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We meet everyday people who live in the area and not just tourists. We have had wonderful experiences that we would not have had otherwise.
Where We Have Exchanged
Denmark, England and Spain.
Why We Became Members
We first heard about HomeExchange.com from friends and family who are members in Norway. Home Exchange is an exciting vacation choice. Almost two years ago we created a profile on HomeExchange.com, and quickly discovered that Norway is an attractive holiday destination. We get inquiries almost weekly from people all over the world. Vacations featuring Norwegian nature, with snow during the wintertime, appeals to many.
I think one of the best things about swapping houses, in addition to being economical, is that it provides many opportunities to stay in real neighborhoods.
First Swap: Copenhagen, Denmark
The first time we exchanged homes was during the summer of 2011, with a Danish family. Since it was our first time exchanging we were happy to meet the people who were staying in our house, over a casual cup of coffee. The Danes’ home, just outside the city center of Copenhagen, was a 120 square meter apartment right at the beach.
Our main goal for Easter vacation in 2012 was to visit Legoland on the island of Jutland in Denmark. We sent a number of exchange requests in February, and were so fortunate a family in Silkeborg offered their house even though they already had plans for Easter. They then borrowed our house later that spring, in May, when we were on another vacaion. We arrived to a wonderfully decorated old Danish house. It was so classy, neat and clean, it felt like staying in a home featured in an interior design magazine! It was really something. When we finished visiting Legoland, we looked for other attractions and ended up at Himmelbjerget, Denmark's highest point, at 482 feet. We had a good laugh since we Norwegians are used to much higher peaks!
When I remember the house swap experiences, it is often the small adventures and events I recall best. For example, that the children enjoyed themselves in the large corner spa bath in Denmark, that the apartment in Copenhagen was only a stone's throw from a lovely ice cream parlor, how we fished for crabs with the children from a pier on the beach in Copenhagen, how the children became good divers after swimming for hours every day in Spain, how my husband and I could take an evening swim in the pool while the children slept because the apartment was located just 10 meters from the pool, and the experience of eating home-cooked dinner in a backyard in Copenhagen. It's often the little moments we remember, that give the feeling that your life is precious.
My husband and I could take an evening swim in the pool while the children slept because the apartment was located just 10 meters from the pool,...
Our Next Home Swap
This winter we will be swapping homes with a family living in Farnham, south of London, England. Our grandmother will be joining us on the trip, and the whole family looks forward to visiting friends living in Bristol. When the children are older we dream about traveling further, to both the U.S. and South Africa, where Alf-Inge and I stayed and studied for half a year. Being in Denmark (Copenhagen) for a whole week without meeting other Norwegians was special. That is pretty exotic. I think one of the best things about swapping houses, in addition to being economical, is that it provides many opportunities to stay in real neighborhoods. We meet everyday people who live in the area and not just tourists, and have life experiences we would not have had otherwise.