Amazon activated ‘Look Inside’ Feature on Have Home Will Travel

HHWT-3Dcov-webGood Morning Everyone (or Afternoon, as the case may be),

I was happy to wake up to find that Amazon has activated their ‘Look Inside’ feature for my book, Have Home Will Travel.

If you buy your books on-line, you are probably familiar with the Look Inside feature.  It allows you to check out a good portion of the contents of a book, so that you can decide if it’s worth buying.  It’s a great feature and one that I use myself all the time.

In the case of Have Home Will Travel, the Look Inside feature allows you to see the first 33 pages of the book, including the entire Table of Contents, which in my opinion is always very helpful in the decision to purchase a non-fiction book.  I believe my table of contents will help you too.

So, if you are interested, you can click right through to Have Home Will Travel on Amazon, and take a Look Inside, via this link…

‘Look Inside’ Have Home Will Travel

 

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Calling all Travel Bloggers – Scoop this News + Grab a Deal for Your Followers

Have Home Will Travel Sized Book CoverFellow Travel Bloggers, if you blog to families, you may be interested in posting the following media release (in whole or in part) to your families.  I will be circulating this release to media outlets across the USA in a day or two, as part of my book launch.  You can scoop the news and blog about it first.

Plus, I’d like to welcome you to share a 30% ‘friends and family’ promo code with your followers, along with the news.

Have Home Will Travel went live on Amazon in the US and Europe yesterday; however, to obtain the discount, please direct your followers to the link below where they can use the promo code provided.  The promo code will remain active until May 31, 2014.

https://www.createspace.com/4620684  Use Promo Code: 47AVHFJF

Please see the media release below, it describes what my book is all about.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.  I am also available for interviews and guest posts on your sites.  Please contact me if you are interested.

Trusting Traveler Aspires to ‘Bring’ Global Travel to Middle Income Families

NJ author, Kerry Ascione, aka the Trusting Traveler, has released her debut book Have Home Will Travel, The Ultimate International Home Exchange Guide for Families, and hopes to bring global travel within reach of middle income American families.

Ascione asserts that there has never been a better time to trust your peers than now, and she believes that the strength of today’s Peer Sharing Movement will lead the way.  Ascione was resolute that her book, Have Home Will Travel, equip families with everything they need to embrace trust and confidently engage in a style of travel that her family has found richer, yet more affordable than any other.  Her book is personal, inspirational, informational, and empowering.

Despite the fact that international home exchange is extraordinary, it remains virtually untapped. There are millions of American families that could be, but are not, benefitting from this fantastic opportunity.  Ascione says “That is precisely what motivated me to write Have Home Will Travel.  I used to think global travel was too rich a passion for my family and something only the wealthy could afford.  I know better now.  The fact is, the majority of people who really get to experience rich, authentic travel are far from wealthy-and now I’m one of them.  I hope other families interested in cultural family travel find my book the answer to their travel desires.”

Kerry Ascione is a past business professional and educator who has recently transitioned to a career as a travel writer, blogger, speaker and coach, under the trade name—Trusting Traveler— further embracing her passion.  She has a website where she shares her family’s experiences and she blogs regularly on topics related to cultural family travel, peer sharing, and global education.  -END

 

 

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Calling all Family Bloggers – Scoop this News + Grab a Deal for Your Followers

Have Home Will Travel Sized Book CoverFellow Bloggers, if you blog to families, you may be interested in posting the following media release (in whole or in part) to your families.  I will be circulating this release to media outlets across the USA in a day or two, as part of my book launch.  You can scoop the news and blog about it first.

Plus, I’d like to welcome you to share a 30% ‘friends and family’ promo code with your followers, along with the news.

Have Home Will Travel went live on Amazon in the US and Europe yesterday; however, to obtain the discount, please direct your followers to the link below where they can use the promo code provided.  The promo code will remain active until May 31, 2014.

https://www.createspace.com/4620684  Use Promo Code: 47AVHFJF

Please see the media release below, it describes what my book is all about.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.  I am also available for interviews and guest posts on your sites.  Please contact me if you are interested.

