M. and her husband have come to meet us at the train station of a town in Auvergne. They take us by car to the village where the family lives. At their home we also make the acquaintance of their 20 year old son.
Four days later… A. with her three-year-old daughter is waiting for us at the train station of a town in Brittany. Her husband welcomes us in their apartment, where also A.’s little brother is for his holidays with the family. We are going to stay with them for three days.
These two families are like us members of the Hospitality Club , a website for people from all over the world, who are interested to learn more about other cultures and who love to make new acquaintances.
In 2010, when my children were 18 and 20 years old, we were staying with five families in France, and in 2011 my son and I were accommodated by a family of the Hospitality Club in Germany.
These experiences were very impressing. We only knew each other on the basis of our profiles at the Hospitality Club, some e-mails and the exchange of photos to be able to recognize one another at the meeting point. But our meetings with all of them were like meeting old friends.
We did always have something to talk about, around the table but also on walks in the town or its surroundings. We went to a fest-noz together, we visited the menhirs of Carnac and had a picnic on the beach, and one of our hosts showed us how to prepare galettes… Together with our HC family in Germany we enjoyed a nice walk in the autumn forest and we went to a French film festival.
From the discussions, we all learned a lot about life in our respective countries, about customs and traditions, politics, the school system, health care…”
I am still in contact with most of the families and some of them I have met again in the following year.
Travelling and visiting members of the Hospitality Club gives us the possibility to acquire firsthand knowledge of another culture, but last not least also the opportunity to get new friends in other countries.
A big thank you to all of the families for the hospitality and the nice time spent together!