for most of the year, we took some time off in September to visit New Orleans, Madrid and Lisbon. 

Oak Alley Plantation close to New Orleans

Together with my friend Kristina, I launched a podcast about our lives as entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. We feel honored that we were granted with an award by the German Foreign Service, the Goethe Institute and the BDI. You can find our episodes every other Wednesday on SpotifyiTunes or Soundcloud.

Please, let us know if you have any feedback or want to nominate our next guest.

In Q2 of 2018 I worked with a few companies of the current batch of the German Accelerator. I advised Nestpick on their US expansion strategy and helped them with introductions to VCs. I also taught a class on Community Building and advised MegaDev on organizing their first meet-up in the USA. 

I shared my observations and experience of building community at Airbnb and Piña Colada.

Carlos and I spent the holidays in Spain and Germany with our families including my newly born niece Neele.

Our first stop in Germany was visiting my cousin and her family in Cologne.

I wish you all happy holidays with your loved ones and hope to see you soon in 2019! Come visit me in San Francisco or catch me somewhere around the world. ;) 

Follow me on KaliforniakatiInstagramFacebookLinkedIn or Twitter and keep in touch!

Monday, December 25, 2017

Thank you for an amazing 2017!

Thank you for an amazing 2017! I love to share this year's highlights with you.

Jendrik, a friend from my MBA program, came to visit in January. I love sharing my new home with visitors!

The resistance: Together with my friends Mayra and Felix, I joined the SF Women's March. 

The Oscar's were quite political as well. 

I am proud that my friend Barry Jenkins won the Oscar for Moonlight in the end. 

Christoph, my former roommate, came to visit to extend his Greencard and get a taste of life in San Francisco.

Carlos and I got to enjoy an intimate Airbnb concert. 

I went to see my first Golden State Warriors basketball game in Oakland with my fellow female affinity group leaders at Airbnb.  
Carlos and I spent a weekend with friends in Pismo Beach. 
At the age of 32, I had my wisdom teeth removed and enjoyed soup and shakes for a week...

I spent a week in London with friends and coworkers. 

My parents visited me for the first time and my friend Alex and his family moved to San Francisco for a few months.
I also joined a female leadership program organized by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation in DC and NYC. 
Carlos and I flew to Seoul to attend our friends' Ju & Lawrence wedding. 

We are thankful to have friends all over the world like Sang who made time and hosted us for an unforgettable dinner. 


I spent a few days in Paris for work and also met my Erasmus friend Lisa for brunch.
My sister Susi and her husband Ben came to visit me in San Francisco as well. They started in SF and toured California.

We cycled across the Gold Gate bridge and took the ferry back from Sausalito.

I moved to a new apartment in the Italian neighborhood North Beach with my Austrian coworker Nico.

I celebrated my 6 year anniversary at Airbnb on July 1. 

I participated in Airbnb's new Recharge program and took 9 weeks off to explore my new neighborhood and travel to Spain, Germany and Tulum. 

Our friends Miri and Roman invited us to their wedding in Tegernsee.

My friend and co-founder of, Jörg, visited from Hamburg during San Francisco's heat wave and I traveled to Big Sur with my friends Miri and Lisa. I also joined the German government's startup accelerator as a mentor.

Carlos and I did a road trip through California and Nevada. We camped and stayed in beautiful Airbnbs like this old Victorian house in Virginia City.

Together with my friend Andrew, I started taking conversational Spanish classes.

Our friends Natalia and Marek hosted us on Halloween.

On Nov 1, after 6.5 years, I quit my job at Airbnb to pursue entrepreneurial ventures. 

You can read my farewell email to my colleagues and highlights of my career at Airbnb here.

Carlos and I spent the holidays in Spain and Germany with our families.

I wish you all happy holidays with your loved ones and hope to see you soon in 2018! Come visit me in San Francisco or catch me somewhere around the world. ;) 

Follow me on Kaliforniakati and keep in touch!

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Thank You & Auf Wiedersehen!

Nach 6,5 Jahren habe ich bei Airbnb gekündigt. Hier ist meine Abschiedsemail an die Kollegen:

Hi friends,

I am writing to say THANK YOU for joining me on this incredible journey for the last 6.5 years as today will be my last day at Airbnb. Allow me to share a few memories with you.

