Home Exchange

Making Friends Through Home Exchange (indirectly)

When I got started with home exchange my goal was to save money on one of my favorite hobbies, travel. But I never considered the connections with people I might make through house swapping. At most I expected I might get some good tips about local things to do, and exchange some friendly emails with swap partners. This is a story of how I made some great new friends, without even doing a house swap.

Silhouet_Spain_with_FlagWhile searching for a home exchange in Spain a few months back I reached out to a couple who wanted to come to San Francisco. Unfortunately for me they had already set up a swap, but they kindly offered to host us for our visit to their city. We were communicating in Spanish, and so I didn’t actually catch on to the offer at first, I thought it was just a suggestion that we have a beer together. It’s been more than a few years since I was fluent in Spanish.

intro_sfIn response I offered to show them around San Francisco. And so, the day after they arrived here (a week ago) we met up for a tour of the city, guided by me. It turned out I was actually showing around 4 people, 3 of whom don’t speak English. The couple I’d been talking with is traveling with 2 friends. I don’t think I’ll be making any money as a Spanish tour guide, but I managed to enjoy some great conversations and explain most of what they were seeing in the city.

My Spanish friends turned out to be lovely people, folks who I genuinely enjoyed hanging out with. We explored the city for a day and then I invited them out for a few events later in the week. They met some of my friends, we ate and drank, went to a few local street festivals, and now I’m looking forward to seeing them again when I’m in Spain. They are still offering to host us in their home while we are there. And now that I know them I’m excited to take them up on this very generous offer.



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