Trusting Traveler Aspires to ‘Bring’ Global Travel to Middle Income Families

NJ author, Kerry Ascione, aka the Trusting Traveler, has released her debut book Have Home Will Travel, The Ultimate International Home Exchange Guide for Families, and hopes to bring global travel within reach of middle income American families.

Ascione asserts that there has never been a better time to trust your peers than now, and she believes that the strength of today’s Peer Sharing Movement will lead the way.  Ascione was resolute that her book, Have Home Will Travel, equip families with everything they need to embrace trust and confidently engage in a style of travel that her family has found richer, yet more affordable than any other.  Her book is personal, inspirational, informational, and empowering.

Despite the fact that international home exchange is extraordinary, it remains virtually untapped. There are millions of American families that could be, but are not, benefitting from this fantastic opportunity.  Ascione says “That is precisely what motivated me to write Have Home Will Travel.  I used to think global travel was too rich a passion for my family and something only the wealthy could afford.  I know better now.  The fact is, the majority of people who really get to experience rich, authentic travel are far from wealthy-and now I’m one of them.  I hope other families interested in cultural family travel find my book the answer to their travel desires.”

Kerry Ascione is a past business professional and educator who has recently transitioned to a career as a travel writer, blogger, speaker and coach, under the trade name—Trusting Traveler— further embracing her passion.  She has a website where she shares her family’s experiences and she blogs regularly on topics related to cultural family travel, peer sharing, and global education.  -END

 

 

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Friends & Family – I Want to Repay Your Valuable Support

Have Home Will Travel Sized Book CoverThis post is for all of my friends, family and followers who have stuck with me in my new journey as a travel writer, blogger and as of today, a published author!

Thank you!  Thank you!  Thank You!

It’s been an exciting and also exhausting year long journey, which I am thrilled to say has produced my first book, Have Home Will Travel, an accomplishment I can honestly say I am very proud of, primarily because I am convinced it can help other families experience what my own middle income American family has – incredibly rich cultural family travel.  I am determined to help other families to achieve that goal, and writing and publishing this book were the first steps in that process.

But, my job is far from over now.  Now with my book published on Amazon (as of May 7th), as well as many other on-line sites to come, I am now in what is called the ‘Discoverability’ phase of my book project.  Simply put, I have to help people discover my book.  It’s not enough to write a book and have it available; today’s authors have the additional responsibility to lead people directly to it -if it is to make it into their readership’s hands.  That is when I will consider my journey complete.

So, I wanted to reach out to my most supportive followers first, to once again ask for your support.  Please share the news of my books publishing with any families who you know might be interested in the topic of affordable global family travel.

In return for your continued support I am happy to offer you and your friends my highest friends and family discount of 30%.  Please follow the link below to my e-store to find out more about Have Home Will Travel, and to order it at the 30% discount.

https://www.createspace.com/4620684  Use Promo Code: 47AVHFJF  (expires 5/31/14)

 

 

 

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Calling all Travelers; Trusting Traveler Reviews Books You’ll Love!

Well, I can’t actually guarantee it; but I trust you “traveler types” will like The Geography of Bliss and Man Seeks God by Eric Weiner as much as I did.

They are the types of books that make you think while you are reading them and likely long after you’ve finished them.   In fact, they may even change the way you view your life or life in general.

I found the subject matter of each book intriguing, and I really connected with the author.   One reason for the connection may be that we were both “born in the year of the Smiley Face, 1963.”  That’s a quote from Weiner in Geography of Bliss.   Actually I liked Weiner a lot because of his brutal honesty, particularly whenever he speaks about himself and his many “perceived” flaws.   I actually found him perfectly “imperfect,” and I’m delighted to write my very first book review on his two books.  I found both of them fascinating, intelligent, heartwarming, and endearingly funny.

