For the first time in over a year and a half, our 2 year plan may be about to change. Spending 6 months in each country (Spain, Italy & Germany), although an exciting prospect, seems a tad unrealistic.
The biggest challenge is finding house sitting opportunities. There’s an abundance of houses in France most of the year, but since this seems to be a predominantly English speaking-orientated activity, countries where there are less expats have significantly fewer opportunities.
The opportunities also seem to be seasonal. Every place we have house sat, and all but one future house sit, are also B&Bs. Naturally the owners will want to be at the house during the busy season to attend to customers. This leaves us scratching our heads during the summer months.
To carry on our European adventure past March, when our last house sit is scheduled, we have a few options:
1. Cease being destination specific and go where the opportunities are. This seems to be the most realistic option, but we’ll have to exercise some judgement here. I don’t fancy driving all the way to Russia for a 2 week house sit. While the scenic road trip would be one to remember, it’s an epic journey from France, and potentially another epic one back if we can’t find another house sit nearby.
2. Rent an apartment. This was actually our initial plan. The difficulties with this lie in searching for places, finding reputable landlords, having to set up internet ourselves if it isn’t already installed, and being locked into one place for a long time. And, while we could have afforded this, it would have cost significantly more than house sitting, of course. In the long run, we’ll be left with less to spend on bigger projects for the future.
3. Camping! We’ll buy a tent in the next couple of months for weekends away, but this isn’t really a possibility. I spent three months living in a tent in Australia. While I had a great time, my older bones are less keen on sleeping on the floor for more than a week. With limited internet and electricity we simply wouldn’t be able to work.
4. Spend a long time in France on a year-long house sit. An opportunity has arisen that we are far from being offered but that would give us a year’s worth of accommodation in a stunning house that also serves as a meditation retreat. We’ll see what happens with this.
I love the idea of option 1. Hopping from one country to another a month at a time has an exciting appeal, especially from a photography perspective. I’ll also have the added bonus of holding photowalks across Europe through HDR One. That’ll be an amazing opportunity to meet local photographers.
Ultimately, late March and onwards is completely unknown territory for us. It’s impossible to know where we’ll be, how many animals we’ll meet, what mansions we may or may not live in, but I’ll be sure to capture as much as possible with my camera and on my daily blog.
A recent shot of me and Rachel at Beynac castle