Since I was a boy, I’ve dreamt all my friends would buy houses in cool places, and we’d ultimately just share one big, life-long, world-wide party. Call it recreational socialism.
That dream has come true. But why limit it to just friends? Thanks to an app on the Internet machine, you can exchange homes with over 65,000 people in 150+ countries. It’s basically online dating with houses … only your chances of getting lucky are much higher. Oh, and its FREE.
View from our dining room in Provence this summer. Did I mention FREE?
I’m sorry if this sounds like a paid advertisement for HomeExchange.com, but it’s one of those earth-shaking paradigm shifts that the Internet has allowed. I did it this summer with my family, and staying at a home versus a hotel totally alters the experience of a place.
On top of the enormous savings, you do things that locals do and hotel guests do not.
Our kids ran in a 1k race on Bastille Day, and I almost cried as our youngest approached the finish line with a look of red-faced desperation. The boys built daily ant worlds in the luscious garden. We hit farmer’s markets and cooked scrumptious local fare. Took overnight trips in the region. No guests to avoid in elevators or overhear grunting through thin walls. You sprawl recklessly and nap with a book on your chest … because the place is yours. All for a simple $10/month fee.
Proud first-time 1K race finishers
But, how can I stand to have strangers in my home?
If you can’t get past that, this is simply not for you. For me it’s no biggie. Not much to steal in our place, and we locked off a room. We have friends with an extraordinary home that have done this 18 times. If they’re not sweating it with their palace, I’m good with our modest abode. And, by the time you’re committing to exchange homes, you’ve gotten to know your counterpart pretty well via email, phone and photos.
There’s karma at play here; you’re in their home too, after all.
Wanderlust is an affliction from which many of us will never be cured. If you suffer from it, the economics just got a whole lot better.
And speaking of travel… You’re invited to my Current and Upcoming Art Exhibitions
Dallas Solo Show
September 12 – Oct 17, 2015
Dallas, TX Solo Show ilume Gallerie 4123 cedar springs suite 107 | dallas tx 75219 214.507.7369
September 18 – Nov 1, 2015
Hollywood, FL Art & Culture Center of Hollywood Juried Biennial 1650 Harrison St | Hollywood, FL 33020 954. 921. 3274
September 26 – Dec 31
San Francisco, CA The San Francisco Writer’s Grotto By appointment – firstname.lastname@example.org 490 2nd Street, 2nd Floor San Francisco, CA 94107
September – Art Basel
Miami, FL (Wynwood) Black. White. Group Show Curated by Kathryn Mikesell of Your Fountainhead Call for Appointment 305.776.8198 65 NW 24th St. Miami, FL
December – Art Basel
Miami, FL Group Show Opening Nov 20 & 21 Redonkulous Top Secret Art Basel Madness Watch this space!
Recent Commission installed – the 10 favorite books of each family member, woven into a literary family history.