Plans for my World Tour 2012 are underway. The money for airfares is in the bank, so the biggest obstacle has been removed. Hooray!
(It turns out that we have built up a fair bit of equity in our house over the almost sixteen years that we have been paying it off, so the bank was happy to loan us a bit more!)
As you may know, I've been searching for potential house-swappers so as to eliminate the need to pay for accomodation. With accomodation costs minimised, the family and I will be able to holiday for much longer and really have an authentic experience of living in another country, rather than just playing tourist for a short visit.
The good news is...
...two different families in two different countries have offered to host my family! How kind and hospitable and wonderful!
The first family is an older couple who live in England. They are the parents of a very good friend of mine who have a large house in Exeter and have said that they would be glad to have us stay with them! How exciting! I am beginning to investigate things to see and do in both the immediate vicinity and further afield. Of course we'll have to see the sights of London; and I quite fancy getting "Lost in Austen" and my "Potter On".
We're also quite keen on popping over the channel to France! With a bit of luck and good timing, my sister and her family might be in Paris and able to show us around. They are hoping to houseswap with two different families, one in Paris and one in a small town in the Brittany region of France.
But that's not all! One of my blogging buddies who shall remain anonymous has offered us accomodation somewhere in the US! (I'm keeping it a bit mysterious at the moment until all the details are hammered out. It's still over a year until we'll be there and I want to give her every opportunity to back out if she needs to!) The most exciting part about it is that it's not an actual houseswap. She'll be there to host us during our stay! I cannot tell you how excited I am about meeting her in person and being shown around her town! I think we are going to have so much fun and paint the town red!
I'm really, really hoping that I'll be able to repay the hospitality by hosting her and her family one day when she visits Australia. I'm already planning all the things we'll be able to do and all the places I want to take her and things I want to show her! I think that this "you host me and then I'll host you" is soooo much better than an actual houseswap. So much more fun!
So as you can see, I was not kidding when I called my holiday plans my "world tour". We're definitely doing the UK, some of Europe, and some of the US!
Would you like to jump on board?
Would you consider letting my family stay with you next year? We'd happily sleep on mattresses on your floor or even camp in your yard! (We're planning on coming during the northern summer.) Don't make a quick decision. Just think about it. Obviously we'd have to get to know each other well over the next year to make sure that we trust each other. It's not an offer to make lightly. But if you hosted our family on our adventure, we'd be happy to repay the favour by hosting you on your Australian adventure.
I'm so looking forward to your comments!