House Warmers "Breaking" In
Housesitting on Vacation
It's Fun to Feel Different
There are a host of reasons why the age-old practice of home swapping, perhaps dating back to antiquity if not cave-dwellers, has caught on. Not only do you get your own kitchen, plenty of space, a back yard, and friendly neighbors thrown in as a bonus, but also the whole concept is green, in the natural sense. You save the environment at the same time you’re saving money. There’s no waste of heat or electricity, because both swappers are using each other’s places rather than letting homes lie idle and vacant, gathering dust and mold.
The one constant that’s never missing from anyone’s list of advantages to home swapping, because it's so obvious it goes without saying, is that the price is right. Would you rather have a half-off room at a hotel, or a 100% off, free vacation inside a nice house? The words "half off" do not have half the appeal of the single word "free."
One intangible advantage is not having to come home after vacation to an empty house that cries out for a ghost buster because no one has been inside for so long.
It may be that the popularity of vacation home exchanging will not hinge always on the savings aspect for everyone, as proven by the fact that travelers for whom money is not a paramount object still prefer the home swapping idea. In the refreshing absence of financial considerations, if such a fantasy exists, many luxury home owners will prefer vacation home exchanging for its distinct cultural advantage of getting to know the life styles in the community where they vacation.
Human experiences make a vacation something far more valuable than just the assorted gifts and souvenirs we travelers unpack when we come home from a trip.
House sitting is big business in some circles where people are willing to pay adequately just to have some one stay in their home while they are on a long vacation. With vacation home exchanging, finding a house sitter is a no problem because you’ve already found one.
All it takes to make vacation home-swapping work is a love of adventure that is equal to your love of people, and getting to know their different lifestyles. A little courage also is required, especially at first.
Benjamin Franklin wrote, "Neither a borrower nor a lender be." In effect, house swapping is loaning someone else your home for a few days or weeks. It can be very wise, if the people coming in are trustworthy. This is why most house-swapping is done through clubs and organizations where people are well known to each other.
Those who enjoy doing this have said that it was the first time that was the most stressful because of the natural tendency to worry. After that, they became accustomed to meeting other people who house swapped all the time. It became more comfortable and enjoyable.
It may be said that house swapping requires a sense of humor, however, because one never knows for sure what difficulties will arise in adjusting to someone else's environment. By the same token, there may be pleasant surprises.
There's an old joke: “Do you know what it means to come home at night to a woman who'll give you a little love, a little affection, a little tenderness? It means you're in the wrong house, that's what it means.” (Henry Youngman)
Similarly, an optimist will find that coming into another family's home environment temporarily can be a pleasant adventure.
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