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Newsflash! Our unique work and travel world challenge starts here in 29 days!

We had some great news over the weekend and were really excited about sharing it with you first (no exaggeration, we haven’t told our families yet!)

Since the initial idea about doing the first ever ‘Round the World in Home Exchanges’ we’ve had a fair few ups and downs. (We’ll be uploading videos charting our progress soon; we started recording ‘diaries’ right from the beginning). We knew the concept of promoting location independence and home exchanging together was pretty cool. But we just weren’t sure if we would get proper support for it, or if we would be going alone.

The results….

Now we can finally reveal… (That’s enough talent show watching for me, I’m even writing like a presenter!) …. It’s all systems a go-go! The lovely folk at Home Exchange.com are as excited as we are about this challenge and their great team in the US and worldwide are going to be supporting us all the way! Not only do they want us to spread the word about home exchanging far and wide, they have also asked us to host a party in every place we go on their behalf. Turns out that the Home Exchange.com’s President is a big fan of the ‘4 hour work week’ and Location Independent lifestyle and is happy to help us get the message out to as many people as possible. Plus we get to showcase the benefits of house swapping as we go.

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Join us at a party?

We really hope that you might be able to come along to one of these parties, it would be great to catch up in person. We’ll keep you posted on exact destinations but check out our ‘experiment map’ for our general route. Cocktails and barbecues have been mentioned, and venue suggestions if we visit your town will be gratefully received!

Myth busting

So for those of you still a bit baffled by home exchanging, here are 7 of the most common myths we can bust for you:

  • ‘It’s bound to cost; I may as well stay in a hotel’. Apart from your cheap as chips subscription fee (about $50 US a year) each stay at every wonderful home is completely free of charge. (Which means we will have a place to stay every night all around the world for free too)!
  • ‘I’ll have to pack up all my belongings, it’s too much hassle’. Of course it’s polite to tidy up a bit, and if you leave a drawer or two empty in the bedroom it’s helpful, but other than that it’s your home, so leave it as is. You’ll probably feel more comfortable locking away your jewels and hiding any ‘paraphernalia’ you may wish to secure but that’s your business. Home exchangers don’t pry!
  • ‘It’s not safe.’ The people you exchange with aren’t strangers, you have plenty of contact before the big day, so if you don’t take to them you can politely withdraw. Plus, home exchange.com (and probably plenty of other sites too) operate a contract system which both parties agree to as part of the final commitment. It means you will both commit to vacating your property when you say you will, treating each home as you would your own and other comforting courtesies and rules. So you see, easy peasy.
  • ‘I only rent so I can’t exchange my home’ A common misconception but providing your landlord is ok with you having some overseas friends visiting in your absence you’ll be fine.
  • ‘It will be too hard to sort out the bills…’ This is too easy, as the Australians say. You keep paying your normal bills, they keep paying theirs. If you have specific requirements i.e. ‘don’t heat the garden and leave the place lit up when you go out’ then cover it in your home exchange welcome pack. People aren’t daft, they will respect your home and bills in the same way you won’t take the mickey with theirs.
  • ‘I don’t want to exchange for months or on the other side of the world’. You can exchange for however long you like and wherever you like as long as you find a suitable exchange partner- so whether it’s a weekend in Paris or 6 months in the Outback, it’s up to you.
  • ‘I have children so am worried what they will do to someone else’s house!’ Plenty of home exchangers have kids. If you are worried make sure you are swapping with a family with similar aged little ones. That way you don’t have to take so much stuff with you and you know the place will be child proofed, probably with a few crayon marks on the walls of their own!

Anyway, it’s all very well us trying to tell you that home exchange could be just the thing for you if you want to broaden your horizons without it costing the earth, but we think it might be better if we show you. So follow our journey (and our preparations!) as we count down to June 30th. There are bound to be ups, downs and plenty of surprises (running 4 business, living in completely new places, visiting at least 8 countries and trying out plenty of new things…what could go wrong?!)

Right now, the countdown clock is not our friend…!

What do you think of our Round the world in Home exchange Experiment? Might we get to see you on the road? Let us know!


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8 Responses to “Newsflash! Our unique work and travel world challenge starts here in 29 days!”

  1. Brilliant news! As you know, I’m a little sceptical about home exchange, so it will be interesting to follow your experiment – can’t wait to see the first update!
    Julia Barnickle recently posted..Brené Brown – The Power of Vulnerability

    • Thanks Julia, we hope by the end of the year you will have seen so many great homes (that you could exchange with) that you just have to give it a go!

      • Hannah and Chris
      • Reply
  2. Must admit I’ve started thinking about home exchanging – though most I’ve seen have quite a lot of pets to look after. Pets are fine – but they are a tie I don’t really want when I’m travelling.
    Lissie recently posted..Nearcation from Wellington: Cape Palliser, Wairarpa – Plus Video

    • We have had the complete opposite experience, what site do you use? We recommend http://www.homeexchange.com/ if you want to take a look.

      • Hannah and Chris
      • Reply
  3. Hi Hannah & Chris, we’ve worked really hard for the last twenty years to build a comfortable life for our family. We’re just in the final few months of a dream contract for London 2012 and have the opportunity to take some short term contract work in the next twelve months. But what then and what do we want from the next twenty years of our lives? We just haven’t had the time to stop and think so that’s exactly what we’ve decided to do. We’re planning a year out to travel and to spend some quality time with our two young children before they settle in senior school and don’t want to spend time with Mum and Dad anymore. We’d really hit a block as to how we could afford to finance a year’s worth of accommodation but now we’ve seen your ’round the world in home exchanges’ experiment and think that this is definitely the way forward for us. We’re home exchange virgins! And we couldn’t think of a better way for our kids to feel like they have a ‘home away from home’ by hopefully exchanging with other families who would want the same family comforts from our home. We’ll be watching your progress with great interest as we embark on planning our dream trip.

    • Nancy Gordon
    • Reply
    • Hi Nancy
      Sounds like you are in a great position, all that hard work has paid off! We are so pleased this has helped you generate a few new options, thanks so much for letting us know. It does sound like it could be just what your family has been looking for. Do keep us informed of your plans- and shoot over any questions or concerns about home exchanging, we’re happy to share any experience which might come in handy as you get underway.
      Woohoo- here’s to a LOT of new adventures!

      • Hannah and Chris
      • Reply

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