Here are some final thoughts on our month-long home exchange from my husband and Cora, one of our home swapping partners.
What interested you about the country/city you were going to visit?
Justin: The Food and beverage scene is always the answer to these kinds of questions. And the architecture and history. But food and beverage is what tells the story of the people that built cities.
Cora: The (country) music!
What interested you about the potential for a home exchange?
Justin: Is it cheating if I say simply, the option to live any where in the world without worry of hotels or airbnbs?
Cora: It’s cheaper then rent a house and it’s fun, you live in the place you are visiting.
What were you most excited about the home swap?
Justin: Getting to look at a city as a local, rather than just a visitor.
Cora: How is the house? The neighborhood?
What were you most worried about the home swap?
Justin: Breaking someone’s stuff. Or them breaking my stuff. It wasn’t really a concern, but something that always goes through my head when I borrow from someone or lend something to someone, which is really all this is.
Cora: We had no worries!
How did you find living in someone else’s home?
Justin: Strange at first. It takes a while to settle in. You have to memorize cabinets and how things are organize. Where’s the broom? How do I run the coffee maker? Is your internet reliable. You get to answer these question when you live in someone else’s home
Cora: We felt it as our home. Sending their wedding pictures to our daughters felt as intrench their privacy, so we informed them about doing that!
What was the most unexpected thing about your home exchange?
Justin: European toilets are just a lot different than American toilets.
Cora: The humidity and the heat and the distance to everything (that’s Tennessee haha)
Did you have any weird experiences in the city you visited? Any experiences that stand out as odd, confusing or particularly memorable?
Justin: Well, accidentally going to a brothel in Rotterdam while killing time before an appointment was pretty much all of the above. But then we got to be friends with the ladies and had a few beers with them. We even went back after our appointment.
Cora: Memorable are all the friendly people, even the famous artists, who spoke with us as if we were friends! Odd was the question of a neighbor how many wives Hans had before me.
What was your favorite experience during your month-long trip?
Justin: Tough question. I would say seeing all the architecture around various cities was really awesome. America is relatively new. So our buildings and houses are all very modern. Being around buildings from the 1200s is really quite amazing.
Hans: the performance of Gretchen Peters.
Cora: the dance lessons in Nashville Palace: western swing.
If you’re interested in learning more about Home Exchange, I suggest starting with the How It Works section of the HomeExchange.com website. There are several home swapping sites, such as Home Link, Love Home Swap, Third Home, Intervac, Seniors Home Exchange, and others. Do your research and find the one that suits your family the best. We are fans of HomeExchange.com due to an easy to use website interface, an improved messaging system, how much information you can put in your profile, and their insanely helpful 24/7 customer support.