When I tell people that I do home exchanges it seems the first thing they always say is "Oh, like that movie" or "Wasn't there a movie about that?" Yep, The Holiday . And oddly enough it came out Dec 8th 2006, just before I left for my first exchange.
Provence will be my 7th home exchange since my first one in December 2006, when I went to Australia on the Gold Coast in Surfers Paradise.
What an amazing experience! Home Exchanging has given me the opportunity to visit so many places that I really didn't think I would ever visit. Especially places I had never even heard of before, like Lymington England.
If you want to travel and really save a ton of money, home exchanging is the way to do it. The benefits are numerous. In addition to the normal touristy things you would do while on vacation, home exchanging gives you the opportunity to really immerse yourself in the places that you visit. Basically you experience the area as a local, not a tourist.
The concept is simple, you stay in my home while I stay in yours. It works for families with children, retired people, singles, international vacations, regional vacations and even long weekends. You can even do non-simultaneous exchanges if you and your exchanging party agree. The best part is when you arrange an exchange, your accommodations are FREE!
There are several sites like Digsville.com, HomeLink USA.com and HomeExchange.com where you can list your home. There are even sites geared specifically towards singles or retirees. Typically these sites require an annual membership fee. You post pictures of your home, describe your home and the city where you live and a little bit about you. Then list the destinations you would like to visit!
So this is how I get to Provence! Actually, I was really looking for another possible exchange to England. After my exchange to Lymington in March 2008 I absolutely fell in love with England and I was looking into other areas I might like to visit when I came across a listing that sounded like it would work for me. As it turned out this one had an additional listing, Provence. I emailed the member regarding a possible exchange to his home in England and in the process he suggested that I might also like to incorporate a stay at his vacation home in Provence. With a few emails back and forth working on some possible dates, I finally come up with January. Well, I must give credit where credit is due. Actually it was Stijn who came up with the idea of suggesting that I ask my perspective exchanger if we could do the exchange in January. Stijn thought this would be a great idea for a little trip while I was in Europe for 30 days.
Hmmm, catchy title.
So all is agreed, the key is mailed to me and our trip to Provence begins!