Around the world in 80 exchanges

Have you ever dreamed about traveling around the world in eighty days like the infamous Phileas Fogg? With a little more time but the same amount of wanderlust, members Monique and Marcello have decided to go ’round the world in 80 home exchanges…and they are on their 58th so far!

“Our adventure started in 2002, when we promised our nieces and nephews to take them to the States as gift for their 18th birthday. Our first exchange was in summer, in Naples, Florida, with a niece and twin nephews. We preferred to stay in a house in order to know our nieces and nephews a bit better and enjoy our holiday together.”

If you do the math, 58 exchanges in twelve years means 4-5 exchanges per year. And it would be even more if it wasn’t for Marcello’s work; he teaches at Politecnico University in Milan, which limits their available travel time. However, their second home makes non-simultaneous swaps possible.

Bangalore wedding

Among their exciting exchange experiences, they especially remember those in India, Turks and Caicos, Japan, Martha’s Vineyard, New York, Sicily, Berlin, Paris, Morocco, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, China, Zanzibar, Thailand, Australia, and Tasmania. Their list of anecdotes is nearly endless! Thanks to their exchange partners in New York, they got to attend the semi-finals of the US Open in Flushing Meadows featuring Federer vs. Djokovic. In India, their host invited them to the wedding of his son in a traditional Brahmin style wedding. Now, he has become one of their closest friends.

“We toured for 2 weeks around Tasmania in a motorhome as part of our home exchange. We were fascinated by the incredible unspoiled nature.”

What Monique and Marcello like the most about home exchange is meeting new people. They often travel with a couple of friends from California who they met during a home swap in Bangaluru, India.

“We believe that often after a home exchange experience, a strong bond is built between both parties. We have exchanged with New York 5 times. When we travel there, we invite all the home exchange partners from our previous swaps for an Italian dinner. They don’t know each other but the common denominator is that they all lived in our house in Italy for a while and they have plenty of anecdotes to tell about their time in our home.”

Their first exchange was in Florida; their most recent one in Ko Samui, Thailand. So what’s next? Monique says that their choice of destination is dictated by curiosity, quality of living, and atmosphere rather than status (although they’re happy to return to New York and Paris whenever possible!) The intrepid pair already have quite a few plans for 2014: New York in Easter (they have one more niece to introduce to the Big Apple), Ile de Ré in France in June, and Barcelona and Menorca island in late August. That will be four more exchanges soon to be added to the challenge list!

TCI with my sister

Would you like to be part of Monique and Marcello’s 80 exchange adventure? Follow their home exchange experiences on their blog or send them your inquiry through – check out their listing in Lake Como.

14 Comments on “Around the world in 80 exchanges

  1. Pingback: I nostri viaggi sui siti mondiali ;) | Around the world in 80 Home Exchanges

  2. Thank you for your story. You have inspired me to do more exchanges. Keep traveling!

  3. Dear Monique and Marcello…I read with interest the blog of your wonderful experiences in “around the world in 80 exchanges”..what a wonderful way to experience the world and it’s people. I am considering doing a home exchange in Italy soon, my husband Sam has just retired from 38 years in the pizza business and we are looking forward to a retirement of “seeing the world”:) I am not sure if you have considered a visit to Canada…we are a lovely country with a friendly people…my husband and I live on the border of Canada and America. We live outside the city limits of a city called Sarnia, Ontario which is 3 hours west from Toronto and 1 hour north of Detroit Michigan. We live in an area called “Bluewaterland” which is in the centre of the Great Lakes. If would consider a visit, please contact me at this email and I would be happy to respond. Following my email to you I plan to post some pictures of our home with a description and some of the wonderful things you can plan for a visit while visiting here.
    I wish you well and hope that we may make a connection:)
    Yours sincerely

    • Loved the story re the 80 exchanges & then the reply re the Toronto area. We are thinking of Canada in the summer & fall of 2015. Any thoughts on coming to Australia? We live in a beachside town just south of Byron Bay.
      Denise & Arthur

  4. Hi Marcello Monique,
    We have never done a home exchange before, but now as we have just retired we are seriously thinking about it, we live in the Sunshine Coast, Queensland Australia in a 4 bed 2 bath house, separate office, separate media room, Large outdoor pool with separate spa, a outdoor large entertaining area. 3 kms from the nearest town we would have two cars available for same when visiting, bikes available, many bike trails & walking paths all around us, we are surrounded by beaches & lakes we live 4 kms from Noosa. Your experiences sure sound exciting & to have a chef for a husband wow! amazing. Maybe we should join up & post photos of our lovely 7 year old home. We look forward to haring from you . Great to read your blog.. Cheers Karin & David Bell

  5. Dear Monique and Marcello
    What an exciting and motivated blog . We would love to do share the same experiences. If you ever feel like visiting Paris and Brittany , please let us know!

  6. Dear Monique and Marcello:

    Agree, exciting and motivating blog! Approaching retirement next year. Would like to follow your blog and offer up Montreal to you in future as a wonderful destination city ! Italy is one of our favorite vacation destinations.

    All the best,


  7. Hi Monique and Marcello,
    Lovely to see your friendly faces again! My daughter Caitlyn and I were lucky enough to enjoy 5 blissful days in your beautiful home with our good friends Wayne and Dohothee (from Tasmania) back in 2011. We met you over a dinner one evening. Our short time in Argegno was the highlight of our holiday.
    Its so great to read about all your adventures. I can imagine it is not difficult for you to find people desperate to exchange with you in Italy. It is a lot harder to attract exchangers to Australia and so far we have only managed two – one in Portugal and another in Paris.
    Good luck with your future travel!
    Cheers, Jill Pring

  8. Hi Marcello …any tips for good restaurants near tremezzo ? Grazie Mille !

  9. Hi Monique and Marcello, you have had some wonderful adventures . We have not yet joined Home exchange but are seriously considering it. We too would not be able to do simotanious exchanges because we want to travel with our grandchildren so have to do it when they are not in school. At present we do a b&b while we wait to get. Our citizenship in July of next year. We are living in Cuenca Ecuador one of the top places for retirement. It is beautiful all the time. Consider it sometime in your travels. We may be a member of Homeexchage by that time. Eric and Mary stock.

  10. Hi Monique & Marcello,
    We are not members yet but will be as soon as I retire, when time will be our own. We live in Chilliwack, British Columbia in Canada- just outside of Vancouver. It is a very friendly place and a beautiful area with lots of activities during both winter and summer. Hope to connect with you once we can commit.
    Best wishes

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