When in doubt, live like a local!
We know, it is starting to sound a little cliché. The best way to truly experience an Exchange is to “live like a local.” We, at HomeExchange, talk about it so much that we have a whole category in our blog dedicated to the topic. The fact is, we feel that living like a local is one of the best things about the Home Exchange experience. So settle in and make yourself at home. After all, that’s what being a local is all about.
1. Discover the local places to eat
Make a point to ask your Exchange Partner for a couple recommendations on their favorite spots to grab a bite to eat. This may be a quiet restaurant that’s tucked away from all the tourists or it could be downtown in the middle of all the hustle. Either way, you will be able to take in some of the local flavor.
2. Take a long walk
There is no better way to feel like a part of a community than by getting out and exploring the neighborhood on your own two feet. You could discover a hidden pathway that leads to a secluded overlook, some incredible street art or even find a coffee shop where you can become a “regular.” Just make sure to be aware of your surroundings.
3. Interact with the locals
What better way to “live like a local” than to actually get together with locals. Schedule a MeetUp, see what concerts are playing, take a cooking class, look to see if there are any events going on at local bars, or ask your Exchange Partner to connect you with a few people. Your future friends are sure to know some options to help get you fully immersed in the local happenings.
4. Purchase groceries from a local market
Whether it be a farmers’ market or a neighborhood grocer, give yourself a chance to experience some of the native cuisine. Ask questions, look for suggestions, and don’t be afraid to take a few risks; your tastebuds to thank you. And while you’re there, make a point to pick up a local newspaper. It will give you an inside look at what is going on around town.
5. Avoid the tourists… within reason
While may want to avoid getting trapped in long tourist-filled lines, don’t pass on an opportunity simply because it’s not “what the locals do”. It’s okay to take a quick selfie in front of the Eiffel Tower or the Statue of Liberty. Even if you only stop by for a few minutes, make a point to explore the “must see” spot and then go back to exploring the lesser known areas. You’ll have a wonderful memory, a great photo, and have time to experience a whole lot more.
6. The destination is the destination
Part of coming “home” to a place you’ve never been before means enjoying the experience of home exchanging. Every home is unique. Experienced Exchangers often say that discovering each home’s personality is the most memorable part of an exchange.
However you decide to “live like a local,” make the most of it. HomeExchange allows you to experience a place unlike any other way of traveling. Immerse yourself in your new home-away-from-home and explore all your destination has to offer…you may be surprised at what treasures can be found.