Over the past 12 months, as I have planned and researched and dreamed, I’ve joined many different websites and Facebook groups, followed blogs, Instagram feeds and other media to look at how people live the nomadic life of a house sitter. It’s been interesting and encouraging to follow a number of others of similar age as us, already doing what we are planning for the year ahead. I have lived vicariously through their pictures and blogs, noting useful information and filtering what may not apply.
Recently I joined the Mapahub site which identifies where people are house sitting or travelling so you can meet up with like-minded travellers.
This has been an interesting exercise and we have already connected with 3 couples, Cris & Tomas, Peter and Karen and, most recently, Rob and Sandy and it was really good to get another perspective on “slow travel” and the ups and downs of house-sitting. We have also met Jon and Jo, whose blog I follow, who were travelling through NZ and I was able to make contact with. Meeting up with each of these couples gave us fresh and varying insights into the nomadic life. All of them have been travelling, house sitting and enjoying a free lifestyle for a number of years. Some have sold everything and live completely out of their suitcases, with family back home that draws them back from time to time. Each couple told us how much they enjoyed having this freedom to travel and explore, I heard the term “slow travel” to describe what they are doing. There is no rush, they take it slow and simply. We are certainly hoping that we find the same perspective as we embark on our year of travel later this month. Although we have four confirmed house sits over the first 5 months, we have plenty of time between each sit to tour and explore and soak in the local life.
Last week we met up with our future house-sit hosts from Spain as they are currently travelling through NZ (after being convinced of NZ’s beauty by a previous kiwi housesitter at their home). This was really good, to meet the people we have only ever communicated via email and Skype with, face-to-face, and get to know them a bit better before arriving at their home to look after their house and pets in early May. It means that when we arrive, we will already have a connection.
Blog pages I follow include Suzanne‘s excellent blog (a fellow kiwi) – I hope that one day our paths will cross and we can meet face to face, but at the moment I’m just a bit envious of her adventures through parts of Spain we are hoping to reach in the next year. She and her “squire” have been house sitting and road-tripping around Spain and southern France over the past few months, and it sounds really interesting what they are doing and discovering. When I started my blog on WordPress, I searched for other blogs that mentioned house sitting and thus have found more community members out there to glean from their experiences. I follow blogs, (see whose blogs I follow below) Instagram feeds and Facebook groups that give me a sense of community and help me to feel that I am making connections. I know that when we are away I will rely on many new and different ways of making connections such as MeetUp, local community groups, local (English speaking?) church groups, and Internet-based groups. We want to be connected to the people we are living amongst and find ways of participating in community life.
In the same way, we still want to maintain connections with our Kiwi friends and family so the Internet, Skype, Facetime and messaging will be vital to continue to be part of our home community as well. Please make contact with us, follow us and get/keep in touch.