Happy HomeExchangers Share Their Best-Evers!
Warm and friendly people, gorgeous locations, thrilling experiences (including the marriage of two HomeExchange Members!), and unforgettable memories. These are what make for “favorite exchanges.” Here are stories from some happy home exchangers about their best-evers…so far.
Our trip to Australia was absolutely amazing. Besides the breathtaking landscapes (which our Sardinia has as well), what we enjoyed immensely was the wealth of wildlife, birds, fantastic colored parrots, and kangaroos… there are really lots of them and it’s exciting to see them!
Since it’s difficult to select just one: both Martinique and Guadeloupe for the French cuisine, the friendliness of the locals, and the diving in turquoise waters. Very exotic, especially since we were escaping the bitter cold of a Quebec winter.
California, US. We were fortunate to coordinate three non-simultaneous exchanges and had three weeks in California! One was a magnificent ranch in Palos Verdes (Los Angeles), on the hillside looking out at Catalina Island. The owners had five wonderful rescue dogs and a mini-farm in the adjacent canyon, with sheep and other animals. They had caretakers, so we and our kids could spend as much or as little time with all the critters, or swimming in the pool. In the Castro District, the home was on a hillside overlooking downtown San Francisco, with floor-to-ceiling glass windows to enjoy the view straight down Market Street. And in San Diego, we were near the beach, the zoo, and safari park. Yeah, I know – it sounds too good to be true. But we really traded with these families. Wonderful people, wonderful homes (and critters!) and they took care of our home as well as we did theirs.
Our best HomeExchange memory to date is of Copenhagen, Denmark, for lots of reasons. On the way there, it was our first family trip by night train. The weather was perfect and we lived like Danes: BBQ on the beach, bike trips throughout Copenhagen, peas as snack food (yes, just like the Danes). Also, everything is “hyggelig” (pleasant) there – it’s not a folk tale! People get on with life, speak to one another, smile, are super cool and zen. In short, we discovered a country, a lifestyle and a way of being.
My favorite home exchange was the first one, which got us hooked. It was in August 2008 and we experienced Calgary and Western Canada. It took nine months of preparation and discussion with Guy and Linda (it was also their first exchange), who did everything to make our stay a dream. This amazing and transformational trip to bear and cowboy country was unforgettable: camping in the Rockies, elk encounters, the start of the American football season, grand landscapes, magnificent hiking, bathing in hot springs, crossing through the USA, bison observation. In one word: wow!
Our favorite exchange was with a man who swapped against a luxury suite in his hotel in Las Vegas. It was an incredible experience, especially since he even helped us organise our marriage there. We will be always thankful for this amazing exchange.
We were not only seduced by Bali’s beaches and wonderful underwater world, but also by its rice fields, culture, countless temples, gourmet discoveries, crafts, and the friendliness of the people. In short, Bali is a paradise and we would happily return!
My most beautiful exchange was the one in Marrakesh, Morocco. Staying in the heart of the medina, in a riad — a traditional house, full of special charm, and all just for us — was truly a joy. It was like living a Marrakesh dream right out of the 1001 Nights.
Edinburgh. It was a fantastic home exchange, primarily because right from the start we got along perfectly with our exchange partner, Mike. We understood and helped each other in everything throughout the holidays (communicating through sms, email…). Then, also, his home was beautiful and the neighbors very kind — the Scottish are very friendly! We fell in love with Edinburgh and would love to visit again!
Lyon, France, because it was such a beautiful house with a swimming pool, and also because it was incredible how the kind owners had polished everything and arranged a welcome of fruit and wine. A real holiday!
My exchange in Rome, Italy, in April 2015. Living like a Roman for a week was an enriching experience! We took advantage of our exchange partners’ recommendations and had plenty to do. The gelato was a big hit with our kids! Of course, we visited amazing places like the Colosseum, Forum and Palatine Hill, and also took a pedal car tour of the Villa Borghese gardens. The charming neighborhood of Trastevere made a real impression on us. And Ostia Antica took us on a journey back in time!
It is, in fact, the next exchange, which will be always nicer than all the previous ones.