Who are we ?
Carine & Vincent
French, married since 1986, we were both involved in culture fields : Vincent worked for the ministery of culture on heritage (historical monuments), I was a free lance journalist for 35 years. Main topics ? town planning and architecture.
We both love to travel. We've exchanged homes the first time in 1988, after I wrote an article on that topic for an economic magazine. That way of traveling was not yet fashionable (Internet did not exist).
We have made around 40 swaps since, mostly in northern and southern Europe. We've visited Belgium, England, Scotland, Ireland, Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Greece, Italy, Spain, and also Northern America (USA, Canada) living in all kinds of flats and big homes.
We have experienced short exchanges (long week-ends, Xmas or Easter), longer ones overseas (up to one month) during summer holidays. We are used to take care of our hosts' belongings.We lived in " le Marais", Paris historical center, when we worked and owned a house in Touraine. We left Paris in 2006, moved to our country home, then "emigrated" to Provence in 2007.
We bought first an old farm, near Carpentras, and ran a small gite -open from may until the end of september- during 8 years. We moved again in 2015, to Pernes-les-fontaines in another old house, with garden and pool, that we restored too.
As we don't work anymore, we try to travel as often as possible. Italy and Spain are four hours drive only from where we live. And Marseille-Provence international airport is only 90 km distant from home. The world is easy to reach. A little less under Covid times unfortunately...
Home swaps make travels more economic for sure, give opportunity to live in
bigger homes than hotels rooms or B&B. But if we like this way of travelling, the main reason is not (only) economic : we do prefer to live like the locals, doing our shopping, living in non touristic places, sometimes far from museums and "places of interest" recommanded by so many guides, even in remote locations.
Trust is important. We were used for so long to give our keys to perfect strangers that it became very easy to behave with petsitters the same way.
If exchanges of homes rely on reciprocity, the "deal" between pet owners and sitters is also equal : We offer our services(caring for your home and pets), and you are giving us a place to stay and an opportunity to discover a new region or another country