We had the good fortune of connecting with Oriana Mullai and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Oriana, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
I have always worked hard, but rarely chose to play hard as the saying goes. By the time I was 21, I had purchased my own apartment and was living with my sister. I was going to school full time, while working part time to pay our bills. As time has passed, I have learned that work is not everything, that balance, health, and happiness is more important than anything else.
Today, I understand that work is work, and more work will always be there tomorrow. I make a conscious effort when I disconnect for the day or weekend to be present for my kids, or for family or friends.
I also try to make time to do things that I enjoy for myself, and to spend one on one time with those closest to me.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Professionally, I am a Software Engineer by day and AirBnb Host every other waking hour, ha! As it is with most careers in tech, I was one of the few female students in my Engineering classes and later on at work. I have always loved what I do, and I have been lucky to have excellent mentors who have helped me grow in my role and career.
I became an AirBnb host by chance when my mom suddenly had to move for a few years and her apartment was sitting empty. She lived close to a teaching hospital, so I started hosting medical students. A few months later when AirBnb was born, I listed her place and the rest is history. I have owned a total of six AirBnbs in a period of 10 years.
Balancing full time work with hosting was not always easy. But along with my husbands, we learned ways to become efficient, to automate things, and to give other people jobs along the way.
Hosting on AirBnb also allows me the opportunity to be creative in a different way that my job as an Engineer does. I am passionate about each detail that goes into decorating and furnishing each of my listings so that I can give guests the best experience when staying with us. Art, food, and guest recommendations of places to go play a big role into what I put together for them to see the real Fort Lauderdale.
I have also enjoyed meeting people from all over the world and I remain friends with many of them, some who come back year after year and are like family.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I have been living in Fort Lauderdale for a while now. Whenever people visit here are some of the must do’s around the city: – Fort Lauderdale Beach and Birch State Park
– Butterfly World
– Bonnet House Museum and Gardens (you won’t believe how much nature and history is hiding in plain sight!)
– Dinner and a walk around Las Olas Blvd
– Snyder Park is amazing for those visiting with families
– A pizza or sandwich at Primanti’s in Sunrise is a must – that place is an institution!
– An airboat ride around the Everglades
– Stroll around Boca’s Mizner Park and surroundings and take in the beautiful architecture
– Delray’s Beach Atlantic Avenue
– For food I love to take people to: YOLO, Jet Runway Cafe, Boatyard, Burlock Coast, El Camino, any place where they sell cuban coffee, and either Ann’s Florist Cafe or Nanou French Bakery for breakfast

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My shout out is to my parents who have made incredible sacrifices so that I can be who I am today, to my siblings who have always supported me, my husband who has been my partner in crime for more years than I can remember now, and especially to my kids, who have taught me so much and for who I grow and smile every single day.

Instagram: BeOurGuestApts

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/beourguestapts

Other: AirBnb Listing –> https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/18211607?guests=1&adults=1&s=67&unique_share_id=89c44949-372d-4018-a10f-f9bb8ee4c120 Etsy Print Shop –> https://www.etsy.com/shop/BeOurGuestPrintShop

Image Credits
All images are my own

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutMiami is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.