There comes a time in many city dwellers' lives when they start dreaming of living in the country, maybe in a cottage with roses around the door and where the sun always shines. Sound familiar? But, realistically, making such a big lifestyle change takes careful consideration. You might not miss the crowded city streets and trains; but will you miss being able to pop around to the shops without a thought rather than have a time consuming trip to the nearest town?
You may have a good idea of where you would like to live in the country, or there may be a number of options that look appealing. What better way to try out an area than by arranging a home exchange (preferably for a lengthy period or at the grottiest time of year weather-wise, so that you get a real taste of what a permanent move would be like). Londoners who are doing just this:
'We are a young couple with two small children. We love Hackney where we've lived and worked for over 10 years (working on environmental and sustainable food projects). However, we crave open spaces and long walks in the countryside. We're also exploring ideas around moving to the countryside in the future and want to experience living in a more rural setting to see what it feels like for us as a family.
Hackney is a wonderfully diverse and creative part of London. We love the neighbourhood, just 2 minutes away from local shops, bookshops and cafes, on several bus routes and overground routes taking you straight into central London.' See the full home swap offer in Hackney.
Have you ever used a home swap as a way of trying out a new area, or even before taking the big step of an international move?