We've been doing home exchange since 1992. In that time, the First Commandment of Home Exchange has been revealed to me: Thou Shalt Not Back Out of a Home Exchange to Which Thou Hast Committed! But here I was, telling Mike that my mother had been hospitalized and couldn't travel, even just a few hours away to Vermont.
Of course, I wasn't going to back out of my exchange commitment, but it would mean Mike and his family would have to use my 1-bedroom place instead of my parents spacious 3-bedroom in the same Manhattan high-rise. My wife and I would bunk with mom and dad to make sure Mike's exchange could happen.
But Mike had the flexible, creative approach of a successful home exchanger. Since we knew my sister, who lived across the street, would be going on vacation a week after the exchange was set to start, Mike was able to change his airline tickets. Instead of his family and the in-laws' brood sharing a 3-bedroom apartment, he now had matching 1-bedroom places across the street from each other. The families could easily meet up for daily activities, but have their own spaces to retreat to at night. This promised a more convenient set up than the original offer.
Mike generously allowed both me and my sister to each use one of his homes. My visit to the Vermont house was the perfect home exchange weekend. His home exceded my expectations in every way -- size, comfort, amenities and location. My sister is looking forward to her trip to Mike's Carribbean paradise. With a little creativity and flexibility, disaster was averted and we had a wonderful exchange.
The best feature about exchanging through Digsville is being about to rate the exchange afterwards in a way that allows others to know what exchangers think of the experience. We could let future exchangers know what a great exchange partner Mike is, and proudly list our perfect feedback from him and another past exchanger. Kudos to Helen for a great exchange club and system.
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