So, I guess I’ll just give you a little information about what the two books are about.

Geography of blissWeiner published The Geography of Bliss in 2009.  It’s a cross between a research study and a novel on the intriguing subject of “Happiness.”  What is it; where is it; who is it; why is it; when is it?  Weiner’s happiness research takes him on an around the world exploration (that’s where you “travel types fit in) to find out where happiness can be found. The fact is, Weiner’s quite desperate to find happiness himself.  He shares his journey, his findings, and his great wit, with his readers in this entertaining and enlightening book.

 

man seeks godWeiner subsequently published Man Seeks God.  I don’t think anyone was more surprised to see me reading a book by this title, than myself (actually, my husband was.)  But the title of the book is deceiving.  Weiner is neither very spiritual nor very religious, but when an interesting health scare arises, it set’s him off on a serious spiritual exploration.  He decides it may be a good idea to find his God, Gods, or Goddesses, so he sets off traveling again, to experience a bunch of religions, to destinations he believes he can experience them best.  Some of the religions are traditional, and some clearly NOT; but regardless, he makes them all interesting. Again he shares his journey, his findings, and more of his charming, self-deprecating wit.

Both of these books may sound deep, and they are a bit, but they are also very funny. Wiener’s sharp, dry sense of humor and his willingness to expose himself  emotionally to his readers makes me want to read him more, actually, what I’d really love to do is join him on his travels.  You will too!

 

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Don’t Let Your Wheels Rob You of a Great Cultural Experience!

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Deborah obviously enjoying France while on home exchange!

Deborah Davis is proof that a wheelchair and international home exchange are, in fact, compatible!

Deborah has successfully exchanged her handicapped accessible home near Fort Lauderdale, Florida not once, but three times.  She has swapped her home for homes in Paris (France), Amsterdam (Netherlands) and Vancouver (Canada.)  She exchanged for about 12 days in each home.

Coincidently, when I asked Deborah what home exchange website she used to arrange her three exchanges, she said “HomeForEchange.com.”  As you may know, HomeForExchange.com is the website that I have used to arrange all of my home exchanges as well.

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Deborah looking very comfortable in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Like most home exchangers, Deborah home exchanges with her family, which consists of herself, her husband, and her daughter, who is now 21.  This is what she mentions makes international home exchanges special for her family, “I can have my daughter come with us and stay in the same home, in a family environment.  We can cook healthy meals at home. We can experience a real local living lifestyle and get to know neighbors and make new friends with exchange members.”

Deborah indicates that her own home is equipped as follows:

“I have a one story home with ramps and access to front door and back patio.  I have a pool lift, a shower chair and a raised height toilet for easier transfers.  I also have a ramp van with hand controls for swap.”

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Deborah enjoying Canada, while on home exchange in Vancouver.

Ideally, Deborah would want to find home exchanges which meet her exact needs, which she says would entail “minimum stairs, a minimum 28 inch wide door width for bathroom, a toilet that is minimum 17 inches high for transfers, a bathtub preferably or a shower I can put a shower chair into and transfer to from wheelchair.”

I’ve asked Deborah if it was difficult to find exchange homes that met her accessibility needs:

“Yes, very much so…they were not fully accessible in that they were not built or retrofitted to be so. We just found the most accessible options and with the help of my husband and daughter, we managed.”

I assume the same goes for accessible cars.  Do you have special requirements for a car?

“Yes, [I require] a ramp, a swivel driver’s seat, and hand controls.”

Is it hard to find exchanges with cars that are properly equipped?

“Absolutely.  I have never had an exchange with a fully accessible property and a fellow disabled person, so I have never driven the vehicle.”

Can you rent a car with the necessary equipment?

“Yes, but I have not had to as I had family member’s drive.”

So, I asked Deborah, “based on your experiences with international home exchange, is home exchange currently a viable option for handicapped individuals, even those who use wheelchairs?”

