The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.
~Marcel Proust

Photo: Jenn Richardson.

Immersive Travel • Intentional Living

Many of us are yearning for authenticity today. For a life filled with beauty, purpose, balance, and perhaps a bit of adventure. Ways in which to turn an ordinary, day-to-day existence into something extraordinary.

We are some of those people.
And perhaps you are, too.

What’s more, we believe that this is
not only possible, but necessary.

Trading Places Media was started in 2011 by founder and publisher Shelley Seale, to take readers along as she traveled the globe. The concept of “Trading Places” is all about experiencing how people live around the world. We trade places to discover how other people live, work, eat, play, travel, and find happiness — using these immersive experiences to spark inspiration, authenticity, joy, creativity, and adventure. Our mantra is “living on purpose.” We are:

Fueled by insatiable curiosity

Motivated by connection with others

Grounded by intentional living

Nurtured by kindness


From the Founder: The Trading Places Story

My love of reading as a child instilled my desire to travel the world, to journey to lands I’d only read about, and visit lives I’d only imagined. My first major international travel experience was a month-long group trip to Europe that I was given as a high school graduation present, in 1984. This was your typical whirlwind tour package, 8 countries in 30 days, but for a young person seeing the world for the first time, it was amazing.

I’ve traveled a lot since then. A lot. And through the years I’ve changed the way I travel tremendously. I journey more slowly, for longer periods of time. I often stay in home exchanges or small, family-run guest houses, where you get to know locals and the neighborhood life. I volunteer or seek out community projects. I eat at street food stalls. I talk to people who aren’t tour guides.

Mostly, I wander. I get lost. And it’s often at those times that the most interesting things are in front of me.

Many people, like me, long for genuine cultural exchanges and immersions. People have grown tired of the tourist trail when they travel and the “shows” put on for visitors in many places of the world. Between a “been there, done that” mentality and the recent shift toward sustainable, eco-friendly, hyper-local experiences, more and more of us want to connect in a real way — becoming a part of a true community, instead of just passing through with an outsider’s perspective.

I want to explore this aspect of living and creating our world — and I want to share it. As I journey to different places I will share the stories of the people, food, customs, work, arts, style, wellness practices, social initiatives and regular everyday neighborhoods that inspire me — whether right here at home or across the globe. Thank you for coming on this journey with me. I hope it’s informative, entertaining, beautiful and enriching.