It's an interesting time for me. Being "location independent" (don't you just love that term?) puts a very different spin on life. It's forced me into a minimalist lifestyle, traveling now with just one suitcase and a backpack.
It's forced me to be much for organized and pragmatic about my possessions and schedule and how I travel.
During the last four months, I feel as if I have been on the move constantly, packing and unpacking in various places and houses but it's all good. It takes some getting used to, though. I've organized my "stuff" into packing cubes which are a huge help. I'm still perfecting the process - what goes in which cube, but they make it very easy to be organized.
Full-time Housesitting is certainly a different way of life! People I talk to are intrigued and want to know more. Some have never heard of housesitting! The most common comment is, "How exciting!" Many, if not most, have no idea that this sort of lifestyle is becoming more mainstream. Well, maybe not mainstream...
Some housesitters live this life by choice. Others from necessity (that's me). For all, there is an adjustment period and for some, I imagine, it takes longer to fall into the routine than others. For me, it's baby steps. I've found that probably 90 percent of full-time sitters are couples, which I think, would make it much more doable and fun. Share the load of schlepping stuff on and off buses and planes, share the chores the house and share the fun of exploring new places together.SOLO SITTER
From what I get from the solo sitters in a group I am in, one of the most difficult things for us is the loneliness. And that is, for me, the biggest drawback.
The loneliness takes me back to those days in my little house on the canal. Even in a place I know where I was housesitting, the feelings crashed down on me and I was pretty convinced then that this lifestyle wasn't for me. A huge mental battle ensued and I stayed in the house for several days before talking myself into getting out and about.
Since then, I have been really pushing myself to get out, although it isn't nearly as much fun going places on my own than if I had a companion to go exploring with. But I am getting better at it.
The saving grace for me, and the main reason people want a housesitter, is the animals. Cats and dogs of all shapes and sizes and all very loved pets. They make it worth while for me. And also alleviate some of the loneliness
I came up to Washington at the end of last month, spent a few days with Mardelle and Jim in Port Townsend then came to Seattle, where I am taking care of Alley (cat) for three weeks. I decided that it was time to get busy, and picked up my distillery hobby. Seattle has so many craft distilleries, and with a car available with this sit, I've been actively getting out and visiting them - by the end of today - seven local ones! And next week, more on the schedule.
By doing this, I'm getting out there, with a real purpose, and meeting some really fun, interesting people. By the end of the day, I don't have time for the loneliness to creep in. I have images to process, post to compose and over this coming weekend, articles to write. And a kitty to cuddle.WHAT'S NEXT?
I'm booked through September in California and have feelers out for beyond that. I have to decide where I want to be - in the States, go back to New Zealand for 6 months or maybe go to South Africa for a few months. I'm still considering a campervan here and keeping it local on the west coast and perhaps heading down to Baja for the winter. Although I am super healthy, one of the big considerations (at my age) is medical insurance and I am completely covered here in California.
Once I make that decision, things will fall into place.
So for those considering this lifestyle; yes, it's fun but it takes getting used to.
Looking back through all the photos from when I arrived back in California from New Zealand in April, I actually have done a lot (besides moving houses). I've been able to spend time with Ryan in Sherman Oaks. Spent wonderful time with Betsy in Dana Point; we had a Tahiti reunion in Santa Barbara; went the beach and a car show; explored Burbank a bit and went to Olivera Street; spent time with Mardelle and Jim in Port Townsend among other things, including lots of farmers markets!ON ANOTHER NOTE
On another note, from the award I received, I have been invited back on Passing Cloud in September, to sail the Great Bear Rainforest!