This personal story from Cathy is a perfect example of The Three T’s to Rebooting Your Life on Vacation: Trading Your Home or Apartment, Traveling with Friends and Family, and Taking Small Risks…
We write often about the importance of taking “small risks”… and what better time to do it than on vacation? My husband and I just returned from a wonderful vacation for three weeks in Ireland. We practiced the “Three T’s” by trading my home in Santa Fe for a week with a friends’ daughter, who has a beautiful home near Kenmare, in the Beara Peninsula in southwest Ireland. She wanted to spend more time in Santa Fe, and we wanted a place in the remote mountains, surrounded by sheep and cows! The house was an amazing 300 year-old stone structure that had just been renovated. We invited friends to join us, fulfilling, the second “T” by traveling with loved ones.
While the second house we rented, an 1840s Georgian right on the Atlantic at the end of a peninsula, was through VRBO – Vacation Rentals by Owner, we met the young couple who owned it, and are planning a trade again for the future. Our friends loved the house, the peat fires, the cattle walking by our windows, and watching the roiling ocean during a gale through the front windows. We had time to explore, shop, cook dinners, hike, and sit and read….over an extended period…. and loved it. The communal dinners and breakfasts were some of the best. And we definitely took risks – such as would everyone get along and were the houses what we expected? Of course, that was nothing compared to the harrowing drives on the left side of the tiny roads in the mountains!
We all had a great time for three reasons: we were able to spend quality time with our friends, we were able to cut costs significantly by sharing a house and cooking a number of meals, and we enjoyed Ireland on a local level rather than staying in hotels and seeing only the tourist stops.
There is a growing trend of friends and family members taking vacations together in foreign countries. Trading your house or apartment makes it more fun and manageable. Go on www.homeexchange.com, www.homeaway.com and www.VRBO.com, to name a few, to see what delightful places there are….and invite a few friends to join you! We are writing much more about this in our upcoming book on ways Boomers are reinventing retirement!