12 months, 31 States, 11 National Parks, 11 Home Exchanges and one extraordinary adventure. Meet Roz and Steve, who completed an amazing road trip in the USA.
Our names are Roz and Steve Gugenberger, and we live on Queensland’s beautiful Gold Coast. We love to travel, and both lived and worked overseas in our younger years so have always had ‘itchy feet’. We gave up working in 2009 and then spent three years travelling around Australia in our RV. We mixed up time in our van with a number of house-sits, which we loved, so it was a natural progression to move into home exchanging when we built our new home on the Gold Coast in 2012.
Our first time exchanging with a French family living in Singapore was certainly a leap of faith. Some of our friends thought we were crazy: “You’ve just built this beautiful new home and you’re letting people you’ve never met stay there sleeping in your bed and using your things!”. ‘Yes’, we replied and ‘we’ll be doing that at their house too!’ Needless to say the exchange was a great success, and we were off and running, and after this we had a few exchanges around Australia.
One day we received an exchange approach from some Canadian “Snowbirds” with a second home in the California desert. This planted a seed in us, and was the beginning of our amazing USA Adventure. We were away from home for 12 months, travelled from Sea to Shining sea across the country, visited 31 US States, 11 National Parks, met some amazing people along the way and were lucky enough to arrange 11 Home Exchanges around the country.
Spending so much time on the road we looked forward to the break. These exchanges gave us to do some home cooking (and the laundry!) and the chance to live like a local – not to mention the money it saved us on the overall trip.
The homes we stayed in ranged from a tiny Manhattan studio apartment (right near Central Park) to a homestead on the Maine coast. Each of them had a unique charm and character, and it really is hard to pick a favourite. The locations we exchanged in were Palm Desert, Las Vegas, Boulder, Winston-Salem, Mount Desert Island, Mt Kisco, Manhattan, Cape Cod, Oak Island, Isle of Palms and Anna Maria Island.
All our Exchange Partners were easy to communicate with and really the trip fell into place very easily. We managed to meet up personally with six of our hosts and are happy to say that some are still “friends” on social media to this day.
Are you also dreaming of going on a road trip in the USA? Check the HomeExchange listings available in the USA!