Choose Life: The Tools, Tricks, and Hacks of Long-Term Family Travellers, Worldschoolers and Digital Nomads

October 24, 2017 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ Meet WSE Members

daniel prince and family

Meet Daniel Prince, who has been travelling and house swapping his way around the globe with his wife and 4 kids.  The Prince’s have been travelling full time for the last 3 years and have completed over 60 house swaps worldwide.

Daniel has recently published his own book on Amazon giving tips on long-term family travel and the new culture of what he calls the ‘Sharing Economy.’

You can read a snippet from his ebook below.

Chapter 4

The Sharing Economy

“As people’s access to the internet grows we’re seeing the sharing economy boom – I think our obsession of ownership is at a tipping point and the sharing economy is part of the antidote for that.” – Richard Branson

The presenter on CTV Ottawa Consumer news announced that over two million Canadians had tried it in the last year, and would consider doing it again!

I was watching a YouTube clip and no, it’s not what you think! I had been searching the internet for alternative ways to travel and stumbled across the consumer study report which introduced the concept of home swapping via the sharing economy.

The clip cut to Debbie Wosskow, a British entrepreneur who had been inspired by the film ‘The Holiday’ starring Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslett. After watching the movie, an idea sparked in her mind to set up her own home swapping company. She was a single mother of two who loved to travel, but found that the usual experience of hotel rooms wasn’t working anymore. She had been left huddled in the corner of her hotel room with the TV turned all the way down, eating room service each night after the kids had fallen asleep, too many times.

Hardly comfortable, and hardly a holiday.

In the clip, she explained that the average cost saving for a holiday using her home swapping service was into the thousands of dollars per trip as families exchange their homes and sometimes cars. It also opens up the opportunity to take trips to parts of the world that you might not have even considered before as the company was global and growing.

I needed more information.

I Google searched Debbie’s name and watched more and more clips from her press junkets out of the US, Australia and the UK.

The message was clear: Home swapping was on the rise and it was a unique and affordable way to travel. We were at the cutting edge of a huge change in collective thinking.

Services like Airbnb and couchsurfing were catching the attention of people who wanted and needed a change to the usual travel experience.

The travel industry at large was about to experience a huge awakening.

“Amandla Awethu!”
“Power to the people!”

Little did I know at this point of early home swapping researching that we would end up swapping over 65 times across four continents in more than fifteen different countries, all via the sharing economy for two and a half years straight!

Many of you reading this book are homeowners, of which, many of you are also likely to own a second home. To those lucky enough to be in either position, you cannot underestimate the power you hold in your hands to the fellow traveller. Hell, even if you are renting you can still host home swappers, couch surfers or HelpX (more later on this) volunteers offering their services in exchange for a roof over their heads and often a meal. You can still become part of the travel community and get exposure to many people from all walks of life who inspire you with their stories and free energy.

I have talked at length about home swapping with many people along our journey and have inspired some to try it themselves. However, the majority remain skeptical and fearful, unable to overcome trusting another human being in their home.

How far has humanity fallen?

How often have you ever vandalised property or stolen something of value to somebody else? I am assuming never! So why, then, would you assume the complete opposite of somebody else?

Why has society fallen into this protective state of not trusting anybody around us?

Many would argue that it is the fault of mainstream news media, which is now basically controlled by a very few, very rich individuals who care nothing about us or anyone else, and even control our politicians.

Whether this is true or not, this fear of the fellow human being who is out for themselves, looking to take something from you or screw you over is prevalent in society and really needs to be addressed.

Honestly, people are pretty damn cool, just give them a chance to prove it. I guarantee that you will be bowled over by the kindness you receive in return for simply asking somebody for help.

When was the last time you stopped and asked somebody for directions?

Try it. Watch the response on that person’s face and feel the sense of gratification they get when you say thank you and smile at them. If you still have your doubts about humanity, read on! In just a minute we’ll discuss some of the bigger questions I get about home swapping.

For now, consider that one of the great benefits of the sharing economy is that you are not only the recipient of others’ generosity, but you are also one of the generous individuals restoring others’ faith in humanity.

“In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.”
– Anne Frank

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