We arrived home in late March, just 10 days short of being a whole year away. Leaving Mexico, we stopped in Southern California for a 3 day break and caught up with Patti – we had met her over 6 years previously when staying at the same place on the Greek island of Santorini. It was great to meet up again, and chat about our lives since our meeting all those years ago over a glass of wine near her home town of San Diego.
Driving north towards Los Angeles, we spied a bright colour in the distance and realised it was wildflowers (Californian Golden Poppies) growing on the hills. As we got closer, we saw hundreds of cars parked on the roadside and hundreds of people wandering hillside tracks enjoying this beautiful sight.
We navigated the busy LA Freeways to arrive at LAX airport safely, and were thankful for another wonderful upgrade from Air New Zealand for our flight home. After catching up with family and friends in both Auckland and Taupo, and purchasing a car, we arrived back to Wellington to stay with hospitable friends before our first housesit in Tawa.
We have decided that we will continue our house and petsitting adventures until at least October; we have re-rented our home to generate income and have already secured 11 almost back to back housesits for these 7 months. Chris is also picking up packets of work but is still enjoying freedom from the intense workload he endured before we left NZ last year. Part of our reasoning to continue living this nomadic life is to explore other parts of NZ to see where we could live if we moved out of Wellington. By spending
time living like a local, rather than on holiday, we can get a feel for different locations. At this stage we are concentrating on the North Island, most of our sits are in the Bay of Plenty and Taupo areas, but we also have 6 weeks in the Bay of Islands booked over Christmas.
It was good to have 3 different house sits over almost 6 weeks based in our home town of Wellington, to catch up with friends, check on our rental properties and sort through some of our stored belongings. We even got to be home-town tourists and visit Weta Workshop and Te Papa for current exhibitions.
We have had some fabulous pets already and are still enjoying meeting new people – including catching up with fellow housesitters and nomads. We finally caught up with Instagram friends “kiwisflythecoop” Scotty and Linda in Martinborough – I have followed their journeys over the past few years with interest and just a bit of envy, and also Doug and Johanne in Tauranga who have housesat their way around most of the world.
We are looking forward to more meet-ups over the next few months with friends and fellow housesitters too. (If you are reading this and are based in any of the areas we may be, please make contact, we love meeting new people.)
I’ll leave you with some pictures of the wonderful characters and places we have experienced so far over the past two months. Autumn in NZ has been very mild and we have enjoyed a range of beachy locations and some wonderful pets to care for.