Author Catch up with Patricia Sands – in my next life…
My name is Linn B Halton, I am one of the featured new Authors onloveahappyending.com and I’m also the Editor of:-
**Author Catch Up**
I will be talking to our new authors, finding out more about them and following the progress of their careers. We are a wide ranging group by genre, age of author and geographical location. That’s what makes this project so interesting and we hope you think so too! From the soon-to-be published, to those authors with a couple of books already out there – each one is a different story and I hope to keep you up to date with every single one. So don’t forget to pop back again! If you would like to get to know our new authors and become an Associate Reader please get in touch!
Patricia Sands has boundless energy and just as well as she leads a very busy life! We were having a little chat and I was quite surprised to learn about a side of Patricia of which I was totally unaware. I’m sure she won’t mind if I share our conversation with you ……
I think in my next life I want to be a travel advisor … or a travel photographer … or a travel writer … or perhaps all of those. Ever since I first visited Europe at the age of 21 in 1967, I’ve had a love affair with that part of the world.
Some people feel a bucket list is something you put together as your life is drawing to a close. Isn’t it more fun to keep these lists all our life and have them shift and change as we do? When one item is removed, another is added. Think of it as a wish list – a much more positive term – and there’s always something to plan, big or small!
In the process of preparing to leave for this trip, over coffee with friends I commented how such an experience could be available to most people if they so desired. The simple answer is two words – home exchange.
The reactions ranged from horrified, “You’d let perfect strangers stay in your home?” to excited, “I’ve always wanted to do that!”.
During the last twelve years my husband and I have successfully enjoyed seven home exchange trips. In fact, they have all been quite wonderful and the truth of the matter is we have become friends with every one of our exchange families. Often we simply keep in touch from time to time but a connection certainly gets made and sometimes it goes beyond that. While we are here this summer, we will have a visit with a wonderful French family with whom we exchanged ten years ago. We’ve had some great times together on three other trips to France as well.
One of our best exchanges was two months (September, October) in the middle of a private vineyard in the Var region of France. We were in the hills but just a half-hour from the coast and even got to help with the grape harvest (at our request). The others, all memorable, were in Portugal, Italy, London, Vienna,
a second in the south of France, and California.
Without getting into all the details, there are excellent home exchange websites that have been established companies since long before the internet. In those days they produced catalogues of their listed properties. With e-mail the ability to connect is simple and before you ever commit to an exchange you can get to know each other. Interior and exterior photos are exchanged as well so you can determine if the property is acceptable to you.
Obviously the cost of your trip becomes significantly lower when accommodation is free. We have never experienced one problem and have always returned to find our home just as we left it. What I love best about this is that it reaffirms my belief that most people are good and honest and just like you. You will hear these words from the many people on exchange sites who write about their experiences. Give it a try!
I’m happy to answer questions about home exchanges if anyone has them. I’m going to be writing a bit about that whole experience in my next novel. Part of the story is set in the south of France and I’m thankful to be able to gather my research information firsthand while we are here.
The most difficult part of this trip is missing our six grandchildren – especially the youngest who, at ages 2 and 3, still love having their grandparents come to spend time with them. Thank goodness for Skype!
This post is part of an interview I had a short while ago. Love A Happy Ending is a great author/reader website whose members are from many parts of the world and it’s a pleasure to be a part of this positive, upbeat global group.
6 thoughts on “Let’s talk home exchange …”
Wow home exchange trips must be a wonderful experience. I love going to see the cultures and lifestyles of different countries, but you don’t get the whole picture with only staying in a hotel for a few days or even a couple weeks. I’m really excited to hear what you learned from living in so many different places.
Thanks Megan and you are so right. Staying in a home in a neighbourhood gives you quite a different perspective when visiting other places. It’s a great way to go!
This sounds like a fascinating idea. Will definitely be looking further into it. Never thought about doing such a thing. Fab post.
It’s great for families too! I know you will be pleasantly surprised when you check it out.
We have done numerous home exchanges to date. Home exchanging has allowed us to save on accommodation costs, car rental expenses, and restaurant meals…
Other benefits include the friends that we have made. We have stayed in touch with most of the people we exchanged with. And have also visited with them years later. Families with children also benefit from having a whole house rather than a single room for the duration for the holiday. We often swap with other families, which usually means our kids have new toys to play with during the holiday.
For anyone serious about trying this out, we strongly recommend that you join a reputable home exchange club. There are numerous clubs you can join, but one that has worked out really well for us is http://www.HOMEFORSWAP.com
Finding a home exchange may require some effort but we have always found that it has been well worth it.
Thanks for your comments. As I mentioned, we have also had numerous exchanges – all very successful. It’s great to see you have the same experiences.