Six months into our new roving retirement and we are loving it. Having sold virtually all of our possessions we left Australia on April 9th, 2017 to pursue a new approach to life – full time, slow travel providing House Sitting services as a way to offset our travel costs. It’s now mid-October and our journey to date has been fulfilling, enlightening but most importantly – FUN!!!!
Our adventure began way back in 2015 when we decided to take a gap year and test drive living overseas in Asia. The cheaper cost of living in that part of the world meant we could retire earlier than planned which was very attractive to us. We embarked with a rough plan to spend 3 months in each of Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam and perhaps splurge on 3 months in Europe depending upon how our savings were holding out. However, plans change and that didn’t end up happening – we spent 5 months in Chiang Mai, Thailand and the remainder of the year house sitting in Europe! You can read about how that all came about in this article that was published in House Sitting Magazine.
We departed Australia in April and stopped off in Kuala Lumpur on our way to London. We had a great few days exploring this interesting city and it was nice to relax after a hectic six months of preparing for our travels.
We arrived in London, just prior to Easter, on April 12th for our first house sit. This was the start of being almost fully booked with back to back sits until the end of September.
Here’s a list of where we were during that period including links to short posts (from our House Sitting website – TheAussieLambs) about the beautiful pets we cared for and some of the things we did in each area.
- April – High Wycombe, London – 5 days – 1 dog & 2 cats (Lexi, Claudia and Saffie)
- April – Riogordo, Spain – 18 days – 1 cat (Frank)
- May – Alcala La Real, Spain – 22 days – 1 dog & 2 cats (Rossi, Chi and Ozzie)
- May/June – Langlade, France – 22 days – 2 cats (Lola and Pedro)
- June – Cambridge, England – 4 days – 1 dog (Huxley)
- June – Bramshill, England – 11 days – 3 dogs and 2 chickens (Spider, Spud and Mouskie)
- June – Kempston, England – 4 days – 1 dog (Tosh)
- July – Widdington, England – 25 days – 2 dogs, 6 chickens and an aquarium (Bruno and Megan)
- July/August – Berkhamsted, London – 25 days – 1 dog (Trigger)
- September – Santa Christina d’Aro, Spain – 29 days – 1 dog (Oliver)
We’ve done a few posts on some of the more interesting things we’ve seen and done during this time – take a look at our BLOG to check them out.
We had scheduled some ‘holiday’ time from pet sitting in late August with a 12 day visit back to a city we love – Edinburgh. We had lived there for nearly 8 years between 1995-2004 and have wanted to return and attend the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for many years. As we were sitting in the UK we took the opportunity to return, catch up with old friends and spend a great week with our dear friends, Jan and Glenn, who were venturing to Europe for the first time. (I will write a future post about the Festival – it’s definitely worth the effort to visit this magical city during August.)
So, during that entire 174 day period (April 9th – September 30th) we paid for accommodation for only 15 nights – our 3 nights in Kuala Lumpur, 1 night in Cambridge between sits and 11 nights in Edinburgh.
This is what makes our new life so exciting and affordable – we get to travel to fantastic locations, stay in beautiful homes, meet very interesting people and look after great pets. Because we are ‘living’ in a home we prepare and eat most of our meals there and eat out occasionally – much like when we were living in our own home in Australia. This also makes this type of travel more economical. More importantly, we are able to travel at a much slower pace and enjoy what a location has to offer. We don’t have to try to cram everything in to a week or two when on a traditional holiday/tour. If the weather isn’t great we don’t have to go out or if we just feel like relaxing – we can.
We finished our 6 months with a fantastic tour of Jordan. I had done a short tour to Israel and Jordan back in the late 90’s when we lived in Edinburgh. This was a solo trip and Jacqueline had stayed at home with our young son Brandon. It was a fascinating country with the Nabatean site of Petra a highlight. I’d always wanted to return and show Jacqueline around and fortunately we found an 8 day tour with dates that coincided perfectly between the end of our time in Spain and our next sit in Thailand. An added bonus was that we were also able to meet up with our son who has been back packing his way around the world for the last 9 months! It was great to have a family reunion in such a special place and we enjoyed our 8 days together immensely.
So that’s our first six months as roving retirees. We’re extremely happy with our choice to change our lifestyle and are looking forward to meeting more interesting people and pets and seeing many more parts of this amazing world.
If you’re interested in finding out more about this lifestyle feel free to contact us by commenting on this post. We’re more than happy to try and help you out.
Until next time……