“I think it is an options for those with less limiting disabilities, like those who have some mobility or use lightweight and smaller manual wheelchairs so they can manage some steps and can function in smaller bathrooms.”

I’d like to point out here, that Deborah, with her partner, Bill Forrester, have recently launched a new website that specializes in handicapped accessible home exchanges, home rentals, and even home sales.  That is how I met Deborah.  Mr. Martin Heng who heads up the Travel for All Project for Lonely Planet was kind enough to put me in touch with Deborah.  Being the huge international home exchange fan and supporter that I am, I was thrilled to hear about their new website called TravabilityProperties.com. 

Note, this website is a new addition to Davis and Forrester’s other websites:  PushLiving.com; TravAbility.com; and PhotoAbility.net.

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I really believe that if more homeowners with wheelchair accessible properties start listing their properties, international home exchange could really become a much more viable style of “Travel for All”.  Obviously, Davis and Forrester feel the same.

I asked Deborah why she decided to create TravabilityProperties.com.

“The process of finding an accessible or even semi accessible property can be extremely frustrating and hugely time consuming due to lacking accessibility search criteria or properties that meet even minimal accessibility needs. This challenge is what inspired me to create a site that would meet this need for me and others!”

I asked Deborah if she could offer any advice to those wishing to give international home exchange a try?

“List your home on TravabilityProperties.com! As we have just launched, we are inviting you to become a complimentary member and one of the first to be a part of this promising new project.”

I highly encourage anyone who is handicapped (or has a handicapped family member) and who has a strong desire to enjoy affordable, yet rich cultural travel, to list their properties on this new and promising site.   There is no cost, you have absolutely nothing to lose, and SO MUCH TO GAIN!

I asked Deborah for a final comment about what the site has to offer.

“Our property website has been custom built to include detailed accessibility data both for your property and for the local area.  You can gather all or as much of the information as you wish in the property forms provided.”

If you do not currently have a home you wish to join, please take a moment and like and share our feature article on PushLiving.com on the new site with those who you feel may be interested now or in the future: http://pushliving.com/index.php/lifestyle/lifestyle-gen/34-travability-properties.”

In conclusion, in my book, Have Home Will Travel, I have included a chapter on the subject of inclusive international home exchange.  In this chapter, I have included additional information about TravabilityProperties as well as several other home exchange websites with handicapped or wheelchair accessible properties; I even include how many of these classified properties each website has in their listings database by geographic area. Have Home Will Travel will be available on or before May 15th, right here on the Trusting Traveler website and on Amazon.com (and on Amazons European sites as well.)

A promotional discount code will be made available upon the book is release.  Please follow the blog to receive the code!

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Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff!

ItalyFanPix for HHWT (1)Hi, I’ve been working full time getting Have Home Will Travel, The Ultimate International Home Exchange Guide for Families published; and it will be very soon! It should be available for purchase as early as April 30th and no later than May 15th. It is that project that has kept me from blogging as much as I would like.

I feel as though I’ve neglected my responsibility to you, being that you are all kind enough to follow me, so I’d like to make it up to you by sharing a funny little travel story. The picture speaks volumes for this story.

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

My family traveled to Italy for a two week vacation in 1998; this was before I learned about the wonderful world of Home Exchange.

The second week was spent in a villa rental on the beautiful island of Capri off the Amalfi Coast. That part of the trip was like living an episode of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. It was amazing!

But, it is the first week that prompted this funny story. We spent the first week with my husband’s family (first cousins) in their working class neighborhood, Sarno, outside of Naples; the same town where my husband was born. My husband immigrated with his family to the USA at the age of two, and is as Americanized (aka spoiled) as the rest of us.

Looking back we have very fond memories of the time we spent with his cousins and it truly was a wonderful cultural experience. It was also wonderful to introduce our kids to where their father was born. However, some aspects of the trip, still cause us to laugh 15 years later!

