Thursday, April 25, 2013

Home Exchange -  Be Ready for the unexpected

We are experienced home exchangers.... at least we thought we were,  until we experienced the unexpected:  a heart attack in the foothills of the Pyrenees.  It had been the end of a lovely day,  just the two of us hiking and having a wonderful time.  Toward the end of our hike,  Johannes started to feel unwell with pressure building up in his chest, sweating and getting sick to his stomach.  All the signs of a heart attack.   What to do?  Whom to call?  How to call?  We had not prepared for this eventuality:  didn't know how and whom to call in an emergency.   These details had not been discussed between us and our hosts before they left.    The bottom line is that everything turned out all right thanks to the quick thinking of a wife and friendly helpful neighbours.   But it could have turned out otherwise because we had not planned for this eventuality and have looked after the details as we should have.    

Home exchanges are wonderful, but be prepared for the unexpected!


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Home Exchange.... The Affordable Travel Club

there is no better way.....

How do you meet and get to know "real people" and not just tour guides and fellow travelers who look and act in predicable ways,  the way you do?  The pictures you see here are the delightful children of our hosts in Istanbul we were privileged to meet on a home exchange. What's it like to be a child in Turkey, to go to school,  have friends and birthday parties, live as a member of a family?  There is no better way to get to know the answers to these real questions of  "real people" in the country you visit than through a home exchange or The Affordable Travel Club.  What is it like to live in Turkey,  to experience the daily work-a-day life of a family living here?  There is no other way than to experience that daily life the way "real people" do.  Doing a home exchange for an extended period or enjoying the benefits of ATC for a shorter period are the only way.