L'Etoile Maison d'hôtes

Exchanging innkeepers from three countries at our Bed and Breakfast Rock Eddy Bluff in Dixon, Missouri: Scottish highlands United Kingdom, Lozere France and Missouri USA.

Les avantages d'être un Aubergiste三个国家旅馆主之间的互动,摇滚漩涡旅馆(迪克逊,密苏里州,美国),英国苏格兰高地以及法国落泽尔,我们所有人都觉得这是一段收获丰富的经历。


The perks of being Innkeepers

Rock Eddy Bluff FarmThe reports are always glowing when we return home !
Each time back from some adventure, we find we have discovered some new wrinkle in the human landscape; we return aroused, stimulated, and full of wonder.
But, how do we afford frequent travel ? We are folks of modest means - innkeepers at a rural retreat in the middle of America. Simply, we do it by how we structure our lives. And we afford it by allowing adventure to rank higher than new cars, boats. that sort of modern way of living. The privilege of doing this is paid for with many conscious daily decisions -- bartered for with the legal tender of our lives. Too, we go abroad gently, below the radar of what many Americans think is a required style of travel.
And, there are other tricks too! Many of them accrue as a result of our jobs as innkeepers. Here are a few of our discoveries:

Olde Mill House Bed and BreakfastNumber 1: Innkeepers have more time in the winter months when travel costs are lowest. Go then !

"But for a rare bump and an occasional shimmy the rails are smooth and we are gliding through the central Ontario forests, pointed toward the Canadian prairies and, days head, the snow-covered Rockies to the west. It is late February. We are fulfilling another of our travel dreams, this time the trans-Canada railroad, a jewel of North American: The Canadian. Away from home and hearth, we are being flung across the continent."

We paid for this trip two ways: Nearly a year ago, on a trip to visit a fellow innkeeper in France, we "volunteered" to be bumped off of an overbooked Paris-bound flight. Our payment for the two of us was: fifteen hundred dollars in airline vouchers to be applied against future flights. On this trip, those vouchers have covered our flight to Toronto and then back home again from Seattle at the end of the circle. The train trip expense relied on my newly-achieved status as an old guy ! Alert for any travel bargain, I discovered, via Arthur Frommer's email newsletter, a deal for those sixty or older, and then only for the first two months of the year. The second person travels free. Half price tickets and free airfare - something not possible during the tourist season !

Number 2: We share ! Other innkeepers have more time during the slower months. It is a grand time to make exchanges and visit fellow innkeepers.

"These are the back roads of France; the bustle of Paris is a memory now. We are on a rural course at last -- we, and the little red Citroen that we took as hostage at Gare de Lyon and together fought our way into the countryside. Village melds into village on the banks of the now-smaller river Seine. Comfortably outside of the worn tourist ruts, we are moving in the general direction of our fellow innkeeper, Philippe. It is early March. Our route will take us into an area of France we would not have thought to explore if it were not for our connection across continents with our new French innkeeper friend." So far we have completed exchanges with other innkeeper across the US and in two foreign countries. Next up: two weeks in a self-catering cottage in the Scottish highlands with friends we made when they stayed at our cottage.

Chassezac Canyon, LozereNumber 3: Use the internet to discover other innkeepers of like mind. It makes connections possible. New friends, fun, and adventure on the cheap !

Our French innkeeper friend, Philippe, is a master at this. So learn from him. At this writing, he has just returned from several weeks in Australia. That's after he returned an earlier trip to America for several weeks. On each trip he stays with fellow innkeepers on an exchange basis, living close to them, making friends and sharing his sense of adventure..
His approach has always been very straightforward. A the beginning, looking for exchanges in the U.S.A., Philippe simply selected several that held appeal to him from their listings on the internet. He wrote to all of them by email, expressing a desire to exchange stays and asking if they might be interested.

Now, with lists of friends here and other continents, Philippe's adventures seem to be self-generating.
Too, he now has a website showing many of his exchange adventures, along with his letter proposing to exchange stays with other inns. He is a great host and a wonderful guest !
There is a certain fraternity among innkeepers.  At breakfast there are the stories,  generally beginning with, "We had a guest one time who...." Easy friendships seem to spring up quickly. And, it is more than our common avocation. Yes, we both - during the course of our businesses - have learned how to meet people and be pleasant. But, with other innkeepers, we seem to begin at another level in our discourse. We find that a large percentage of them genuinely love people and are interested travel and a wide array of subjects.  

Strawberry Mountain InnNumber 4: Commit to your days away from the inn. Cross off days on your reservation calendar. Take them for yourself. Do it several months ahead. In our case, we make no reservations for our inn while we are on holiday. But, there are plenty of professional inn sitters who will keep your inn open. We close our inn, allow someone to live in our house to watch the place,  and march merrily off, charging the cost of doing so to the price of our adventure.

We believe strongly that travel is not and extravagance; it is simply a matter of priorities. Most people of modest means can travel widely if it rates a high enough level in their personal order of preferences. Biggest problem for traveling Americans is their pitiful shortage of vacation time. The lack of it is nothing short of a crime in our view (but that's another discussion.) As an innkeeper, being your own boss, setting your own schedule, and granting yourself vacation time constitutes a profound advantage. Sure we loose income when we are away traveling. We figure the travel is more important.
If you care to, click here for a brief discussion of our philosophy on this.
Don't be squeamish; mark "x's" on the calendar. Plan your time for yourself.  Mark yourself gone ! Priority ! With our hope for great travel experiences,

From "A High Sunny Place". The book may be obtained at the following web address: http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/rockeddy
Rock Eddy Bluff Farm, Scenic Ozark cabins & cottages on the Gasconade river.
Tom & Kathy Corey, 10245 Maries Road #511, Dixon, Missouri, 65459 USA. Tel:  1-573-759-6081
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  Website: www.rockeddy.com (Map)