Home exchanger Yvonne went to Oxford, UK at the end of August 2020, choosing to vacation just a short drive from home due to the global pandemic. Being confined to home for months took a toll, and the family was in need of a vacation. "Like many people, we had begun to expect that we would be going nowhere this summer apart from our local supermarket," she shared.
But Yvonne was in luck! She received a message requesting a home exchange from someone just a two hour drive away from her home in the British seaside and "decided the notion of going on a local 'long weekend' exchange was a good one."
Her home exchange host was attentive and assuring, sending Yvonne a message letting her know she had taken care to make her home safe for their stay. "We chatted beforehand and assured each other that on every level we would make the exchange a comfortable experience," Yvonne said. "So alongside this and the measures we could see that she had taken to put our mind at rest, we felt very secure in going ahead."
As soon as they arrived in Oxford, Yvonne said her family felt at ease. "For a surprisingly small and compact city, it was not short on activities even during a pandemic, as so many of the beautiful sights are outdoors."
The family enjoyed soaking up history and 600-year-old architecture, roaming the streets and beautiful botanical gardens, and museum (open to a limited number of visitors with timed slots— "we felt we almost had it all to ourselves," Yvonne said).
Oxford was full of quirky shops, markets, cafes and restaurants, and the family was "impressed by their creativity and adaptability" to safely accommodate guests.
"All in all the weekend was a perfect tonic and made us realize we really didn't need to go very far away from home to feel very far away," Yvonne said. Though she was only a short drive away from home and in the same country, Yvonne said "Oxford is a world away from the British seaside."
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