Within a week of signing up on HomeExchange.com, Sheila and Tom received an offer from a friendly couple in Scotland to home exchange with them– and the timeframe was just 2 weeks after their wedding – exactly when they hoped to honeymoon. It was UNBELIEVABLY PERFECT!
A honeymoon home exchange? Tom and Sheila first heard about home exchange vacations from their friends in San Francisco, who had been on 40+ home exchanges and told the couple about their wonderful travel experiences. Their friends explained that it’s a great way to see the world while staying in nice places with all of the comforts of home: full kitchens, laundry facilities, and often cars, too. While all of this sounded great to Tom and Sheila, they wondered if anyone would really want to exchange with them. While their home is nice, it is in the Southwest suburbs of Denver, Colorado and the soon-to-be newlyweds wondered if anybody would really want to vacation in the “burbs”?
When Tom and Sheila heard about home exchanging, they were in the process of planning their wedding, so there really wasn’t much time left over in their busy lives for anything extra, like creating profile and looking for matches. But, they made time, took some photos of their home, and created their profile on HomeExchnge.com. Certain that it would take awhile to find the right home exchange and to make plans, the couple didn’t think that they would home exchange for quite awhile.
But, maybe they would get lucky. After all, they hadn’t yet planned the best part of their wedding – the honeymoon! They knew they would find something wonderful for their honeymoon vacation, regardless. Ideally, they wanted to spend it romancing in a country that neither of them had visited before, but the perfect destination still hadn’t come to mind.
Meanwhile, they planned their Scottish/Irish/Celtic wedding – complete with bagpipes, drums, Highland dancers, kilts, haggis, scotch, and an authentic Celtic Chef prepared a full menu of delicious Celtic foods.
SURPRISE!! Within a week of signing up on HomeExchange.com, they had an offer from a lovely couple to home exchange in Scotland, UK. Dave is a retired veterinary surgeon and Moira is a retired primary teacher. Dave and Moira wanted to visit Denver to play golf and sightsee for three weeks – and the timeframe they wanted was just 2 weeks after Tom and Sheila’s wedding – exactly when they had hoped to honeymoon. UNBELIEVABLY PERFECT!
As Sheila explains: “We replied enthusiastically…wondering whether we dared to get our hopes up. Later, we had a nice phone conversation and figured out the exact dates and travel logistics. Everything was set for an August honeymoon home exchange in Scotland!”
Tom and Sheila’s wedding in late July went beautifully — with only minor glitches, the couple jokes. (the cake avalanched, but nobody noticed and the hairdresser arrived an hour late, limiting picture time). It was Tom’s first public appearance in a kilt and he was, of course, asked by many “What is worn under a kilt?” He had several clever answers; one is: “Nothing is worn under my kilt, it’s all in perfectly good working order”.
After their wedding, the Scottish hosts flew to Denver a couple of days before the newlyweds headed to Scotland. The four of them managed to get in a round of golf in Denver (David was shocked at how far a golf ball flies at altitude) and a Colorado Rockies baseball game. The home exchangers were able to get to know each other a bit, so no one was at all nervous about the arrangement, they explain.
When Tom and Sheila arrived in Scotland at their home exchange, they were surprised: it turned out to be even more beautiful than the photos showed, and was within walking distance to town, groceries, restaurants, and the train station. It was the perfect setup for a dream honeymoon vacation.
The couples ended up trading homes, cars and friends, too. “The people of Scotland are so friendly and inviting,” explains Sheila. “We visited their friends, played at the local bridge club (where we came in third twice, even though we are lousy at bridge…must have been newlywed luck), drank whisky with his delightful 80+ year old mother in nearby Dumfrieshire, and even played golf with his golf buddies at 3 local private clubs (Southerness, Powfoot, and Lochmaben), and they were gracious hosts.”
Sheila and Tom’s honeymoon home exchange, though unexpected, was a wonderful surprise and a huge success that started their enthusiasm for the adventure of exchanging homes with interesting people around the world. Even though Tom and Sheila have since enjoyed more exchanges, their honeymoon home exchange will always be extra special since it was their first.
When I think of Scotland and her people I feel like I’m wrapped up snug in a giant hug!
Tom & Sheila are Romancing the Globe! Their adventures began when they met on Christmas Eve of 2007, fell crazy in love, and discovered their mutual travel addiction! They enjoy home exchanges to interesting corners of the globe (8 so far). Whether it’s weeks abroad or a weekend road trip in the Colorado mountains, they can create a romantic adventure just about anywhere! Preferred activities include water, nature, bare boat sailing, relaxing at a beach (near snorkeling or scuba diving), hiking, golf, outdoor concerts, exploring local culture and festivals, and finding at least one Christmas ornament for their travel tree. See their stories at www.RomancingTheGlobeTravelBlog.com and share yours!