Swapping Homes Anybody?


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Home Swapping is like Dating

Being an old hand on dating sites, my experience with a home swapping site took me right back.
As new hopefuls on a home exchange website, my hubby and I enthusiastically put up photos of our house, plus a catchy description together with details about us. We felt like kids in the candy-store: all these great places and houses all around the world up for grabs at the click of a mouse.
We approached desirable potential partners, sometimes we got replies, and sometimes not: “sorry but...or you're too late”. Then we thought we had found the right fit and we started to communicate by email with the prospective swappers.  At the same time we asked a couple of questions about what they were offering on their part. After a bit of research, at last we were ready to commit: “Let’s do it” only to get blown off: We've found somebody else.
It reminds me of Internet dating. After crafting a compelling personal profile, you click though gazillions of pictures and prospects; you wait for responses or actively approach potential partners. You communicate, sometimes slowly; sometimes unexpectedly excited, making quick progress in getting to know the other side. Then boom—you’re blown off and don’t know what hits you. They disappear from the radar or have the courtesy of informing you that they have met somebody else while you were getting your hopes up. Happens all the time. It’s called double timing.
We lost out while trying to cover our backs and avoid being disappointed if things turned out to be different to what they were portrayed to be. 
We are still "virgins" on the home swapping front so to speak, but we learned our lesson: Apparently one has to jump "into bed" here even more quickly than on dating sites.

The above was posted last year. Season 2 was about to start last week when we were approached by a German couple in a tempting area where we'd like to go very much. We agreed but had to talk about the timing to be able to synchronize it with a stay in the Bordeaux area. We had also gotten a nice request from there. When I didn't hear anything for 10 days, I was forewarned. The Germans had found somebody else, more exciting...As second- time- rounders we're learning fast: Truly a case of touble-timing as described before. Now we're waiting whether the French come through or not. Let's make a bet!

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