There comes a time in many city dwellers' lives when they start thinking of a move to the country, especially if the high cost of property in the city has limited the type of home they can afford or they are living in expensive rented accommodation. Fancy a cottage with roses around the door? Working for yourself instead of commuting into a city office on crowded trains?
But, realistically, making such a big lifestyle change needs careful thought. 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 lengthy car or bus journey 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 swap (preferably for a lengthy period at the grottiest time of year weather-wise, so that you get a real taste of what a permanent move would be like, rather than it feeling like a holiday)!
We know that a few Home Base Holidays members have used a home swap to have a temporary base in another country to look for jobs, homes and schools before immigrating; but swapping homes can be just as useful for those considering a move within their own country, especially if the new area is completely different to where they live. Do get in touch if you've done this - we'd love to hear your story!
The first photo above is of lovely Georgian house offered for exchange near Victoria Park, East London (click to view); the second photo is of a member's cosy country cottage in rural Suffolk (click to view).