A long time ago we started a journey. We thought we would be like everyone else; you know, get married and spend our life living in one place, one house, etc. However, we didn’t turn out that way. We were transferred to eleven cities in fifteen years while Bob worked for a large company. All of these moves and changes lead us to the conclusion we could live and work anywhere, so we said goodbye to the corporate life. We moved two more times hoping we had found “the place” but even then we were always looking to get away for weekends to see the new and different.
Then the travel bug really bit us; new countries and different cultures were added to our journey. We continued to look for one or two places that match our style (for when we retired) and how we live our life together. We called it “The Quest.”
At the same time we decided to ‘simplify our life.’ Did we really need everything we had accumulated over the years? Downsizing, we were able to sell, donate, give away or just discard the excess of our previous lifestyle. This was completed rather quickly as our house sold much faster than we anticipated. There was a message here: “Time to move on.”
Without recognizing what we were doing we started living in and taking care of a friend’s home. We did this for four years, so the transition to house sitting was very easy because we were already doing it. This was and is a perfect match for us and how we live.
The next step: to work out the details. I read about people who house sit and thought “why not us”? We took the time to learn the details, prepared our first website, joined two house sitting services and the rest is history. We are now registered with six different online house sitting services throughout the world.
“What we love and enjoy about being house sitters”
The people we meet who are our homeowners, their neighbors and friends and the general population of each area where we spend time are special. We get to know so many that are wonderful, friendly, kind and helpful. (I could give you examples, but I know I would forget someone and I don’t want to forget any of them.)
The pets we have cared for give us the gift of a special memory that is a souvenir of our time with them. Since we started to house and pet sit internationally, we have cared for one parrot, eleven cats and sixteen dogs.
We enjoy meeting the people in the towns and cities where we stay. We have been to farmers markets in Edinburgh, Waltham Cross and Waltham Abbey, Pontessieve, Rockhampton, Brisbane, Cairns and the southern part of Spain. Some of the markets extend to include clothing, jewelry, shoes, and housewares. We are not your usual travelers, we don’t sightsee much, but rather spend the time seeing and experiencing the area where we are staying.
We have found small cafes, sandwich shops and some really nice restaurants that we frequent repeatedly while in the neighborhood and chat with the servers and owners to learn about the area and what is around for us to see and do. Who would think we would find a Vietnamese restaurant near the house we cared for in Brisbane; or a really excellent Lebanese restaurant not far from the house in Waltham Cross; the Grill in Sieci, the next town over from Pontessieve made delicious chicken and sausage on their rotisserie. The list goes on and on.
Hiking through olive groves in Spain, around a private park in Edinburgh, public forest preserves in Tonbridge and Waltham Cross are just some of the places we exercised ourselves and the dogs. While in Rockhampton, our daily exercise included a walk to the 2nd World War Memorial Aquatic Centre to swim and exercise in their 25meter and 50 meter lap pools and enjoy the warm weather of the area.
Are we finished yet? Have we found those special places we would consider for retirement? I think we are just getting started as we continue to offer our services to homeowners anywhere in the world. We are still on that Quest, but our journey is much more satisfying as we continue to meet wonderful people and make special memories with all of these fur and feather buddies.