Lindsey Meyers

I have been fortunate to have traveled all over the world but my favorite countries are the ones where I Swapped. It is one thing to visit a country and follow the crowds to the major attractions, but it is completely different to fully immerse yourself through swapping, befriending the locals and becoming part of the community. I have given my time to many volunteer programs, but I always received something even more valuable in return—my most cherished memories. When I talk about my travels I don’t tell people what the Taj Mahal looks like—you can see that in photos. I talk about being invited to a bachelor party and wedding in Vietnam, dining with locals at a festival in Laos (and eating delicacies such as chicken feet), dancing in a wedding processional in Indonesia, living in a Buddhist monastery in Nepal, making naan with a family in India, and going salsa dancing with my host mom in Ecuador. I never would have had the chance to do these things if not for the warm, welcoming souls who invited me to share in their lives while I was swapping. These interactions were invaluable and truly enhanced my experiences and enriched my life.