October is a time for beer festing! In days long past, the harvests would be complete or nearing completion and worn out boots would jump at the chance to kick up some dance dust. There’d be plenty of joyful imbibing too, including artisanal yeast-fermented grain drinks (aka beer!).

Most of us no longer worry about stocking our cupboards for long hard winters, but there’s no escaping how much we love any autumn excuse to bask in a good brew.

Here are 11 of our favorite brewtopias (in alphabetical order), especially when it comes to craft beer. Of course, we never wait for October to quaff, but there’s something especially right about enjoying them as crisp autumn weather arrives.

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Visitors to Seljalandsfoss can walk behind the waterfall.

Photo by Marcus R. Donner © 2016

By Peg Cheng and Marcus Donner, HomeExchangers

Our dream came true this summer when we had the chance to spend three whole weeks in Iceland. Through the awesomeness that is HomeExchange, we swapped our townhouse and car in Seattle, Washington for Pétur and Ólöf’s apartment and truck in Reykjavík, Iceland, cutting our travel expenses by more than half. Not paying for housing or a car allowed us to stay for almost a month, which was plenty of time to absorb all that this magical island had to offer.

Here are ten things that we will always remember and cherish about Iceland. Read More


Quepos, Costa Rica, day seven. I sit under a cabana, taking in the wide expanse of beach. This is probably my fifteenth home exchange, and it’s hard to pick a favorite. Before coming to Costa Rica, all I knew of the place was what I’d read in the travel brochures or heard from people who’d made the trip. I had certain expectations, but mostly the place seemed distant and mysterious. Being here has dispelled some, but not all, of its mystery. Read More


Not too long ago, Jim Pickell, President of HomeExchange, shared his personal story with you. In it, he revealed how HomeExchange changed his life. Hundreds of you replied with inspiring stories of how it changed yours. Here are a few of them.


“What I love about the HomeExchange concept is how it is intimately connecting strangers across the globe in a mutual bond based on trust. It is bringing special people together who are the forerunners of conscious change. This is so refreshing, given all the fear and isolationism we have in our world. No matter where we live or how different our homes, cultures or looks are, we all share this beautiful Soul of Humanity. This is how we start building a new and better world — through heart connections, service, trust and goodwill.”
Faye, South Africa
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And we’re off! Our round-the-world journey has begun and we’re delighted with our first home exchanges!

What a joy it is to relax in the homes that have welcomed us! We are now in our second country, Vietnam, and we have just arrived in our third home exchange.

We’ve really come to appreciate each “magical” moment when we first open the door. No matter how big or small the home, there’s always a feeling of excitement, mixed with adrenaline, joy and envy.

These exchanges and the discovery of the homes are moments for which our whole family is grateful, a time when each of us can reestablish a bit of personal space. After all, it isn’t easy to create personal space when we’re constantly on the move or five people sharing one room in a hotel. But the kids settle quickly into new homes, even if those homes are all very different from our own. We’ve been in a large five-story home in Hong Kong, an apartment in China and a three-floor house in Vietnam. Read More


It all started one night in January with a list and a bottle of wine. After watching an inspiring movie, we identified all the things we want to do before we die. Everybody keeps saying that life is too short and that we should go for what we truly want. So we wrote down everything that was on our mind: visits to specific countries, taking part in particular activities, learning a language and embarking on a world tour.

A Passion for Travel

Now, a year and a half later, here we are, about to leave everything we know, step into the world and discover new things. Douglas has quit his job and I’m putting my studies aside for some time — a year, maybe more, who knows?
We began by reading through information on the internet and asking people about their experiences. We also wondered if we should set an itinerary and buy tickets in advance, or just play things by ear. Here’s one itinerary for our trip that we really liked::

Paris – Moscow – Beijing (via the Trans-Siberian Railway) – Hong Kong – Delhi – Mumbai – Hanoi – Bangkok – Bali – Melbourne – Cairns – Santiago – Buenos Aires – Rio – Paris

Getting Organized

With this in mind, we went to a travel agency that specializes in round-the-world journeys to ask about organizing our plane tickets all at once. We learned that these tickets, once issued, have to be used within a year and allow you to modify the dates of the flights. That said, you can’t change the route, which we saw as a potential problem. There are definitely some places that we really want to see, but we also want to go off the beaten track. So we decided to purchase our tickets as we went. Read More


People vacation in different ways. Many tourists like cookie-cutter hotels and predictable plans. Their main goal is to hit every attraction they’re “supposed” to see. Travelers, on the other hand, want to experience the everyday life and culture of the places they visit. The sites are fascinating, but not nearly as much as the experience of immersing themselves in an unfamiliar town. Home Exchange offers opportunities for the open-minded traveler to live like a local and participate in activities outside the pages of a guidebook. Read More


Audrey, Fabien and their three kids, aka Family Globe Exchange, are exchanging their home in the French town of Yzernay and embarking on a trip of a lifetime: a year-long, round-the-world family tour with 12 home exchanges along the way.

With us are three young globetrotters: Hugo, nine years old; Raphaël, eight; and Camille, six. They’re bundles of nerves and excitement. They envision this round-the-world tour as a great explorer might: They want to discover new countries, play with children, learn about different cultures, see new landscapes, take part in new activities, learn new languages and eat different foods.

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