Heather Smith

I once toyed with the idea of a home exchange. Visit homeexchange.com to see what I mean. This is it how it works: you click on your dream holiday destination and then search through the listing of homeowners from that area who have your town/city/country in mind for their holiday destination. Then, after perusing each other's profiles (complete with house photos and touristy type info) you can swap homes! Saves a bundle on accommodation fees!

Enthralled with this idea, I decided to look into it further. The "pick a country" list was large and varied ... Australia, Peru, Japan, Norway, Egypt. But I had no need for exotic destinations. I went straight to the E's - England - click! Then, straight to the Y's - Yorkshire Dales - clickity click click click!

There were several listings. My favourite? The 150 year old converted farmhouse smack dab in the middle of the countryside. The exterior of the house was gorgeous - grand, yet rustic. The interior was fantastic - modern, yet cottage-like.

I read on.

The listing described the quaint country pub in the village, only two miles away. It described the river that ran just behind the house and the miles and miles of lush countryside, seen from their front room window. Feel the need for a trip to London? Only two hours away by train. (I say Pah! Who needs London?)

The owners of the house went on to explain that Fido, their sweet, beloved border collie, could be left behind if the holiday makers so desired. (Yes, please!)

They added that both the Range Rover and the VW Convertible would be available for use as well. (Um, well, okay, if you insist!)

Ah yes, this was the one. This home on the Yorkshire Dales would do just fine.

It would be marvelous. My children would be transformed. No longer would they need Wii's or Game Cubes or internet, for they would discover the simple beauty of a quiet game of Old Maid or, even better, Go Fish, in front of the fireplace. And besides, who needs Super Mario when you have Lord Fluffington? (The dog ... I renamed him).

The whole notion of a holiday home exchange with Peter and Petula McAllister (I named them too) seemed ideal.

Then I thought about the McAllisters coming, here, to my house. That's when my Yorkshire Dales dream crumbled. What could I offer these people? I'd get a magnificent view of the English countryside, while they'd get a view of ... other houses. I'd be bumping merrily down country roads in Chuck (the Range Rover), making my way to the village pub for a rustic lunch and a pint of lager, while the McAllisters would be rattling around in a crappy Dodge Caravan with a broken passenger side window and the slight aroma of cheesy feet, making their way to the neighbourhood Macs for a bag of chips and a Kit-Kat.

I faced reality. It was never gonna happen.

Turns out it wouldn't have happened anyway. My husband shuddered at the very idea. While he did not object to a trip to the dales, he strongly objected to the idea of strangers in our house. With a turned up nose and a just-about-to-vomit grimace he said:

"Ew! Strange people using our mugs and glasses and touching our remotes and computer keyboards and sweating in our bed? Ew. No. No. Blech. Yuck. No. Oh my God. No."

(My husband is a germophobe but that's another blog entry.)

So that was it. The end of the fantasy. But mark my words - some day I will be frolicking in the Yorkshire Dales donning a Barbour wax jacket and a fetching pair of khaki Wellingtons, a loyal hound with a grand name at my side.

In the meantime, homeexchange.com is a fun place to surf. Go ahead, try it. Even if you never plan on a home exchange, it's fun to see where/how people in other parts of the world live.

And sometimes, toying with an idea is as much fun as following through with it.
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6 Responses
  1. Aunt Nancis Says:

    Poor Edgerton, I feel his germ pain. But I was wondering, does home exchange work in Montreal...

  2. Iron Monkey Says:

    I be's such a stick in the mud. But, I'll say it again "Ewww, strangers in my bed?" (shudders)

  3. CLB Says:

    Maybe you can do an exchange with Buckingham Palace. You can be the Queen and she can live in your place. Oh wait maybe you and the Queen can do a Wife Swap kind of thing.

  4. A husband swap? Me and Phil, maybe. Rob and Liz? Noooooooo way!

  5. Lisa TS Says:

    Wait, Ted Kennedy is still alive - you could get the Kennedy compound at Martha's Vineyard and invite me. I won't fly on a foggy night with a broken foot, I promise.

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