When we arrived in Italy, hot and exhausted from our long journey (we flew from NYC to Brussels where we had a six hour layover before flying to Naples), we found our relative’s home, not surprisingly, without air conditioning.

We were surprised to find my husband’s cousin Maria in her tiny kitchen preparing a mid-day feast for us, including cooking steaks on an indoor grill. It must have been 100 degrees (farenheight) in her house.

We managed to smile through the hot meal in the hotter house, and then smiled again when they escorted us to our perfectly nice bedrooms on the 3rd and hottest floor of the house. To our dismay, there wasn’t a fan in sight. I decided to take a nice cold shower (great idea); except for the fact that there was barely enough water pressure to brush my teeth.

As I lay in bed that first night, I turned to my husband and said ‘this is going to be the trip from Hell.’ A little guilt perhaps, but I was hot, tired and cranky, and it was HIS family after all.

The next morning when our relatives asked us what we wanted to do on our first day, we replied ‘could we maybe buy a fan.’

We spent a good part of our first day trying to find a place to buy a fan; apparently, fans were not a popular appliance in Sarno. We ultimately found our fan, a very colorful one at that, and this made us all very happy (giddy in fact). We actually bought three of them!

At the end of the week, we insisted our relatives take the money we offered them as repayment for the expense of running our fans! We may be spoiled Americans, but we are not rude Americans!

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A Husband’s Perspective – He’s not Mr. Cellophane

My husband, seriously enjoying freshly made Spanish bread!

My husband, seriously enjoying freshly made Spanish bread!

Do all husbands think their wives don’t listen to them?

I know my husband does at times. Actually, we were laughing about it this weekend.

I have a lot on my plate right now and it’s really hard to keep my mind from wandering.  So, quite a few times while we were out together doing errands on Saturday, my husband would comment something and I would say “uh huh” and then he’d laugh and say “you have no idea what I just said do you?” and I’d say “what?”  At least he has a sense of humor about it most of the time.

Sometimes, when he’s not quite so amused, he’ll sing a line from the song ‘Mr. Cellophane’ from the movie Chicago’s soundtrack.  The lyrics go like this …cause you can look right through me, walk right by me, and never know I’m there…

This is his way of saying, your not listening to me or there you go again.  Listen to me and slow down.

My husbands first coffee in our temporary home in Spain.  The first morning.

Waking up with coffee the first morning in Spain.

I think he is exaggerating.  I’m really not that bad!  Okay, maybe I am that bad; but that doesn’t make me a bad person!  I am headstrong; once I get an idea in my head, I’m off and running with it and there’s very little any one can do to slow me down.

This was true about seven years ago. I got a great idea in my head, and shared it with my husband.  This was the idea where I thought we should trade our home with strangers in other countries, in order to afford cultural family travel.

If you have been following my blog, you already know that my family has been home exchanging for the past five years, and that I have written a book on the subject. That book, Have Home Will Travel, will be published at the end of the month.  That’s why I’m so preoccupied at the moment.

But, I thought I’d share with you an interview that I’ve included in my book.  You see, I interviewed my husband on the subject of our international home exchanges, including what he thought about my ‘great’ idea when I first introduced it to him back in 2008.

The fact is, in order to engage in international home exchange, you have to have buy-in from your spouse.  Sometimes your spouse is all that stands between you and a great international home exchange.  Let’s see how it all went down in my case.

Entrance to our home,"La Colina"

Here’s the Spanish exchange home.

Here’s an excerpt from that interview:

Me:  Do you remember the first time I mentioned international home exchange, back in 2008, and suggested I’d like to try it?  If so, do you remember what your immediate thoughts were?

My husband:   I found it odd, the idea of having strangers come stay in our home; but, it didn’t really concern me that much.  I was more concerned that you were thinking about planning an expensive trip to Europe.  To tell you the truth, I was hoping you would realize that home exchange was a far-fetched idea and forget about it.

