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Have you heard about our experiment yet? #RTWIHE

Chris in Canada

The great outdoors – Canadian style

 

We’ve decided to do a challenge.

It’s going to have plenty of ups and downs. It might not work. But it’s definitely on!
Woohoo! (and yikes, this is scary…)
 
For this story to make sense there are three things which are key.

  • Firstly, we love to travel.
  • Secondly, we love running our business.

Now these two things may seem a tad mutually exclusive, but we have crafted a way of work that lets us travel when we want to. And we travel in a way that lets us work as we go. BUT- to pull this recipe neatly together we need one final ingredient.

  • Thirdly, we love to house swap (or home exchange!).


 

Great homes for free – who’s in?

Home exchange means that we get to stay in all manner of stunning accommodation – for free. Well, that’s not strictly true. We still have to pay our mortgage back home. But to stay in some of the places we’ve rocked up to would easily have cost us the price of our mortgage several times over. Would you feel hard done by in exchanging your 2 bed UK apartment for a sea view condo in Mexico? Four bed home with pool in Quebec? A luxury ski cabin in Utah? Nope, neither would we!
 

Utah Log Cabin

How much would a ski week cost without doing a home exchange?

So, back to this challenge. Starting in July we are heading off round the world in home exchanges. We’ll open up our home to strangers from all round the globe and in return get a taste of life and work from exciting, vibrant and new places for as long as we choose. Wherever we put our laptops down I’m pretty sure the view will be better than where they are now!
 

So why are we doing this?

Two reasons.
Firstly, we know people are fascinated by the idea of home exchanging but a) are nervous about it and b) don’t really get how it works. By documenting our journey we can show how easy and awesome it is. It’s hard to explain but there is a meaningful connection when you arrive in the home of someone you’ve never met and find they have thoughtfully left you groceries in the fridge and flowers on the table. It’s also really satisfying to know that those little touches you have left to welcome a tired and anxious family into your home will in turn make them smile. The trust that this practice relies on creates a real sense of respect. It’s a special thing to know however big the world is, and however easy it is to feel lost or insignificant in it, there are people who care enough to want to make sure you are comfortable and happy, even though they don’t know you and probably never will. I love being reminded how kind and thoughtful most people really are.
 

Taking the business AWOL

Our second reason is that we hear a ton of reasons why business owners and freelancers, who would desperately love to travel more, can’t pack up their laptop and see what the world has to offer. We get that it seems hard and unachievable and scary and impractical. But we want to show that with a few tweaks, you can make your business more flexible and mobile. We are going at it in a bit of an extreme way, and honestly, I have my concerns; I don’t imagine it will all be plain sailing. But whatever is? We will document as we go and tackle obstacles as we face them. The point is, if we can keep our businesses not only ticking over but growing as we circumnavigate the globe, there’s probably fewer real reasons than you think for not taking your laptop to France for a month in the summer, or whatever it is that floats your boat
 

The spooky part…

Over the last couple of months we had already been negotiating a couple of home exchanges for this summer, even before we started to hatch our ‘experiment’ plan.

We’d also been saying that while we do this challenge we want to meet up with as many bloggers, location independent entrepreneurs, digital nomads and travellers as we can, another benefit of moving between destinations.
 
This weekend we met a fellow location independent entrepreneur at the Dynamite Circle Berlin Meet up. Conversation turned to our hopes of meeting new people and they suggested we might want to attend Chris Guillebeau’s World Domination event in July – a huge meeting point for all the types of above mentioned folk.
 

World Domination Summit 2012 #WDS

 

So where is this event?

Portland, Oregon.
 
And where is the first home exchange we had already arranged weeks ago? Oregon. And when had we already decided to start this experiment? July
 
Weird.
 

I love it when a plan comes together…..

 
(Oh, did I mention the extra challenges we are going to face as we go? We must be crazy…) Watch this space!)
 

We’d love to hear what you think of our idea in the comments below!

 

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12 Responses to “Have you heard about our experiment yet? #RTWIHE”

  1. This plan sounds “awesome” – it might even persuade us to try out home exchange ourselves! And what synchronicity, to have booked a place in Oregon in the exact month that Chris Guillebeau is holding his event – it’s obviously meant to be. I shall be watching your progress with interest, and I shall expect very detailed reports! :-)
    Julia Barnickle recently posted..Today I Don’t Feel Like Doing Anything

     
    • It certainly will be ‘awesome’ if it all comes together! And you can be certain you will get all the “juicy” gossip from the WDS event.

       
      • Hannah and Chris
      • Reply
  2. Yey! You’re doing it! I think this is a great idea. Very exciting and I’m keen to follow your progress. Just getting into home exchanging myself thanks to your 180 day programme – which has encouraged, inspired and helped me get all that moving. Good luck and enjoy!

     
    • Thanks Jo, we are so glad you are getting into home exchanging. Fingers crossed Neil will like the home exchange options you get sent!

       
      • Hannah and Chris
      • Reply
  3. Ha, you’re really coming to World Domination Summit! That’s awesome, can’t wait to see you there :-)

     
    • We certainly are Yamile, we managed to get a transfer ticket at the last minute so are now really excited. Do you know where you are staying?

       
      • Hannah and Chris
      • Reply
  4. This is such an awesome experiment. I’m excited to read more and see how it goes for you. Hopefully I’ll run into you two at WDS!
    Élan recently posted..Stress management strategies for mental health month

     
    • Hi Elan, thanks very much for your comment and we are so pleased you like our Home Exchange Experiment. We are so busy in the organizing stage that it doesn’t quite feel real yet! Looking forward to meeting you at WDS too

       
      • Hannah and Chris
      • Reply
  5. I think i have seen this idea from the movie but never believed that it would become true. Awesome!

     
    • Kelly
    • Reply
    • Wow! Do you remember what movie it was?

       
      • Hannah and Chris
      • Reply
  6. This is a neat idea and I am sure there are hundreds of other people who would love to do this but don’t have the guts to go ahead.

    You should consider writing an article with a list of places you wish to visit and perhaps ask your readers if anybody would put you up in those places. If you get enough publicity it might work.

    I live in Brazil and if you are planning coming here let me know.
    Chris recently posted..10 Interesting Movie Facts You Probably Don’t Know About

     
    • Thanks Chris, that does sound like a great idea and if anyone else does it first they are welcome to come and stay with us where ever we are. Love how when travelling people are so generous with their homes..

       
      • Hannah and Chris
      • Reply

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