The life you have led doesn’t need to be the only life you have.” –
Five years ago today I started my big adventure of house sitting. These have been among the best five years of my life as I reflect on adventures big and small, the myriad things I’ve learnt about life, people, pets and places and my personal evolution.
To awaken alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world.” – Freya Stark
In my present house sit, the first one without a companion animal, I’ve had plenty of time to reflect on past experiences of moving and “sitting” and have developed an imperfect and incomplete list of some of the things I’ve learnt from five years of constant travel.
- I can handle the unexpected like the time when I had just put the phone down after speaking with a homeowner who was cruising China and Japan, reassuring her that all was well. Within 30 seconds, I heard a strange noise under the sink, opened the door to discover that the hot water pipe had burst and water flooded the floor. As I always ensure that I have a list of helpful contacts I rang her uncle, a former plumber, who told me where the mains was so I could shut off the water. He arrived withing thirty minutes, diagnosed the problem and had installed a new pipe within the hour. Fortunately, the kitchen floor was tiled and no damage was done.
- There’s always people available to help if I need it (see above story)
- All animals are intelligent some are smarter than humans.
- Donkeys are clever and cooperative. I remember a group of donkeys in France who strategised to get more carrots .The baby, who was unbelievably cute, came
- Nothing EVER stays the same. I might return to the same place, with the same people and pets but something will have changed-and that includes me
- I have learnt how to look after myself, trusting my intuition, being aware ot my changing needs and how to get them met.
- Death is an inevitable part of life and I don’t just mean physical death.
- I love animal of all kinds and most love me. This is one of the sweetest parts of house sitting. Some animals take to me straightaway and others take time. I respect all of them and give them the space and time to come to me and tell me their story
- “Oh you’re back..” some, well actually a lot of cats, like to punish their owners for going away in the first place by being cool towards them on their return. But I still love these mysterious creatures anyway.
- Life is imperfect, volatile and at times ridiculous so a sense of humour always helps.
to greet me first. I would give her ears a scratch with one hand while holding the box of carrots with the other Dad or Mum would sneek up on me then give me a sudden push and lo! The box of carrots fell to the ground where the whole group then descended and pushed me out of the way. I fell for that twice!
“(S)he who would travel happily must travel light.”
– Antoine de St. Exupery