A Nomad Plan: How we're planning for a three-year world trip.
It’s one thing to make the decision to sell-up nearly eighteen years of a life together and gallivant around the world being nomadic house-sitting authors. It’s another to actually do it.
Please picture me writing this with my hair askew and a bemused expression on my face as I survey the disembowelled contents of my filing cabinet. I thought it would be a good idea to begin organising my grand scheme by sorting through, and throwing out, any paperwork we’ve accumulated over the years that we don’t need anymore. As our filing cabinet has been heaved into shipping containers over the years and is full of redundant bank statements and bills for homes we no longer own or rent, this is a formidable task. So for now, everything’s just going to be left sitting on the floor. I’ll get around to it all tomorrow… or maybe the day after.
And besides, the filing cabinet is the least of my concerns. I recently had a wonderful chat with fellow romantic comedy author, Sarah Belle and she casually brought up the topic of things having a spiritual charge. We both agreed that houses have it, reflecting on that moment when you walk into a place and it feels amazing or the walls practically emanate pure ‘get out’. However, I’d never really thought about it when it came to things. But now I’m looking at a three bedroom home’s worth of the bits and pieces Tony and I have collected and everything has a memory. All of them good.
I don’t keep anything around that doesn’t have a positive recollection attached to it. Which means I’ve got a lot of feel-good things to make a decision on. Do I keep them in storage or do I find them a home? What do I do with all the rocks and stones we’ve picked up on hikes over the years? Each one is worthless monetarily, but each has a happy memory. I’ve been collecting the pile in the wooden bowl on my dresser for over twenty years. That’s a lot of rocks!
Maybe I’ll put off making a decision on the rocks until after Christmas and New Years. After all I’ve got a novel to finish writing and there are more important things to kick off in this house-sitting enterprise.
The past few days have been spent on making this website and registering on various house-sitting sites, which is involving the amount of paperwork one would expect. We’ve already arranged to police checks on the both of us and have asked people for references as we’ve never house-sat using a site before—we’ve always just done it for a friend or friend-of-a-friend because that’s how it tends to work in the expat community when people need to travel and they have pets.
So far I’ve registered us on Nomador, Trusted House Sitters, Mind My House, The House Sitting Company and Worldwide House Sitters. Almost all of the sites require a passport for ID, police clearance and references. Most of them also suggest we make a video, which should be fun, but is a little daunting. It shouldn’t be, because I’ve done enough on camera for book publicity over the years, but I’m still feeling a bit butterfly-tummy about it all. That’s on the cards for tomorrow, or maybe the day after…
We’ve also put a bunch of consideration into what to put in our profile on the various sites. Having had people look after pets for us in the past, I’ve tried for a balance of ‘a little bit about us, a little bit about what we can do for you’… with luck what we have there works.
My avoidance of having pictures taken of me is biting me on the rump too! Almost all the sites want pictures of us with the fur beasties we’ve met, but since I’m always the one chasing the beasties around with the camera, there aren’t many of me at all! And I’ve got way too many of Tony schmoozing up to cats, playing cat whisperer…
I’ve also been thinking about the sort of gear we’ll want over the next three years when it comes to suitcases etc. We’ve spent the past twelve years traveling with the same tired old cases that are still barely holding onto life, but it would be nice to get something fresh for this new adventure. In my usual style, I’m thinking of every contingency possible. If only we could gallivant around the world in the little gypsy caravan pictured at the top of this post, parking it in the driveway of the places we’re house-sitting! I remember the first time I saw it near Montrose in Scotland and thought it looked like just the thing to write into a book. I haven’t managed that yet, so this blog post will have to do!
I’ll write a post later about all the bits and pieces we’re planning on getting. But for now, I think I’ll go downstairs and procrastinate by watching Netflix while we’ve still got a nice big TV.