The City Swap

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I occasionally take part in various blogging events, such as contests, memes, photography hunts etc. It had been a while, though.

A couple of years ago, I was introduced to Pay It Forward, a meme that encourage people to send and receive small gifts. I enjoyed participating and I must admit I was like a little waiting on Christmas Eve when I opened my little package!

This time, I heard of the City Swap on Expat Traveler’s blog. This year, it was organized by Laura. The goal was to: “Swap some thing(s) that, in your opinion, best represent the place where you live, and what you think makes it unique”. Laura patiently assigned each participant a  “city swap buddy”.

Jana, my recipient from South Carolina, just wanted to be surprised and didn’t have any specific like/dislike. I told her I couldn’t promise to send a live moose or hockey players’ teeth (two great Canadian items!) but that I would do my best.

This is what I sent her:

  • Chocolate bars, one with maple syrup and the other one with ice wine filling
  • Maple syrup candies
  • A “why Canadians say ‘eh’” fridge magnet
  • A 8 x 10 copy of skating on the Rideau Canal picture from the Shop
The Package I sent

Apparently, she liked it!

I was the lucky recipient of Amy’s package, and I was amazed how much effort she put into it—she gathered Denver in a package!

I received:

  • Coffee from Pablo’s Coffee
  • Delicious cinnamon candies
  • A copy of the Denver magazine, 5280
  • A CD of her favourite local band, Paper Bird
  • Celestial seasonning tea made in Boulder, CO
The Wonderful Package I Received!

I love these little random acts of kindness!


About Author

French woman in English Canada. World citizen, new mom, traveler, translator, writer and photographer. Looking for comrades to start a new revolution.


  1. Zhu – your ideas were excellent!!! I do wish that I had a bit more time to do the swap and then I could have ventured a bit more. I did enjoy the swap and maybe if I know what is coming up next, I’ll try to figure more out to do in the future!

    It’s funny how Canadians on both sides of the coasts love chocolate in some form or another! 😉

  2. Ah! That’s nice!
    I think that in the swap I’m doing they’ve tried to match people from the same country in order to reduce the sending costs (as they ask for tracking). I can always play the French card though!

  3. Congratulations!

    That is such a novel exchange!!
    That is true that you can’t quite know the real city until a native has shared some secrets.

    Enjoy your prizes 🙂

  4. @Poem – I should organize a similar swap sometimes next year, stay tuned, I’ll let you know.

    @Lizz – Are custom fees that bad? I didn’t know!

    @Cornflakegirl – Yes, it was a lot of fun and worked great.

    @expatraveler – Chocolate is always a good idea 🙂 I wish I could have sent more but mailing internationally is sometimes a but tricky.

    @Em – Yes, that makes sense. But on the other side, receiving a package from abroad is fun too!

    @Cynthia – Thank you!

    @London Caller – I don’t know anyone there, sorry 😆

    @kyh – I’ll let you know next time we organize a swap.

    @Soleil – Would you be in next time we have a swap?

    @barbara – I still have your nice bookmarks from the Pay It Forward, remember? 😉

    @Pauline – No, it’s only in English! I should have translated it 😆

  5. Congratulations ! That’s a lovely idea and to know someone else (and the city). Receiving a gift from someone you have not seen makes you feel special.

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