This is called "Quality Family Time"

My husband multi-tasking: relaxing by the pool & enjoying quality family time with our daughter!

Me:  But of course I didn’t; when I actually found a home exchange partner (in Spain) who was interested in exchanging with us, what did you think?

My husband:  I’m sure I thought “uh oh, she hasn’t dropped the idea. What do I do now.”  I was really concerned, not about the home exchange part, but about the cost of a trip to Europe for the whole family.  Obviously knowing how headstrong you are, I was afraid you would plow forward with plans, and not concern yourself with the practical, financial, aspect of the trip.  I know I told you to show me the budget for the trip including where the money would come from.  I’m also sure I told you that the trip had to be paid for up front—I didn’t want to incur any debt to finance it.

MeI am sure that is what you said, and you repeated it for the next year, while I planned the trip.  Actually, truth be told, you didn’t talk about the trip much during the almost year-long planning.  I couldn’t get you involved in it.  I know I’ve joked with you that you didn’t believe we were actually going until we were on the plane taxiing down the runway. Why?

This was one of our favorite hours of the trip; a pedalo with slide on the Mediterranean in Nerja.  Heaven!

In Nerja, Spain trip. On a pedalo with slide on the Mediterranean. My husband and son in the water waiting to catch my daughter.

My husband:  I really didn’t have your confidence that the trip was attainable. I love European travel as much as you do, and as much as I wanted to go on such an amazing trip with the family, I had my doubts that it would all work out.  I felt I had to be the voice of reason and that I might have to pull the plug on the trip if the home exchanges that you arranged, three of them, fell through. I would have had to cancel the trip.  I did not look forward to disappointing you.   So, I preferred not to discuss the trip too much.  I didn’t want you to think it was definitely a ‘go.’

Me:  Okay, that makes sense.  So, fortunately none of our home exchange partners cancelled, and the trip was a ‘go.’  How did you feel once we were on the plane?

My husband:  I still had concerns about the cost of the trip. Europe is very expensive and I was not convinced that the home exchanges would work out.  I feared that we would end up paying to stay in hotels.  But I made the decision to put those concerns aside, and enjoy the trip.   So, once on the plane, I was actually very excited.  First of all, you know I love to fly.  Just being at the airport excites me.  Second, to be traveling to Europe as a family was something I never thought would be possible.   I wasn’t worried at all about the home exchange families coming to our home.  I knew you had communicated with each of them for months and that you trusted them.  I was just concerned about last minute cancellations.  I’d seen pictures of each of the homes, and they all looked great, so as long as no one cancelled I figured everything would be okay.

This is our home exchange home in Andalucia from which we traveled the short distance, 1 1/2 hrs, to Grenada, Spain

This is the house in Spain. Pretty remote.

Me:  What did you think of Southern Spain (Andalucía) and the Spanish exchange home?

My husband: I had never been to Andalucia, Spain and I found the mountains and the remoteness of the landscape, on the hour long drive from the airport to the home exciting.  Then, when I saw where the exchange home was located, I thought that you could not have found a more remote location.   The location of the house was not what I expected.  It was extremely remote.  It was really wild and I loved it.  The house reminded me of houses in Italy, all stone outside and tile inside.  Not only was the house really there, it wasn’t going anywhere—it was built like a fortress.  I loved the Spanish style window grates, the heavy wood door and shutters.  The pool looked clean, and I was assured it would be taken care of for us during our stay.  It was all much better than I expected.

Me:  Did you enjoy that first exchange?

