Saturday, February 6, 2010

Home Exchange - swapping homes for new opportunities to see

CoWorking, CoLiving, CoConsulting, Co.... you name it;-)

What is the glue that connects all these -partly innovative- concepts? It is people. In 1981 we started with our family the first home exchanges as we realized that staying in hotels and later in holiday flats wasn't that what really gave us value during a holiday.

So the idea of home exchange (swapping our house with some people who live somewhere else in the world, we didn't really know and we had no idea what we could expect). Crazy, you probably think or even say aloud while reading these lines.

Not quite. It is all about building a trustful relationship beforehand in order to do a successful home exchange. Actually this is pretty much like doing a consulting job (with sustainable positive long-term results for the client, and the client learning to solve internal problem himself with his workforce).

The first initial home exchange was the "ice breaker" for the 50 other ones in the 30 years that followed to the present day. We actually arranged a meeting with the interested family. The husband of this family from England happened to work near Frankfurt (just a short 30 min trip from Mainz, where we lived back then) and he wished to have his family around in the summer holiday time. So we got to know each other arranged the stay. From this moment on my parents always arranged intensive letter correspondence and a pre-home exchange visit to the forthcoming home exchangers while being closely locacted to next year's destination.

What have we learned from that time alltogether: changing your position in living (doing a home exchange to Australia for example) opens totally new experiences. You get to know new things that your fellow exchangers have in the house (neat appliances you could also well use at home;-)), new culture, new climate, new friends.

Over the years a home exchange community builds up and one has friends all over the globe. Any place you go you have to chance to meet old friends and new friends.

... and it's an ongoing learning journey giving much of joy to the participants :-)

I really liked the time and will do it myself in the future (when the flat or house is available for home exchanging ;-)). In the meanwhile the local way of experiencing the same is CoWorking. In Dresden there is a space where you can check out what it means and what benefit it can bring to you and your business.

Further links:

Your New Home from Home (Times UK)
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