Once upon a time in June 2011, I quit my first job after business school with the intention to start my own company. However, my friend Flo insisted I met with the Accoleo team, which just got acquired by Airbnb, a startup from San Francisco that wanted to scale its European business and compete with the infamous Samwer brothers’ clone Wimdu. And so we did! Fun facts: Little Benno was an intern at Accoleo and he and the one and only Jenny did in fact start working for Airbnb a few days before I did.

I spent the following months fighting on behalf of our hosts to change the local housing law to allow home sharing in Germany`s second biggest city, Hamburg, and snuck onto the very small but mighty Team Justice led by our inspiring female leader Belinda. Hopeful, I moved to Berlin to bring this sensible legislation to our capital and also volunteered to kick off our policy efforts in Greece. Fun fact: I had to convince my manager that the Greek people would be more welcoming towards me than Angela Merkel...

After winning the Greencard in the lottery (my fun fact), I moved to New York City to work on a mobilization campaign convincing New Yorkers that home sharing was good for them while we were relaunching our brand from the fluffy blue logo to Bélo. Fun fact: There were rumors of changing our name, too.

I handed the back then impossible tasks over to more competent folks like Bobby Fischer and M16 and moved further West to our mothership where I was welcomed by colleagues who patiently explained the American healthcare system or the importance of a good credit history to me. These learnings informed my relocation blog Kaliforniakati and led to the founding of the Airfinity Group Foreignairs - Airbnb`s immigrant employee resource group and resistance.

About a year ago, I knew that I had one Airbnb adventure left in me, so I decided to join the force for good Aoife and the incredible rockstar Trips team. If you still have not booked an Experience, yet, you have been missing out - book my favorite one right now! Trips is fulfilling our promise of human and authentic travel to guests and is empowering our hosts economically while pursuing their passions. Fun fact: My partner in crime Sarah and I found ourselves being driven around in a golf cart by a Trump voter through a multi-storey car park looking for our lost rental car at 11 PM before the launch of Trips...

Now, the time has come for me to move on as an entrepreneur - likely in the (gluten free) food industry. Don`t worry, I am not moving back to Deutschland.

THANK YOU, Brian, Nate & Joe for taking me on this journey with you and THANK YOU to everyone of you for teaching me so many things and being my friends and family during my relocations, the Paris attacks and these luckily mostly truly amazing years.

Don`t forget: Always Be a Host and please, be in touch!

Love, Kati

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Thank you for an amazing 2016!

I started 2016 with travel. I returned from a two week vacation in Panama with Inna and Samiha and went to Aptos with Carlos and skiing in Tahoe with the Germans. Mayra, Kerstin, Felix and I started a fake company during our long car ride back: The Puking Ponies. We are still debating who the CEO is...

My wonderful beloved grandmother passed away in February. I miss her every day!

I had many visitors in 2016. Natalia who I met in DC in 2008, came to visit in March and we spent some quality time together!

I finally took the California driver`s license test and passed "with excellence". 

Inna spent a few days in San Francisco networking with local entrepreneurs and researching for her next endeavor.



Carlos and I went to Germany (his first time), spending a day in Iceland sponsored by WOW air, exploring Berlin in summer and celebrating my sister`s wedding.

Together with five other expats, I booked a beautiful Airbnb house in Tahoe and celebrated July 4!

I am very honored I was accepted into the Atlantik-Brücke Young Leaders Program and spent a full week at Starnberger See with American and German fellows discussing global politics! 


After more than five years in Airbnb`s Public Policy team, I changed jobs internally to work in startup mode again on our new Trips platform in a Business Affairs function. I also joined Wimbify as their first female advisor! 


Carlos and I spent some days in LA testing Airbnb`s new experiences gluten free cooking and making key changes for the homeless.


I could not believe that Trump got elected President over Hillary. In California, we are still in shock and denial. After this long and ugly campaign, Thanksgiving was a good reminder to focus on what really matters in life: spending time with friends and family.

I will be spending December traveling trough Cuba, Spain and Germany. I wish you all happy holidays with your loved ones and hope to see you soon in 2017! Come visit me in San Francisco or catch me somewhere around the world. ;) 

Follow me on Kaliforniakati and keep in touch!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Thank you for an amazing 2015!

I finally moved to SF on January 3rd. You can follow my relocation adventures on


I went wine tasting in Sonoma with Christoph, traveled to Portland for business where I felt at home in the US for the first time in 2015 with my Airbnb host family and went camping in Yosemite National Park with Malika. 

At our annual Airbnb company reunion in San Francisco, I won the Embrace the Adventure Awardfor which my German colleagues nominated me. #iloveyoujenny


Vegas, baby... 