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The Moorish palace, The Alhambra, in Grenada, Spain

My husband:  Boy, did I. Southern Spain was a great surprise.  I didn’t know about the Moorish roots in Spain, and loved the Moorish influence that we saw in Grenada and Cordoba.  That was fascinating.  It was great to relax at the house, by the pool, when we were not out sightseeing.  I really liked that hardly anyone spoke English in this remote area and that I had to speak some Spanish.  Fortunately, knowing Italian made that easier for me since the languages are so similar.   I really liked visiting towns without tons of tourists and with real local culture.  On several occasions vendors pulled right up to our exchange home and called for us to come out to see what they were selling.  One was the bread man and the other a produce vendor selling melons.  We were told by locals that this was normal and to expect them.  I know I was a bit disappointed that we were not home when the fish man came by.   I also got a kick out of seeing the olive groves being groomed each day.  A man on a tractor pulling a clanking contraption behind him could be seen over our fenced yard.  He’d wave to us as he got close to the house.  This just added to the local ambiance and it reminded me that while on this trip I didn’t have to do any yard work!

Me:  I loved that home exchange in Spain myself.  I’d go back there in a heartbeat.  What did you think of the home exchange experience overall?

Grenada, Spain.  Enjoying freshly baked Churros with hot chocolate sauce.

Enjoying an evening in Grenada, Spain where we spent the night in a hotel.

My husband:  Well for starters, the house was big and we had plenty of room to spread out.  That was nice, and having the pool was great.  We could relax and cool off and have fun with the kids.  We didn’t always have to be out doing something.  I actually got to relax a lot.  It took a few days to settle into the house, but once we did, it was really comfortable.  I felt very at ease there.  As for home exchange, I was pleasantly surprised by how smooth everything went.  The directions to the home were great, we found the house no problem and the key was where it was supposed to be.  When I realized there were no problems,   I think I finally let my guard down.  When we left Spain, I was less worried about the next two home exchanges on this trip.

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Father and son, goofing around in Grenada, Spain

Me:   I wish I could ask you about all of our home exchanges to date; but we only have so much time and space.  So, I’ll just ask you which home exchange has been your favorite, to date?

My husband:  They have all been amazing.  I’ve loved every experience.  But, if I had to pick a favorite, it would be the home 10 miles outside of Paris, France.

Me:   I’m glad you can pick one; because I don’t think I could choose one.  Why was this one your favorite?

My husband:  It surprises me a little to say it.  I found that I really loved Paris.  Not that I didn’t know it was a great city; but I didn’t think it would rank among my favorites—like Rome.  But it did.  The fact that we were able to drive into Paris in fifteen minutes from the exchange home was incredible.  My favorite memory of our entire six week trip that summer was the night you and I left the kids with your mother and explored the city by night.  No offense to the kids, but that was actually our last night of the trip; I really didn’t want to leave.  Paris is amazing by night.

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Okay, the Sangria was a good in Spain.

Me:   I can honestly say that I didn’t want to leave either!  Well, unfortunately I need to wrap up this interview.  So, what do you think about home exchange now, and do you recommend it to others?

My husband:  The reward really is fantastic.  I have no qualms about home exchanging.  We have never had any problems with it.  We have found that the people who home exchange are like us—reliable.  They have the same motivation that we do.  It’s simply that it’s an affordable way for a family to travel.  All of our exchange partners have been families.  In fact, they have each had more kids than us, three or four.  Once you try a home exchange, you realize how nice it is to live like a local and enjoy a big family home.  There is more to home exchange than just the savings.   I won’t lie, there is also a great deal of planning and work involved, but if you want to travel, it’s worth it.  To me, the family time together, on these trips, makes it all worthwhile.

Me:  So, we are planning to travel to Europe again during the summer of 2015, and of course we will want to arrange a few home exchanges.  Where do you want to go?

My husband:  I have not been to Germany yet and I’m dying to use my high school German; so I hope we can find a home exchange in Munich.  I’d like to visit Nuremburg too.  I’ve been to Austria, but I’d like to go there again, this time with our family.  I’d like to go to Vienna and Innsbruck.

Me:  I can’t wait for the summer of 2015!  I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again.  I’m so glad I married someone who loves foreign travel as much as I do, and I’m really glad you were so supportive when I brought up this crazy harebrained thing called international home exchange.  I think it’s the best thing we’ve ever done!  You?

