(Photo: FDR Four Freedoms Park, Roosevelt Island, New York-August 2013)
For me, half of the fun of traveling is planning the trip. From the moment I get back from New York, I’m busy planning our next visit. I rip pages out of New York magazine: new restaurants to try, reviews of plays and art exhibits, the full Cheap Eats section, and best New York day trips. A large chunk of our trip for next year is already planned with the pages we didn’t get to this time.
This is the third year we’ve exchanged homes with the same couple. It’s nice to return to the same place, it feels like a second home to us. I already know where the closest good coffee shop is, where to get the best late night slice of pizza, and who to call for the best Chinese food delivery. I don’t need to pack an umbrella, or Band-Aids or nail polish remover, my home away from home is already stocked with the one-off item I might need.
We’ve met our home exchangers several times over the last three years, getting together for lunch or dinner when we happen to be on the same coast at the same time. Which makes it seem more like we’re staying in a friend’s apartment rather than some bland rental apartment.
This year when I arrived at our home-away-from-home, I thumbed through the photo albums displayed on the coffee table. Each year that our home-exchange friends are at our house, they are celebrating a birthday for their young granddaughter. It was so fun to see the festive photos of birthday cake, colorful presents, and happy family members gathered around my dining table. It made me happy to see my living room as the canvas to their family photos while I was lounging in their living room. I love that they are making fond memories at my house while I’m doing the same at their house.
I’m always a little sad at the end of a trip, even at the same time as I’m looking forward to getting back home. But this time I’m thinking that another half of the fun of a trip is looking back on all the fun you had while you were there. So until next year, I'll just enjoy looking at my photos, from the comfort of my own home, of all the fun I had from the comfort of theirs.
How to Stretch a Travel Dollar in Retirement
Building a Relationship with Your Home-Exchange Partners
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I find it interesting that when I go on a trip, as I am leaving, I always wish that I was staying . Then when I am coming home, I wish that I could stay on holiday.
I think it is just the transitions that are difficult and really we are lucky that whether we are at home or away, we are feeling happy enough to want to be wherever we are.
Posted by: Kelly @ Try New Things | September 06, 2013 at 11:27 AM
I've noticed that your posts have been few and far between BUT while you were in NYC you practically posted every single day exclaiming your joy and new found fun. Hmmmmmmmm? Maybe you're a secret New Yorker dreaming about moving here?
I fully understand your exuberance. I can not ever imagine living in any other state except New York. It has everything (beaches, mountains, the city that never sleeps). Yes, we pay the highest everything, but it gives back so much. Plus the people are, IMHO, the smartest around that I have ever met. Our consumer protection laws are the best, as far as I am concerned.
This fall hubby and I are taking up hiking. There has been a mass planning of converting old railway lines and the original Erie Canal into gorgeous, scenic hiking and biking trails throughout upstate New York. Many still with renovated trestle bridges and lookout sites and waterfalls that are supposed to take your breathe away. We can't wait to hit the 'Rail Trails', as they are called. Plus climbing Lake Placid/Whiteface Mt in early October when the leaves will be at their best. Later on this month we're going down the zip line at Hunter Mountain.
Glad you enjoyed yourself and are coming back next year.
Posted by: Cindi | September 06, 2013 at 02:49 PM
Cindi: Well I did have lots of blogging material with all the fun in NYC. But the real secret to my increased blogging was that I didn't have a piano there. With 2 or 3 hours a day vacated from that activity, I had a lot more time to blog--even with all the excitement of NYC!
I used to think I'd like to move to NYC, but now I know I hit my limit at about a month. Of course we pack more in than we would if we actually lived there, so that's probably the reason we are totally exhausted and ready to relax back home at the end of our time there. But yes, we will be ready for next year! (And truth be told, I don't think I could handle all the weather if I really lived there--we're pretty spoiled in California on that front. First winter would probably chase me away!)
We did explore your lovely neck of the woods a little, Poughkeepsie, Saugerties, Woodstock, Rhinebeck. Charming and lovely--we will definitely spend a bit more time up there next time. I can see why you love it so.
Posted by: Retired Syd | September 06, 2013 at 03:26 PM
OH, I just love Rhinebeck! And all those small country roads, covered bridges in upstate! Did you drive through Woodstock?? Yasgur's Farm?? I lived in Hyde Park for a year, long log time ago! Your posts about home exchange have peaked my interest and I think I may look into this in the coming year.. we live in the Phoenix area, with access to Grand Canyon,Sedona,and so much more.I think my house wiht a nice swimming pool would make a nice home exchange for a family... thanks fro sharing Syd!! I love NYC also!! A MONTH there sounds like heaven, but, like you, I'd have to high-tail it back home after about that long..
Posted by: Madeline | September 07, 2013 at 08:17 AM
I am enjoying your subscribing to and reading your blog. I also have a love of NYC. This October my husband and I have rented an apartment through Vacation Rental By Owner for 10 days....have not spent that much time there in many years.
Your posts this AUgust are helping me with my list of things to do....FDR Four Freedoms park is on the list! Along with taking the Staten Island ferry, Botanical Gardens and seeing "Betrayal" on Broadway.
Thank you very much for sharing your NEW YORK adventures....visiting the US Open and Fashion Week also on my bucket list...in the future!
Posted by: Sue Blaney | September 08, 2013 at 08:48 AM
Sue: Have a wonderful time! Hope the Highline is on your list too. (And my two favorite Broadway shows were Book of Mormon and Kinky Boots.) And a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, and I could go on and on, but your 10 days are probably booked now!
Posted by: Retired Syd | September 08, 2013 at 08:53 AM
I'm Tracy Chopek, the college Writing Intern at Stage of Life. I've been reading your blog and have really enjoyed your posts and wanted to invite you to share one of your posts or a story from your life in our retirement section with our blogging community on StageofLife.com.
Our goal is to create the world's largest database of personal stories about life, from teens to Baby Boomers. We'd love to have you participate in our educational initiative.
Please let me know if you have questions - thanks!
Posted by: Tracy | September 08, 2013 at 09:36 PM
Hi Syd -- thanks for your reply...and yes... will have at least 1 walk on the Highline..probably more. We have tickets to see "Betrayal" w/ Daniel Craig and Rachael Wiez....also (since we have time) hoping to get TKT Booth tickets for a musical. ...would love to see Kinky Boots!
Thanks again! And today's Wall Street article hit very close to home!
Posted by: Sue Blaney | September 09, 2013 at 03:21 PM