Home Exchange: Living in Someone Else’s House

20160826_094907The birds wake me up, their incessant morning chatter yanking me from a lovely dream. I roll over, and for the briefest of moments I think this isn’t my bed and then I remember where I am. My husband is next to me, but no this is not our bed. Rubbing the sleep from my eyes, I grab my phone, stumble down the steep, unfamiliar stairs. One of these days I’m going to fall down them, I’m sure of it. When I get to the kitchen, I make a cup of strong, black coffee. I sit down at the dining room table I did not buy, drinking a coffee brand I can’t pronounce, in a house built at the beginning of last century.

I am living in someone else’s house while they live in mine.

The concept of a home exchange might sound a tad bizarre. Instead of staying in a hotel or renting an apartment, you host guests in your home while they host you in theirs. It’s kind of like AirBNB without any monetary exchange.

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Like a Local: The Luxury is in the Experience

While we were on our honeymoon, staying in the beautiful Kailua Kona on Hawaii, we avoided doing much typically touristy stuff. We decided against the helicopter tour and dolphin experience after reading so many mixed reviews, instead choosing to spend our money on food and drink. Less doing, more vacating. When we did do something touristy, such as drive down to the volcano, we tried to balance it by asking locals where they would go next. We try to live like locals whenever we visit a new place.

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