We were in the late twenties and had just settled in our first house with two babies, but still wanted to go on holidays abroad. From friends to my parents (they were all teachers) we had heard several (great) stories from their experiences with home exchange through Intervac. So we decided to try that out as well.
That was in 1990, a time without (public) Internet and nothing called emails. A time where the
member profiles was distributed in catalogues only and where the initial contact to a possible
exchange partner was made over the phone with immediate response or even by traditional post
mail. Amazing how this has changed in our present digitalized world.
The first exchange was with a swiss family and from there many exchanges in Europe and the US
followed. The two babies became three and a red line in all our exchange was to look for families also
having children, and preferable around the same age as ours.
That provided three big advantages:
1-Toys and other baby/children equipment were already on site, both for us and for our
exchange partner and
2-Very likely there would be local play mates close by already informed that there would come
new play mates to the house and
3-The mindset and attitude of the exchange family would for certain be open for bringing
children into their homes
The list of great exchanges is long and now 20-30 years later the kids still have great memories of a
lot of specific experiences and so do we as parents.
Then kids grew bigger and older and suddenly they get into other ideas than making holidays with
their parents and often at other times, making it a bit difficult to let strangers into your home while
teenagers are still at home. So for us at least it lead to a break in our exchange continuity and then
when suddenly the kids left home both time and financial capability gave the opportunity for other
types of holiday again leaving home exchange a little in the background.
Now the children have settled themselves with house and kids and I imagine that they soon will aim
for their first exchange and as I am slowly approaching my senior life with plenty of more time to travel I am sure I will soon return as active Intervaccer again enjoying the many possibilities of home exchange.
Not as part of my above view on the typical life cycle of an Intervaccer, but as a great part of my personal life with Intervac I have been involved in the organizational work since 2002. My enthusiasm for Intervac during the 90’ties brought me in close contact with the Danish organizer at that time, Lone & Jens Lauritzen that together with a number of other people really was among the pioneers of developing Intervac. When they wanted to step back I was giving the opportunity to take over from them and continue their work to promote the homeexchange idea, develop the concept and take care of the members question and issues. I look forward doing this for many more years.
Michael Stoevelbaek, DK