'Our London exchange home looks a perfectly nice, clean place with parking and a wee garden, occupied by a family of three just like us, and so seemed a good "safe" choice (safe, as in, you know just what to expect). So if it is lacking in extraordinary views, fascinating historical associations, or long-steeped atmosphere, it will make up for in predictability, a premium commodity indeed when travelling. In short, it may not be haunted by the ghost of Virginia Woolf, but at least it's not haunted. Moreover, its location makes it easy to get by Underground to Stratford Tube station, for the main Olympic site, and this is a bonus too. We wouldn't have felt safe getting any of the four sets of tickets we've got without first being certain of our swap accommodations (You really do have to jump for those tickets very early when they are briefly made available in lots and by country online).
We always knew we wanted to do a home exchange, having dreamed of it for many years, since before it went online and the listings were in big thick catalogues we would borrow from retired colleagues (veteran exchangers) to browse through. So the swap bug has been in us a long while, but frankly since my health problems (with fatigue, pain and mobility issues due to MS) have made regular travel increasingly more daunting, the idea of home exchange has become even more appealing. The format promotes a slower pace and guarantees me a way to rest without holding my family back from whatever adventures they are up to. And without hearing cash register bells ca-ching-ing crazily in my head at the thought of all that money "wasted" on the hotel bed I'm resting in. So, I think home exchange allows you to be as well as do and see.
The Olympic trip idea has been in the works a long time as well. Joe already has two Games trips under his belt - Barcelona and Los Angeles.
Which brings us to the third bug, which is England. I've been, Joe hasn't yet, and he is convinced that I am drawn there because of a previous life as an English lady. So it seems, perhaps because of my background in English lit? Anyhow, you don't need an excuse to spend time in the UK'. - Gloria Getty, Woodstock, Ont, Canada
Note: Gloria, Joe and daughter, Harper are exchanging their large 1894 Victorian home (in photo above), complete with turret, in Woodstock, Ontario for the Salter family's modern home in South Woodford, East London.
There's still time to arrange a home swap for the Olympics. See our special Olympics information page and sample home exchange offers.