My husband:  Agreed; you get no argument from me.  I love it too.

The fact is, my husband is very supportive of all my ‘ideas,’ including my changing careers and becoming a travel writer/blogger/speaker and coach.  I know there are many spouses out there that are not nearly as supportive.  So, I was thrilled to have a new book being published on or about April 30th in which to acknowledge him in.   Here’s a preview of his well deserved acknowledgement.

Acknowlegement

On a personal note, I want to thank my husband. While it was not a prerequisite for a husband, I simply got lucky ending up married to a man with a foreign heritage and an openness and passion for cultural travel that is almost as intense as my own. He has supported me unconditionally in all the myriad, seldom mainstream, preoccupations that I often get over-involved in as a result of my deep desire to continue our family’s cultural travels. As always, Angelo has graciously supported me in this book endeavor, my most current preoccupation. I am grateful for his never ending support in all that I do.

 

 

 

 

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Worth the Wait? I Really Think it Is!

I’m really not a very patient person, but I have found that many of the best things in life require you to wait, and more importantly, they are worth waiting for.

Here are some of the things I’ve waited for, that were worth waiting for:

I waited 15 years to travel to Europe for the first time (from age 12 to 27.)

I waited until I was 32 to marry (and 32 and nine months to have a baby!)

I waited 5 more years to have another baby (the first baby was scary-collicky!)

I waited until I was 50 to find a career I absolutely love (I’m still 50, it’s a new career.)

The fact is, as much as I’m not a patient person; I have exercised a lot of patience.

I’ve had to exercise a lot of patience recently, in my newest career endeavor, especially with regard to my first book project, Have Home Will Travel, The Ultimate International Home Exchange Guide for Families.  I’ve worked on this book for nine long months, after making a commitment to myself not to finish working on it until it was truly ready and worthy of being published.  I didn’t want to fall victim to Kristen Lamb’s, my favorite writing/publishing blogger’s, warning about publishing too soon (before your book is ready!)

So, for the past nine months I have been writing, researching, organizing, editing, re-writing, researching, re-organizing, and re-editing; in other words nurturing my book/baby to full term.

Now my baby is ready to be born; or just about.  I just turned my completed manuscript over to my interior designer, Ms. Pamela Delaney of Delaney-Designs.  I am now waiting patiently, or perhaps a little impatiently, to see how Pamela’s design brings my baby to life. She will be sending me a sample of my designed interior in the next day or two.  I can’t wait!  But, of course I really can wait, and I will.

The good news is, I don’t have to wait any longer to see my books cover design.  I’ve just received the proof from my cover designer, Ms. Ginger Marks of DocUmeant Designs.  I think Ginger did an excellent job!  I just sent her one tiny change in the text, but you know what…I can’t wait to show you the proof; I REALLY can’t, so I will.  Check it out!  It’s a real live book!

HHWT-cover-full (5)

Click on book to enlarge it.

Now, I can’t wait to see Pam’s interior design and Ginger’s cover design come together!  Fortunately, it won’t be a long wait.  I am on schedule to publish Have Home Will Travel on April 30th.  I do believe it was worth the wait!  I think my book can really help families afford, plan and enjoy global family travel, and that is exactly what I intended it to do.

 

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New Forum – Peer2Peer Travel Talk

Let’s talk Peer 2 Peer about…

The Sharing Economy – What do you think about sharing; what shared products/services have you tried?  Please share your favorites here.

International Home Exchange – it IS the oldest (6 decades and going strong) and only tried & true shared product on the market today!  I share all about home exchange here on this site.

Global Family Travel – Tell us about your families travels or please fire away your travel questions, here!  How do you afford to travel, inquiring minds want to know.   Do share.

Global Education – Do you think it is important for today’s children?  Are your kids getting a global education in school?  Yes, No, Maybe so?

Beating the high cost of Airfare – Any great tips we should know about, please share them here.  

Suggestions for other topics are welcome.

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