Thanks to HomeLink, Kay and Vern have made more than 14 exchanges that have allowed them to live like a local around the world. Here they share some of their many exchange experiences.
We are lucky as we have a self-contained apartment at our Blenheim home which exchangers often use. We love this as they call on us for local knowledge. We always entertain them for a welcome meal and often invite Blenheim friends so that they 'get to know the locals'.
Our holiday home is in Kaikoura which is small coastal town with an amazing backdrop of snow-covered mountains. On the east coast of the South Island, Kaikoura is the area for whale spotting and you can get really close to these amazing creatures.
1. Our first exchange was with a couple from Canada who were also on their first exchange. We have exchanged with them twice and have accompanied them on an Alaskan cruise - we are firm friends.
2. A very unusual exchange was a British couple who arrived in Kaikoura as Covid lockdown started and ended up staying for 7 weeks. It was wonderful to have someone in our house and comfortable for them - it took a long time for them to get a flight back to the U.K. They have returned to visit us again this year.
We have found every HomeLink exchange we have had a great experience as we get to know new friends, and often their neighbours, in so many parts of the world. We really appreciate the opportunity to share their home and ours and the trust of a new friendship.