A few months ago I came accross a blog which was organising an international swap.

Now, what could that be? House exchange? Student exchange? Penpal? None of these, although I might have been interested!

Back in June Laetitia from “French Fries and Apple Pie” organised her second international box swap. I immediately loved the concept: you get assigned a person with whom you’ll swap a box. Person who doesn’t live in the same area as you. The budget of the content is set and you receive a few information about what the other half of your duo likes/dislikes. Easy enough and perfect if you enjoy giving and receiving.

I just love receiving parcels, I get really excited when I do find one in my mailbox. As I’m not a shopping addict it doesn’t happen very often which makes it even more special when it does.

I packed my box with lots of Belgian goodies (think chocolate and candies!) and sent it to Laetitia who lives on the other side of the world in Portland, Oregon. For a few days I was anxiously tracking my parcel, from its departure from the post office to leaving France and finally reaching the US customs. This is when I got a bit nervous as the website would no longer be updated at that point. Would it make it? Laetitia later wrote me it was very common and not to worry about it.

box-envoyeeThe day I went to get the mail and found my package I started to jump all over the place, even without knowing what its content would be. I was already super pleased! Isn’t it crazy to receive things from someone you never met?

I took tons of pictures whilst opening the box. Discovering Laetitia had wrapped every single item in gift paper added so much fun to the experience. It felt like I was celebrating my birthday all over again! I was a bit disappointed with myself I didn’t think of doing so but promissed myself I’d do it for my next international swap. You can always improve.

What do I keep from taking part in this international box swap? It is way more personal than any food box, beauty box you could order online. You think of the person when you gather all the elements of your parcel, you put a lot of you in it whilst doing so (I’m a foodie, almost everything in the box I created was related to food). There is excitement, anticipation, joy and this just made me happy.

box-recueTo this day I still use the straws, post-it, notepad (and many other things) I received, my kids play with the stickers and my husband eats candies (he’s not alone for this one!!). It’s a family thing!

The only downside is the price of international shipping, it is a bit discouraging seing those costs being double the value of the content of the box itself. But hey, that’s life and we can only hope these prices will go down with time.

If you get a chance to participate in an international swap, if you have the mean (money that is), I encourage you to do so, it is a lot of fun.

French Fries and Apple Pie