Each year HouseSitMatch hosts a Blog Competition and this year our entries are better than ever. Here we share with you the Housesitting Blog Competition Finalist 2 Entry – Jacqueline and Glenn Lamb travel while they housesit around the world and tell us what they have learned about affordable travel and housesitting. In their blog entry Glenn and Jacqueline offer some special insights for anyone considering this as a form of travel…
Housesitting Blog Competition FINALIST 2 – Jacqueline Lamb
‘This is what we’ve have learned about housesitting…’ by Jacqueline and Glenn Lamb, Housesitters
Visit unexpected locations –
I have learned that house sitting offers us the opportunity to sit in locations that we would never have considered visiting – as a tourist or otherwise.
For example our first house sit in Europe took us to the small village of Riogordo, Spain caring for a curious cat called ‘Frank’. This home was surrounded by hills covered in olive and almond trees and each night a shepherd would pass through with his herd of 100+ goats. It was magical to see them and hearing the ‘bells chiming’ in the distance as they approached.
Another surprise was sitting in a small village in the Pyrenees Mountains in the SW of France where the nearby towns dated back to the 11th Century. Nearby towns dated back to the 11th Century. Each morning we would walk our two dogs through the corn fields in the valley with wisps of clouds hanging over the nearby hills, regularly passing other dog walkers and greeting them in French. We were regarded as another ‘local’ person.
2. Make new friends –
You make lots of new friends and meet people from interesting backgrounds when house sitting. We have sat for a retired International Banker, Art Dealer and a Heart Surgeon. We count these home owners as our new friends and have been invited back to their homes not as house sitters but as their guests. House sitting is also about the friendships you forge along the way.
3. We save money
We’ve learned house sitting allows our budget to stretch further by not having to pay for our accommodation.
We also get to stay in beautiful homes in sought after locations that we normally couldn’t have afforded as holiday makers. Two such examples are the stunning house in Provence, France which included a 20 metre pool and guest wing and sitting in a 350 year old cottage in Yorkshire, UK.
4. Housesitting is mainly about the lovely pets
We get to care for, and spend quality time with, the most beautiful and adorable pets and have fallen in love with all of them. It’s a wonderful feeling to be greeted by excited pets and caring for rescue dogs and cats who were once mistreated but undividedly show you love and expect nothing in return. We have found that being around animals makes us happier and we can’t imagine our lives without these 4 legged fur babies.
5. Travel slowly and live like locals
We’ve learned to travel slowly and blend in like a local when house sitting. The home owners give you their local knowledge on where to shop, eat and places to visit that may not be on the tourist map, but are special all the same. We always ask our home owners about any ‘local’ events we could visit. While sitting in Provence France we were told about Course Camarguise – French bullfighting. It is completely different to Spanish bullfighting. Here the bulls are the stars and they do not get hurt. We were possibly the only tourists attending this event and were able to immerse ourselves in this local and ‘very french’ past-time.
Another fascinating ‘local’ event was the Timbalada Ganxona festival (drum parade) in our local town Sant Feliu de Guixols, Spain. This was a competition between local drumming bands who drummed and danced their way through the town. We had never seen anything like this before and it’s one of the many benefits we have discovered that house sitting brings.
6. Housesitting is a community
I have learnt that house sitting is a community. There are several fabulous facebook groups where you can share information. We (house sitters) are all here to help each other succeed. Two of our favourite facebook groups are House Sitting World and House Sitting Magazine group.
7. Learn and practice your languages
We’ve learned that house sitting gives you the opportunity to practice speaking a new language. There is nothing like speaking the local language with native speakers. This year we spent 10 weeks in Spain and this gave us a great opportunity to practice our Spanish. It’s a great feeling when you can order a meal in a local restaurant or buy fruit from the local market and they understand what you want.
Finally we’ve learned that we love this nomadic lifestyle and intend to continue learning new things, visiting fascinating places and meeting new and interesting people and pets.
Housesitting Blog Competition Finalist 2 – Jacqueline Lamb is a regular registered housesitter on HouseSitMatch and actively housesitting around the world today. She blogs regularly at www.LambiesTravels.com
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