After a short business trip to Miami, my landlord let me know that my future home and Airbnb listing in the Mission was ready for me to move in. 

I turned 31 in May, celebrated Bay to Breakers with friends and spend an amazing business trip in Toronto. Thanks for hosting and teaching me how to jet ski, Aaron!


My first business trip to Paris in 2015 with colleagues and Inna who followed me around the world throughout the year to keep up with our tradition of outdoor picnicking. 

I spent some time in New York and Berlin and went home for my sister`s wedding. 


Together with colleagues and Airbnb guests from around the world, we explored the Castro neighborhood as drag queens. 

I traveled a ton in September, including two rather spontaneous business trips to Berlin with stop overs in Munich for Oktoberfest and New York City to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Germany`s reunification with fellow diplomats.

The highlight was Burning Man, which has been on my bucket list for a while - I finally went this year and had a great time with Adi, Tobi and Axel. 

Happy Halloween! #tarantinotheme

My business trip to Europe was overshadowed by the terrorist attack in Paris. I will never forget these hours during lock down that I spent with close colleagues who became family. Thank you all for your worried and warm words to ensure I was safe. #JeSuisParis 

Upon return, I spent a weekend with friends in Sonoma and Thanksgiving road tripping to Santa Barbara, Manhattan Beach and Yoshua Tree with my German girls.

Despite the warm weather, the German Sushi Mädels got together for some home made mulled wine, ugly Xmas sweater parties and traditional Schrottwichteln (jules club). 

Before I was ready to head home via Istanbul, I squeezed in a last minute LASIK surgery - that almost did not happen due to a streak of bad luck -  and am now very happy to finally see the world with my own eyes again. 

I hope to see you soon in 2016! 
Come visit me in San Francisco or catch me somewhere around the world. ;) 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


Ich habe ein neues Baby: Kaliforniakati erzählt wie ich 2015 von Berlin nach San Francisco auswanderte. Wenn Du diese Schritte nacheinander anwendest und dazu eine unverschämte Portion Glück hast, kannst Du ganz entspannt auswandern und Dir ein paar Stolpersteine sparen. Immer wenn in den letzten Wochen etwas schief ging, ließ es sich mit dem Gedanken an diesen Blog fast sogar genießen.
In den nächsten Wochen werde ich mich diesen Bausteinen widmen:
  • Eine Greencard gewinnen
  • In Deutschland abmelden
  • Sachen mit ebay Kleinanzeigen verhökern
  • Verträge und Versicherungen kündigen
  • Wohnung in Berlin loswerden
  • Tschüss sagen
  • Wohnung in San Francisco finden
  • Social Security Number beantragen
  • Krankenversicherung verstehen und auswählen
  • Konto eröffnen und Kreditkarte beantragen
  • Führerschein machen
  • Steuererklärungen machen
  • Zum Arzt gehen
  • Daten
  • Networken
  • Wählen
Auf Deine Vorschläge oder Deinen Gastbeitrag freue ich mich!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Thank you for an amazing 2014!

Working from Barcelona, reunion with Raquel, food poisoning from oysters,

...après ski party in Neukölln.

Wedding in Vegas, exploring NYC, business trip to Berne,

...OneAirbnb in San Francisco with Jade.

Business trips to DC, NYC & Hamburgo,

...Sharing Economy Greece @Athens with April Rinne, Dimi and Pawel. 

Börlin, Potsdam, Greven, Athina, Hamburgo,

...opening party in Doublin with Even and Airbnb Europe crew.

#30b430 challenge, at Argironisi with Rebecca Halls.

London, Athens, NYC,

...Ponderosa retreat with Zoe and Nadine. 
NYC, SF, Dublin,

...Schland wins the World Championship!

Scharmützelsee, ice bucket challenge, Copenhagen,

...culinary arts and camping on a sailing boat in Gothenburg with Gabi, Jule and Til.

Frankfurt, Nina researching in Berlin, 

...Wiesn with Jule and Heike.

Greven, NYC, Hamburg, 

...Rachel and Kimchi visiting Berlin. 

Surgery, 25th Fall of the Wall Anniversary, Madrid,

 ...vacationing with Potsie on Gran Canaria.

Christmas markets in Berlin, farewell party, moving back home with my parents for a few days.
Merry XMas and a Happy New Year, everyone! 

I hope to see you soon in 2015! Come visit me in San Francisco or catch me somewhere around the world. ;)