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American and Brit inspired by classic rom-com ‘The Holiday’ swap homes during holidays

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By Fiona Jackson via SWNS

An American influencer has swapped homes with a Brit for the Christmas holidays after being inspired by 2006 rom-com "The Holiday."

Grace Gagnon, 25, posted a viral TikTok in December seeing if anyone would be willing to trade houses, and was flooded with responses.

After sifting through the thousands of offers, Grace, from Boston agreed to swap with Florence Patterson, 22, from Bath, Somerset, in the UK.

Single Grace flew to the UK on December 29 for a two-week West Country adventure, keeping her eyes peeled for romance.

Florence jetted off to Grace's waterfront home in Boston on January 2.

"For the first few days, I couldn’t stop shaking with excitement - this is the coolest thing that has ever happened to me," Grace said.

"I enjoy living life on a whim, however I have been feeling lately like my life has been stuck in a certain routine.

"It’s serendipitous timing because I haven’t been spontaneous since before the pandemic started.

"This experience is exactly what I’ve been craving!

"I’m keeping my mind open, meeting someone would be like living out my ultimate fairy tale dream.

"My trip isn’t centred around falling in love - this is more just me living out an adventure.

"If I happen to meet someone along the way, it’ll make everything even more exciting!"

Florence said: "It has been lovely, she's absolutely hilarious, she's got the British sarcasm!

"We really get on which helps the whole situation."

Florence is also single, and plans to focus her time on exploring a new city, but isn't ruling it out.

"We'll see, but I think in this day and age I don't have plans for that, but Kate Winslet wasn't, was she?," she said.

"You never know what the future holds!"

On December 8, Grace posted a TikTok saying “Anyone in England want to switch places for the holiday? I have a studio apartment on Boston's water-front.'”

She captioned it with "Serious inquiries only, Bonus points if you have a hot, single brother.'"

Product marketing manager Grace said: "I had just watched "The Holiday" on Thanksgiving with my mom.

"I was not expecting the video to blow up but, once I saw all the great messages the next morning, I decided this was the perfect opportunity to be spontaneous."

In "The Holiday," a Hollywood movie trailer producer swaps homes with a journalist from a rural English village after both admitting they were stuck in a rut.

Both women, played by Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet, find love on their Christmas vacations in characters played by Jude Law and Jack Black.

Grace's video quickly went viral, amassing over three million views in a few days, and she was flooded with invitations from across the world.

She set up a questionnaire for those interested and organized FaceTime calls with potential home swappers.

"I received invitations to London, Glasgow, Northern Ireland, Mexico, Australia, Canada, and all over the US," she said.

"But once Flo’s invitation to Bath came in, it felt like a no-brainer.

"Now it just feels like I’m swapping homes with a good friend."

Not long after, Grace's video popped up on Florence's 'For You Page,' and she messaged her straight away on Instagram.

"I wanted to help, if it were to kick-off I didn't want her to go somewhere not as nice," she said.

"I didn't feel like I was ever going to get a reply but thankfully I did."

She got a response a few hours later and the two quickly became friends.

Florence, a freelance virtual assistant, said: "It was all happening so slowly but so quickly at the same time.

"Then it suddenly sunk in that, oh my gosh, we have to plan this!

"But we really got on, I see things written about her 'swapping with a stranger' and I have to think 'Oh, I'm the stranger!'"

Florence said: "It will be a quant little getaway but close enough to the city to walk in, and has a view of the whole of Bath."

Grace plans to visit the Roman Baths, watch the rugby and go shopping, but the self-described "hopeless romantic" hopes this trip may also lead to a new love.

"After getting my heart broken one too many times, I treat it more delicately," she said.

"I still crave that fairy tale romance, but I am cautious about who I want to experience that with.

"Hopefully, this experience will allow me to open up to love and romance like I used to."

She wants to provide Florence with a list of her favorite bars and things to do, and introduce her to her friends so she doesn’t have to be by herself for the holiday.

While Grace also does have an older brother, but sadly is already in a relationship!

"I've never done anything like this before, I was really spontaneous when I was young but post-COVID you've just got to grab life by the balls," saidFlorence.

"If anyone else wants to do anything like this, then go for it - why not?"

Their trip is being sponsored by HomeExchange.com and sustainable luggage brand Solgaard.

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