Meet Tomás and his wife, Jessica! The two are teachers from Denver, CO who have been members of HomeExchange for over a decade. In that time, they and their family have traveled the world and opened their home to people from all walks of life. Tomás shared their experience with HomeExchange, and reflected on their very first home swap to the South of France, where he and his family slow traveled and got to know the region like locals.Discover HomeExchange
Hello! My name is Tomás. We are a family of 4 from Denver, CO. We have been HomeExchange members since 2014 and we have done about a dozen exchanges, have hosted a family, and used the GuestPoints system for short term stays. We have exchanged multiple times in France and visited Spain, Denmark, The Netherlands, and Ecuador. We have stayed locally in the mountains in Breckenridge, and Silverthorn as well as Taos, NM, and Williamsburg, VA.
My wife and I are both teachers and have lived outside the United States and traveled and backpacked extensively in Europe, Asia, South and North America, and Oceana before having children. We joined HomeExchange as a way to travel economically with kids and share our passion for the world with them. We enjoy meeting new people, experiencing new places at a slower pace, familiarizing ourselves with the area, and getting a sense of the place beyond the highlights.
Inherently, there will be some trepidation in giving your home over to someone else, but in full transparency neither my wife or myself are overly concerned with material possessions that can be replaced. Anything of personal or sentimental value is taken care of. A hole in a wall, a broken fishing pole, or a flat bike tire can be fixed. There definitely needs to be a sense of trust among individuals that are sharing their homes. For our first exchange, there were a lot of emails but also phone conversations to get to know each other.
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All adventures can be brought to life through an enjoyable story. In 2014, my wife and I decided to jump feet first into an adventure with our first home exchange to the south of France. We had been to France several times but never to the south, and we wanted to take our kids on an adventure.
The adventure was not about museums, seeing great sites, or trying to learn a new language - We were set in getting to know someplace intimately. We chose to spend our days swimming in the pool, visiting local sites, and spending time in the night markets with other families in the area. We sprinkled in a local abbey (St. Guilhem le Desert), interesting activities (Grotte de Clamouse), and days at the beach (Vias Place). The trip was magical for the kids, not hurried or rushed with no clear daily itinerary or a checklist of things to do and see.
We managed to spend some wonderful days swimming and kayaking at the Pont Du Diable, made pottery with some interactive activities while shopping for platters and bowls in St. Jean de Fos and visiting Carcassonne. We took full advantage of local festivals (Augustales) and the Saint Louis Boat festival in Sete. The opportunity to walk around Couvertoirade with everyone in full Knight Templar attire, music, medieval games, jugglers, and ice cream made for wonderful day trips.
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I thoroughly enjoyed watching the overtime match for the World Cup in a local bar packed to the ceiling with opinions and cheers. The long and warm summer days of July spent riding bikes with the kids, playing pétanque in the local park, visiting fruit stands, and ending the day in the night market were made better by the amazing food and wine. The kids loved the freshly prepared escargot, buckets of mussels, and the variety of local goat cheese with baked bread.
We have enjoyed many magical trips each in our own way through a variety of home exchanges in Paris, Spain, and Denmark. Each trip has their own special vibe and has provided a great family experience, especially as the children grew older. Every destination offered a different set of activities, cultural insights, and historical contexts for the kids to explore and enjoy. You can never experience something new a second time, but you can enjoy something again through the eyes of your children.Learn more about HomeExchange
HomeExchange has more than 1000,000 members in over 130 countries and is looking forward to welcoming you. Join our community and start organizing your next vacation with HomeExchange.