HomeExchange member Jane has completed nine home swaps. She shares the story of her 2019 exchange to Salisbury, United Kingdom.
Jane, what was it that attracted you to this home exchange opportunity?
The lovely old townhouse had such character, and was situated in a spot that allowed me to easily travel to visit family and friends. I'm originally from the UK and was looking for a bolthole where I could do some creative writing and get to know a town I hadn't previously explored. The house looked interesting and was located close to the town centre, so that I could walk in, but also offered me the use of a little car that suited me down to the ground.
Tell us about your arrival.
We arranged a simultaneous exchange so Shane and Lindy stayed in my Western Australian home. I didn't meet them but had lots of contact both before and during my stay. They were incredibly nice and helpful, providing lots of ideas for places to see, and occasionally texting me little ideas. Nothing was too much trouble for them in making my stay comfortable.
What did you see or do during your exchange?
Lindy gave me the name of a wonderful cafe with wifi where I could relax and write, so I spent a fair bit of time there. I also had one or two visitors who enjoyed exploring Salisbury with me, especially the cathedral, pubs and surrounding countryside. I drove Shane and Lindy's little car to visit friends, and also spent time just relaxing in their fabulous house. The train service is good too, so I used that to travel down to Devon to visit family and friends for a couple of days. In all, it was a lovely balance, of relaxation, exploration, fun and 'me' time.
What is the favorite memory from your exchange?
My brother came to visit me and we went on a long country walk from Salisbury to the castle ruins at Old Sarum. It was a nostalgic trip for me, having done lots of tramping through the English countryside as a child - something I miss now that I live in Australia. We enjoyed exploring the ruins and taking fun photos. The old castle is a fascinating place, and we found a lovely old pub by the river on the way home.
How would you describe home exchange to your family and friends?
Home exchanges gives you a wonderful choice of homes to stay in, free of charge, and you get to meet amazing, like-minded travelers! When I explain the win-win benefits of HomeExchange, I always say to people, why on earth wouldn't you do it? And they're usually convinced :)