Housesitting is a brilliant tool for travellers and nomads on a budget. The exchange of services benefits both owner and sitter giving each the freedom they desire to travel.
I am always touched by the kindness shown by homeowners at the beginning of the house sitting process, and I have to say our stay in Australia has been sculpted by the generosity of the family we house sat for in Valla, NSW.
An Aussie Adventure
After arriving into Sydney we were welcomed with open arms and felt instantly at home, splitting their time between the family home in the city and a property further up the coast we had been invited to house sit until we were equipped with a camper and ready for our road trip.
We spent our days glued to search engines desperately trying to find our dream camper and one that would prove to be a wise investment when selling it in just under a year.
Let me tell you this is no easy task, it took a little over three weeks to find our Winifred and we are so grateful that we had a relaxed environment in which to stay while we searched.
With our camper purchased and packed to the brim with products from a well known Swedish home ware store we set off to explore, with a bucket list esq schedule we headed south along the coast in search of adventure.
Over four months we drove the length of the coast from Sydney to Perth and back through the central south to Valla, NSW.
HOUSESITTING AT VALLA BEACH
Having spent my youth growing up in the British countryside I always feel instantly at home in a rural property and our time in Valla was the medicine my soul craved after four months on the road.
Designed and built by the owners the property boasts over one hundred acres filled with macadamia trees and stunning ocean views, but the most appealing feature for us was the addition of two adorable dogs, Reginald and Crumpet.
We much prefer house sits with animal care as they can provide such entertainment and ignite a sense of familiarity and home.
Our days at the house were filled with walks around the farm, reading books from the library on the terrace and playing ball with the dogs on the beach.
In addition we were tasked with a few maintenance jobs on the farm, which we found an exciting addition to the usual daily household chores. Total relaxation and a bit of food for the soul in contrast to our fast paced adventure in the camper.
In too large a dose either can leave you craving the other but the time we spent house sitting recharged and rejuvenated our desire to explore.
WHY WE LOVE HOUSESITTING ASSIGNMENTS
One of the great things about housesitting is the diverse mix of people we meet, friends and neighbours of the homeowners are always on hand to assist with advice and often invite you to various events in place of their vacationing peers.
At Valla we were extremely fortunate to have a great network of people living on other macadamia farms in the area who immediately welcomed us into their community.
Continual travel often leaves little opportunity to make anything more than a brief connection with the people we meet, but in Valla we made a number of friends with whom I hope we shall remain in contact.
Australia is proving to be more than I ever imagined, the diverse landscape and ever changing climate provides endless opportunities to discover new and exciting elements of the natural world.
Having spent the time house sitting in Sydney and Valla I am beginning to crave the chance to experience life in other areas of this spectacular country, with every house sit we explore new landscapes and environments and discover a wealth of reasons why travel seems to ignite such a fire in our souls.
We would often meet other native travellers, the grey nomads as they are affectionately known, who spend 90% of the year travelling the length and breadth of Australia. Even with such a huge amount of time to explore they all said they had hardly scratched the surface, with so much to see and do on the coast and some incredible remote locations outback there just isn’t enough time to visit everywhere on the map.
If time was no object and visas were unrestricted I would consider the locations that would be on my ‘Aussie House Sit Bucket List’ even contemplating as I write, I know the possibilities could be endless!
However for now I am grateful for the opportunities we have had here in Australia, we have been invited to house sit in Auckland, New Zealand over the Christmas period and are looking forward to continuing our adventure in 2013.
The article was adapted from a guest post we wrote for the team at Trusted House Sitters.
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