- Anthony Engineer (72)
- Denise Organiser (71)
Greetings from the Ecovillage in Currumbin Valley, Australia
We are a fun loving and adventurous mature age couple who want to travel extensively now: Europe, mostly, but will consider other places. We have a modern smart home in the Ecovillage ( theecovillage.com) which we keep well cleaned and maintained. Our hamlet of eight homes is very friendly and our neighbours will welcome you. The children are well behaved and delightful. We have chooks (Australian for fowl!) and a significant vegetable garden. We have not home-exchanged before and would like to do it in July or August this year.
Update at 14 August 2014. We have just returned from four weeks of very effective and enjoyable Home Exchange with a family from Amiens in France. That very happy experience makes us very much more confident about the whole process and will enabl3e us to hone our preparations for exchanges in the future.
February 6 — February 27, 2015
The dates are just a suggestion. We feel we can fit in with almost any plans that our exchange hosts might have.
September 10 — October 28, 2014
We are proposing a two week period (or thereabouts) sometime in the above period this year. We are quite flexible.
Last year we rode tricycles around The Netherlands
Cet échange a été une très belle expérience. Nous nous sommes sentis rapidement en confiance avec Anthony et Denise. Nous avons facilement défini les modalités de l'échange. Nous n'avions pas vraiment conscience de ce qu'était l'Eco village. Ça a été une très belle surprise, un environnement exceptionnel. Quel étonnement le premier matin de voir passer des kangourous devant la terrasse. Les enfants ont adoré. Nous nous sommes sentis très à l'aise dans la maison qui est spacieuse, confortable et bien équipée. De plus, nous avons été accueilli avec beaucoup de chaleur par Judith et Pierre qui nous ont donné une image très positive de l'ouverture d'esprit des Australiens. Rencontrer Anthony et Denise au départ et au retour a été très sympathique et a facilité l'organisation de l'échange. C'est plaisant d'offrir sa maison à des personnes que l'on apprécie.
Every aspect of this exchange (our very first) went better than expected. Sophie and Arnaud were keen to talk by Skype early in our communications and from that moment we felt they were a very nice couple. When we met the three boys on 12 August this view extended to the whole family. In the period before the exchange started we had a number of further email and skype communications and our concerns (due largely to lack of experience with HE) continued to drop. They made us very welcome on the first day and this is something we will keep in mind for future exchanges if possible. Arnaud and Sophie arranged for one of their local friends to be available to help with any issues. He followed up on this and contacted us twice but we had no problems. They left a pile of brochures of local tourist attractions and these were very helpful. Arnaud also made contact by email whilst they were in our house in Currumbin Valley to make more suggestions. One of those suggestions, to visit Compiegne, resulted in one of the very best days in the whole of our ten week holiday in Europe! Arnaud's willingness to do this sort of thing left us with a very warm feeling for all of them. We were able to use their car and bicycles and so appreciate the whole locality around Amiens. As we were not returning immediately to Australia on departing the house, I suggested that we meet up for lunch on our last full day in France. They agreed and we had a very happy and relaxed couple of hours with them that day, thus cementing our new friendship. We all agreed to meet again in the future. Comments on the HE experience: 1. It works-- I'm sure 99% of HE people are decent, tidy and proud of their homes and understand that the people they are exchanging with are exactly the same as they are. 2. It doesn't matter where. We responded to Arnaud and Sophie's request for a HE on the Gold Coast and did not know what to expect. If I had been planning a non HE holiday to Amiens (most unlikely) I would have allowed 2 or 3 days. We had just short of four weeks in this town and initially after arriving I was wondering what we were going to do with our time. But the real benefit was in having all that time. We got a little tourist book about Amiens and proceeded to work our way through the Top 10 attractions and then all of the other highlights in the book. We ultimately did not do even half of what we could see. 3. It doesn't matter about the weather. Because you're in a no cost accommodation, you can just chill out if you want to (and occasionally need to), watch TV, cook a nice meal, read a book or sleep in. 4. There's a lot of room to spread out in a HE house. You've got a whole house to occupy -- TV, washing machine, large comfy bed, fully equipped kitchen, and plenty of room to set up your computer. By contrast, the very expensive room we had in a hotel in Denfert-Rochereau immediately following Amiens was so small we felt claustrophobic. 5. You get to know the local people. All people in all countries are wonderful and it's nice to experience this with your hosts' butcher, baker, supermarket operator, and others. We had great fun talking to them in French. This was a great experience and we count Arnaud and Sophie as firm friends now.