After reading Camica’s post about Women Welcome Women WorldWide (5W), I remembered this blog I stumbled upon sometime last year – Travel the Home Exchange Way (called Home Exchange Travel before). The blog exposed me to a whole new way of vacationing.
Staying with another family during vacations is nothing
new. In fact people have stayed with family and friends, or even friends of friends, since time immemorial. What is not so common is vacationing in the home of an almost stranger – an acquaintance. After all this requires not only hospitality but a huge level of trust. This is why 5W struck me as, not only unique, but refreshingly idealistic. Not too retract from the merits of opening your home to a stranger turned new-found friend, swapping homes is, as I see it, taking trust to an even higher level.
When you exchange homes with another family it means that you should trust them enough to:
- Provide you with an equally pleasant home to stay in (their home); as well as
- Abide by the rules or terms of agreement, which means when you return home you will find your home intact, with nothing missing, nothing used that shouldn’t be, and no extra guests invited in that you don’t approve of.
Now while some may be comfortable with the
idea since they will be staying in the other family’s home anyway and can thus assume that the other family will be “doing what they want others to do unto them” then I guess it is a good thing since it adds to the “adventure” of your vacation plus it lessens the expense considerably. As for me, I need to read more on it to feel comfortable about leaving my home to a stranger. Who knows though? Maybe by tomorrow after reading up on it I’ll be a convert.
How about you? Do you think you can swap homes?