July 14, 2021

House Swap

Living and Leading With Care and Generosity

I love to travel. But by 2019, my work-travel was starting to weigh on me. So, when I was forced to stop traveling over the past year, it was a welcomed respite from the queues and quirks of airports.

Then, by last month, I was ready to go again — to see the ocean, walk through new bits of nature, and visit old friends.

But, where to go first?

One of Ei's alums, friends, and colleagues (Stella who helps create Wednesday Words each week!) has a home in San Jose, CA. She wanted to be in Chicago for July 4th and suggested we swap homes, giving me and my partner a chance to visit the west coast for a week without the cost of lodging. Within a few hours of her suggestion, all of our flights were booked.

We just returned from our trip.

The experience was a formative one. Sure, it was nice to be in a new location near some of my favorite places in the world (Garrapata State Park is unreal). But more importantly, it reminded me of the dance between ownership, generosity, and care.

What you own, materially or figuratively, is yours. The decision to share it is also yours. Sometimes, you need to keep things to yourself for the sake of your health and well-being, and that’s ok. But my experience, especially after last week, is that the more loosely you hold onto what you own, the more alive you will become. Generosity is another form of expansion.

Beyond home swapping, what else can you share, trade, or give that will encourage someone in your world? Is there a student who needs a book on your shelf? A colleague who needs an inspirational tool? Or a friend who needs a nudge to take a break and visit a new place?

Sometimes it's not about what you acquire, but how you decide to give.

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