Fun Facts and Figures For 798 Days – CHECK IT OUT

I wish I knew how to create graphs and charts to make things eye-catching, but I don’t.

Formulas on a whiteboard

With the arrival of a New Year and writing about my travels, I figured compiling some facts and figures about my recent mobile lifestyle might be fun.

HERE’S WHAT I FOUND

Days with no fixed address – 798

Keyboard with search button

Homes Slept In  – 29 (see below)

(17 as house sitter, 12 visiting family or friends, 3 a combo of)

HOUSE SITS

7 house sits were found through my profile at House Carers and Mind My House

4 house sits were for teaching friends

2 were for friends of friends

1 house sit was for a couple I met in Ireland

1 came from a chance meeting while cross-country skiing

1 was a family member

1 was a business acquaintance

VISITS WITH FRIENDS

My friends in Melbourne and New York City I met in Ireland on a walking tour with David Whyte in 2010.

I met my friend from Perth while she was on teaching exchange at Hollyburn Elementary in 1997.

My friend in Switzerland was a homestay student with my sister. She helped paint my house in exchange for dinners.

My friends in Whistler I’ve known since I first came to Canada in 1982.

THANK YOU

 

LONG STAYS AND SHORT

I visited my daughter in Castlegar 14 times (65 nights in total)…and she still loves me. My sister in North Vancouver put me up 14 times (34 nights in total). Bless her.

Longest stay in one place 64 nights (Llucalcari, Mallorca). I rented the home from a lady in my Zumba class

Number of one-night sleepovers 48 (9 in India), two-nighters, 23 (4 in India)

That’s a lot of packing and unpacking.

OTHER SLEEPING SPOTSOur welcome at Fort Madhogarh Fort Madhogarh

Hotels (24, includes 15 in India)

Planes (8)

Retreat Centres (2)

Luxury Tent (1)

B & B (2)

Homestay (1)

Train (1) – top bunk of three, Pushkar to Delhi, never say never, but never againIndian train

AIR TRAVEL

Airlines flown with – 15

Singapore AirlinesThai Airways check-inQuantas flight Launceston to Melbourne

Best service – Singapore Airlines

Best food – Etihad Airways

Longest flight – Melbourne to Manchester, 27 hours (via Abu Dhabi)

Funniest safety briefing – Frontier Airlines (Spokane to Denver). Guy should be a stand-up comic.

Most entertaining – easyJet (Zurich to Luton). Check out this blog if you haven’t already. http://blivingrock.com/2011/09/ezt-2046-zurich-to-london-row-11/

Of Note

In the three months at my new apartment (Oct 2 – Dec 31, 2013) I have spent three weeks away, at six different locations. Guess it takes a while to change gears.

***********

Bob’s brain tumour affected his mathematical abilities, tough for a man in carpentry. Today  he would have turned 56. So, this little data fix is a timely one.

Be grateful for all your brain does for you

***********

DATA

Homes(29)                                          # of Visits                    Total nights

Castlegar, BC (daughter)                      14                                65

North Vancouver (sister)                        14                                34

Manchester, UK  (sister)                         8                                 19

Langley, Whidbey Is.*~                          7                                 19

Leicester, UK (mother)                           7                                  16

Seattle*~                                                6                                  31

Leicester (father)                                    5                                  10

Nelson, BC*                                           3                                  49

West Vancouver (JR)*                           3                                  39

Melbourne (friend)                                 3                                    7

Berkeley, CA*~                                      2                                  54

Perth, AUS (friend)                                 2                                  44

London (nephew)                                   2                                    2

Mallorca, Spain (rental)                          1                                  64

New York City (friend)                           1                                  40

Tasmania*                                              1                                  54

Duncan, BC*                                          1                                  27

Bunbury, AUS   *                                    1                                  27

Leicester (aunt)*                                     1                                  22

North Vancouver (SS)*                           1                                  19

Nelson (RE)*                                           1                                  18

Edmonds, WA*                                       1                                  17

West End, Vancouver*                           1                                  13

North Vancouver (AH)*                          1                                  13

West Vancouver (SSh)*                          1                                   9

Langley, Whidbey Is. (SD)*                    1                                    7

Biel, Switzerland (friend)                        1                                    6

North Vancouver (SRK)*                         1                                   5

Whistler, BC      (friends)                        1                                    4

*    = housesitting

*~ = combination of house sitting and visiting

Ever Considered Being A House Sitter But Didn’t Know Where To Start?

“Look out for eggs in strange places,” the homeowners cry joyfully, Quantas bound. It’s been three weeks now and the chooks aren’t putting out. Well not as far as I can tell. If they’re laying, they’re not letting on. Thing is, I have been looking: under boulders, piles of grass, roosting spots, but no eggs. Nada. Nothing.  What’s worse is one’s losing all her feathers.

House sitting can be full of surprises, some great, others…well, interesting.  It’s been my way of life for the past year and suits me just fine, but it’s not for everyone!

Since friends often ask me how it all works, offering my tips for house sitting seemed like a great idea. So, here it is… 

12 pages of practical tips for finding work, house sitting web sites, and those all-important tips of the trade.

If you’ve ever considered house sitting as a way to see the world, or simply as an option for a short getaway, you need to read this!

10 + 1 GREAT Reasons to Become a HOUSE SITTER


Looking to travel? On a budget? No home to exchange? Consider work as a house sitter… looking after someone else’s home in exchange for free accommodation. I like to call it gentle travel. Here’s my list (in no particular order)

  • It’s a Win-Win. You save money and homeowners enjoy their time away knowing their home, pets, and garden are being taken care of.
  • It provides you a home base while seeing another part of the world. For experienced travelers this is a huge PLUS. Living out of a suitcase and traveling every day can be exhausting. As one gets older and wiser housesitting holds increasing appeal, AND you get to cook at home saving on the high cost of eating out.
  • You have time to get involved in community events. Spending a few weeks or months in one place allows you to visit weekly markets, attend classes and workshops, and find your favourite shops and eateries, all the while connecting with locals. 
  • Homeowners frequently inform their friends about your pending arrival and provide you with many contact names and numbers. This is an exclusive advantage of house sitting. You can establish and nurture friendships or enjoy the solitude of your own company. Either way the choice is yours. 
  • It moves you out of your comfort zone – ALWAYS a good thing. 
  • Many homeowners allow you to use their vehicle, especially if you’re in a remote location. This saves you the cost of car rentals and leaves you with money in your pocket for another visit to your favourite bakery! 
  • It can be a wonderful way to share your love of animals without the permanent responsibility of pet ownership. (You’re often required to care for homeowner’s pets and gardens.) For solo travelers it has the added benefit of companionship and security. In taking care of a veggie garden you reap the benefits of super fresh produce and yes, more savings!
  • It provides a living situation that you would never have known had you stayed at home. You get a peek into how others live and may even get some ideas about how you might change things upon your return.
  • As a house sitter, you have a place to invite family or friends to visit, providing you have approval from the homeowners. 
  • Through Skype and email you’re able to ‘meet’ before the housesit begins. This is a huge comfort for everyone. Tip #1 The more you know about each other before the house sit begins, the better.

So there’s my top 10. If this piques your interest, subscribe to my blog (on the right side of the screen).

And here’s the new BONUS benefit:

  • Being a house sitter is good for your mental health! Engrossed in the book, The Brain That Changes Itself, the need to keep neurons firing and creating new connections is paramount to brain health. House sitting is a great stimulator. Navigating the layout of another’s house, their neighbourhood and especially their kitchen, requires focussed attention: another key factor essential to long-term plastic growth. 

 

Image: DepositPhotos