For the past five years, we have been pet and house sitting while traveling in Europe, North America, Central America and now SE Asia. We traveled to Belgium to cuddle and love the two sweetest cats we have ever met. We spent five weeks in a gated home on the coast of Panama, walking three dogs and enjoying three cats curling up on our laps. We cared for one acreage in Alberta where the two dogs loved our daily walks, and another where the three cats took turns being brushed. We have cared for apartments, villas, suburban homes and acreages. The animals we claim as ‘adopted family’ include at least thirty cats, twenty-five dogs, two miniature burros, one ferret, two flocks of chickens, one flock of turkeys and a one-winged macaw.
We love using house and pet sitting as a reason to travel to new destinations and a means to sample the flavour of an area. At this point, we think this may be our way of life for another five years or longer. However, this life has not always been the one we envisioned as our retirement.
We met eleven years ago via an on-line dating site! At that time, Randy was running his own successful dental practice and Gail was teaching full-time. We fell in love almost immediately, married, creating a blended family of Randy’s two daughters and Gail’s son, bought a lovely acreage, built our dream home, retired, and settled down to the rest of our lives.Then, something happened that totally changed our future.
We traveled to Thailand and Vietnam for a reunion of people Gail had trucked across Asia with 35 years earlier (a story in itself). During the six weeks we were in SE Asia, we found we loved the simplicity of a traveling life, exploring other cultures and learning from new situations. Upon our return home, we realized we could no longer see ourselves living in one place for the rest of our lives.
So, much to the jealousy of our children, the incredulity of many friends and our joy, we sold our home, most of our belongings and set off to live in the world.
Since then, we’ve lived in sixteen different countries combining pet and house sitting with rented accommodation, hostels, work-aways, a bit of couch surfing and time with family.