Kate tells us about her trip to Mill Bay in British Columbia, Canada.

Where did you go on your exchange?

I recently visited Mill Bay just outside Victoria and stayed in a beautiful peaceful spot. From this location, I had easy access to Victoria and also Sooke which I visited.

How did you find your exchange?

I contacted the other member in search of an exchange.

What attracted you to this exchange opportunity?

I was attracted to the relatively close location to Victoria, but it was also a small community away from large tourist crowds. I was told by a friend that Mill Bay was a pretty, sea side location. I also wanted to be able to explore the southern part of Vancouver Island, which made this possible due to the proximity.

How was your arrival at the home?

My host was very accessible and we texted back and forth before and on the day of travel. She patiently waited for me to arrive and orientated my to her home and to the various areas of interest in the area. I was delighted to find the house so fully equipped with everything I could need and that it had a beautiful secluded garden and patio area.

What did you see or do during your exchange?

I relaxed at the home and did a fair amount of cooking in her well-equipped, bright kitchen. I took several day trips to Victoria and did several hikes in the area. I particularly enjoyed visiting Russel Books which was bustling with shoppers and full of intriguing books and friendly, knowledgeable staff! It was such a surprising and rewarding afternoon.

What is your favorite memory from the exchange?

Aside from Russell Books, I loved meeting another woman I had emailed and talked to on the phone via home exchange. I wasn't able to stay with her, but she invited me to her home for tea and we became fast friends. I look forward to being able to stay at her place another time. She is located in the heart of Victoria which will be handy when I want to go for a shorter visit.

How would you describe home exchange to your family and friends?

Easy, with the host being hospitable, friendly and kind and the home immaculate and tastefully decorated. For such a low financial investment, it was an exceptional return!

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