As I write this we only have three weeks before we leave for Stockholm, Sweden (for the day) then on to Oslo, Norway for five weeks. Our snowball of a grand adventure will end with two months in Switzerland.
How did this all start? We moved to New York City (after living in San Diego for 30+ years), which was amazing but very costly. Decided to return to California, but have not decided what we want to do next. Until we decide what we want to do next and where we want to settle done we decided we would start housesitting.
Since April, for seven months, we have been housesitting almost none stop. We have been to Coloma, CA; Portland, OR; south to San Diego, CA; back north twice to Nevada City, CA; Folsom, CA, twice in Sonoma, CA; and now we are on our last sit before we head to Norway near Folsom again. You may wonder if we know our way home!
We discovered a housesitting website that matches people who need housesitters around the world with people who are available. The bulk of their listings are in the UK, Australia and the US. For the heck of it, why not, we applied for a housesit in Norway and they accepted us almost immediately – what an exciting moment.
We started thinking if we are going to Norway, why not stay a little longer in Europe. We did not start out looking to stay as long as we are going to. It has expanded as we go. The last sit we will have is two months in Zurich, Switzerland. At that point we decided nine months was long enough to be away from family. Maybe by then we will be ready to come home to California.
Almost all housesits require taking care of a pet or two. Most seem to be cats but we have also taken care of bunnies, puppies, dogs and fish. People like to avoid putting their pets in kennels and are willing to trade your staying at their home to take care of their pets.
The people we have meet are amazing loving people. Folks that we would love to have as neighbors and as friends. One important part of the process is doing a video chat to really meet the people and feel comfortable with each other. Talking to people when you can actually see them is almost like being there. It has been a big help in our decision to do this wild and crazy thing.
So that is the why and the how it all started. In the next part, find us pulling our hair out about what to pack to be gone for nine months!