Back Home From Your Home Exchange

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When you return home from a home exchange you are most likely to find your home neat and clean, as this is a common basic trait of exchangers – to leave the exchange home in at least as good a condition as they found it.  Usually there will also be a thank-you note and perhaps a small house gift.

It is not unusual though to find that some things are in slightly different places, such as dishes, pots and pans, bed pillows, even chairs.  That is because your exchangers were not able to remember exactly where you keep everything and simply put them back where they thought they belonged.  Easily forgivable, because you will do the same kind of thing in your exchange homes, no doubt.  And if your exchangers had an early flight, you may find used linens in your hamper instead of washed and dried.  In such a case, they will have already made such an arrangement with you and if you leave an extra set of clean sheets, they will have been able to remake the beds prior to their departure.

We recommend that you send an email to your exchangers soon after your return home to thank them for taking good care of your home and for any note or gift they may have left for you.  We know we are grateful to receive such an email from our exchangers.

In most cases, by this time you will likely feel a friendship toward your exchangers and you will want to continue some kind of a connection, perhaps even extending to exchanging with them again sometime in the future and getting together if your paths happen to cross.

One way to continue the friendship is to continue corresponding by email, sharing pictures and experiences from your trip.  We like to use photos and video from our travel to create Photoshows on photoshow.com.  You can see some of our Photoshows by clicking here.  We also send our end-of-year holiday letter kind of summarizing our year not only to friends and family at home, but also to our exchangers.  Some exchangers will respond to that by sending us updates on their adventures and perhaps their own end of year letters.  Some friendships, as we’ve described, develop into longer-term friendships in which we exchange emails commenting on events in the exchangers country, reports from their travels, and meeting up with them in other places and spending time together.

Our explanation to ourselves for how this happens is that friendships, any kind of friendship, is based on shared experiences with people you admire and like.  By the time you’ve gotten to know your exchangers through correspondence, meeting them and sharing the intimacy of your homes, a friendship sometimes naturally develops.  That doesn’t happen in all exchanges for a variety of reasons, but when it does, it’s very rewarding and it’s something you usually don’t get when you travel and stay in hotel rooms.