Trust, Risk, and Home Exchange

My family and I did our first home exchange this summer.  A ‘non-simultaneous’ exchange, in the correct vernacular.  What that means is that our exchange family stayed in our home this summer and we will stay in their home next summer.  This family is from Paris and they live within walking distance of the Eiffel Tower.  Whoo hoo!

When I first told my family (husband, kids, in-laws, parents) that I was going to do this, I think they all thought I was nuts!  What if they break something?  What if they take something?  How do you know what will happen?  My son’s first reaction was that he was going to take his Wii out of the house.  My response was that I would be having lots of conversations both email and on the phone with any potential family and I was going to trust my instincts and my fellow man/woman that things will be just fine.  We could break our own stuff just as easily, as we do on a regular basis!

As the date that they would arrive fast approached, I found myself cleaning things I would normally not worry about, but I wanted their experience to be perfect.  The blue and yellow Super Shuttle van pulled up and out wearily popped the family.  We gave them the quick tour, showed them how to drive a Prius (for some the on/off button isn’t intuitive) turned over the keys, and drove to our cabin in the Rocky Mountains. 

Eight days later, we arrived home.  I have you, don’t I?  You are wondering what disaster had befallen our home?  Well, the house was in perfect order.  No issues, no problems, no damage.  They left things exactly as found.  What a delight!!  This is a great way to go.  It saves significant $$.  It’s green.  Who wouldn’t rather stay in a home vs a hotel room.  Hopefully less chance of bed bugs!!!

I have always chosen the optimistic path.  I am cautious but trusting and have always believed that if you do the right thing, things work out.  Being negative sucks the energy out of life, both personally and professionally. 

We entrusted complete strangers with our home and our car.  They will now entrust us similarly.  And, we are so excited for our trip.  (I am trying to line up another exchange so we can experience more of Europe with our kids)  Our daughter is now trying to convince us that she should stay on after we leave and she should be able to travel, stay in hostels, BY HERSELF!  But that’s another story…

About annspoor
Ann Spoor is the Jerry McGuire to Corporate Executives and Professionals. She is an Executive Talent Agent, Executive Coach, Career Manager, Executive Branding Expert, and Social Media Coach. Ann lives in Denver with her husband Mark and their 2 kids. The Leadership Lattice is an interview series conducted by Ann Spoor CEO & Founder of Executive Lattice. The series focuses on Leadership in the private & public sector. Please subscribe to this blog to follow along in the discussion.

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