Over 50 & Thriving Series Over 50s Lifestyle

How Housesitting helps us to thrive

June 15, 2018

 

Love travelling but the budget doesn’t always allow you to?  This week, my guest in the Over 50 & Thriving Series, has found a way to see the world and is thriving Over 50 with her husband through housesitting.  I was surprised to learn that Suzanne and her husband (whom she calles The Squire), from Global Housesitters x2 have just completed their 32nd housesit in May 2018.

I follow Suzanne and her blog and also instagram and usually drool over the photographs and stories of places they are currently visiting.  I love the tagline on their website:  ‘One couple, one globe, no regrets’. Don’t forget to check out their website and social media links at the end of this article, so you can connect and follow their adventures.

How Housesitting helps us to Thrive

How Housesitting helps us to thrive

I believe as I age that my life has come more in focus on what I wish to do.

Goal setting has been instrumental in myself and my husband thriving in our later years.

How do I describe myself as a Thriving Over 50?

Creative, quirky and passionate.

I have done many things in my life, made some fantastic decisions and some incredibly stupid ones.  Many have taken me down roads I never wanted to venture down, and it took me a while to get back on track.  Once on track, there was no stopping me, this was when I meet a fantastic man who is now my best friend and husband.

A jack of many trades master of none sums up my “career”.   I started travelling in my late teens, then years later with a one-way ticket to London, what was I thinking?  Worked on a cruise liner as a stewardess to working in many hotels as a bartender/waitress.  Then in between those jobs, it was office work.  With a stint learning to be an Occupational Therapy Assistant [hospital] and a Manager of a home for people with Disabilities.  My last job was as a Qualified Preschool teacher, which I left quite a few years ago to manage our small orchard that the Squire and I created from bare land, which we sold in 2008.

Check out my series of posts on motorhoming fulltime in New Zealand:

Motorhoming – The beginning

Now began our journey as early retirees.

Living as full-time motorhomers until we found another piece of paradise in which to live on.  This lifestyle is one where we both thrived on, it was great.  Most people we associated with were happy and carefree.  It was a brilliant way of learning more about our beautiful homeland New Zealand.  Which we did, with still a few nooks and crannies yet to discover.

The next change came in the form of deciding it was a good time to rejoin the hordes of other house owners.  There was another recession.  It was the time to buy.

The year was 2010.  We were now settled into our new home with no wheels that we had built for us in Papamoa Beach, New Zealand.

I needed to set some new goals.  We were no longer travelling fulltime in our motorhome, and I had more time on my hands.  I wanted and needed a new focus.  Something that I had not previously achieved, something that would extend my comfort zone.  Something that would energise and enthuse me.

It came in the form of power walking.

Within a couple of years, I raked up 10 half marathons, 1 triathlon, plus a few smaller events.  I had found myself a new passion. I was thriving on pushing through that pain barrier [in a healthy way].  I loved it.

Then came the day we decided to do more travelling having found that this was one activity we both loved doing together.

We wanted to return to Europe for an extended time which was to be for three months.  Another passion of mine is to research and combining both that and travel, I was in heaven.  We loved our trip though not continuously going from one hotel to another.  We wanted some relaxation time in a more comfortable space.  Like home, like our one back in New Zealand.  Though not there, somewhere in Europe.

On returning to New Zealand, we needed to work out a way how on earth we could achieve our goal of living in Europe on a full-time basis. As I previously mentioned, I love researching and after hours of doing so, came up with an idea of doing housesitting.  After more hours of discussion among ourselves.

It is now at the end of 2015, and we had secured our first housesit in Cornwall, United Kingdom.  Air tickets bought, house rented out, and we then told our friends and family of our plans.  We were on the way to living life as fulltime housesitters.

What am I doing now in 2018?  Well, I am still living the life as fulltime Housesitter with my husband.  This is our third year of doing so, and we love it.

How am I thriving doing housesitting?

Firstly, house and pet-sitting appeal to me as I genuinely love animals and when walking dogs, I love engaging with the locals and become, for a little while, part of that community.

With travel we are continuously learning more about new cultures, trying different foods and the history of various countries we are fortunate enough to visit.  I absolutely thrive on the interaction and more importantly the learning I am doing on a regular basis.

Then came the discovery of blogging.

This is my passion for expressing myself.  It is a little bit of “me” time.  Connecting up with like-minded people and having the opportunity to meet some of these creative people in person.  Mainly, of course, my writing is about our travels, those with my husband, with inclusions of other topics I am passionate about which are art, photography, motorhoming and documenting the animals we care for while housesitting.  We are currently [as of May 2018] onto our 32nd housesit and look forward to a few more years of doing so.  Extending that experience to include Asia and Australia at some stage down the line.

The reason why we do love travelling, we are making new friends and meeting up with old friends.  Introduction to new ways to cook new healthy foods.  Excessive new paths in which to indulge in my passion for walking.  Exploring, learning and extending our capabilities on a weekly basis.  Essential to do so as we age.

Meet Suzanne

My husband , who I call ‘The Squire’ and I, have a found a way of life that allows us to indulge in our love of travel frequently and enjoy retirement.

We love learning about new cultures, trying different foods and the history of various countries we are fortunate enough to visit.

Housesitting and a love of animals has allowed us to become part of a community for a time and engage with the locals.

Art, design and history are other interests of ours. Which means I write not only about our travels, and, the animals we care for, I will also include interviews with creative people from around the world.

Connect with Suzanne

https://globehousesitterx2.com/
https://www.instagram.com/globalhousesitterx2/
https://www.pinterest.nz/housesittersx2/
https://www.facebook.com/globalhousesitterx2/
https://twitter.com/globalhousesit2

Have you ever thought of housesitting?  Have you actually travelled this way before?  Join the conversation and share your thoughts with us.

 

If you are Over 50 and would like to contribute to the Over 50 & Thriving Series, I would love to hear from you. Send me an email at sue@sizzlingtowardssixty.com.au and I can provide more details.

Click here to catch up on my previous guests in Over 50 & Thriving Series

Or you can subscribe here so you never miss a post and receive a FREE Copy of my latest e-book ’10 ways to start Thriving today’!

Don’t forget to post your Instagram photos using the hashtag #over50andthriving.

 

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24 Comments

  • Reply Jennifer Jones June 15, 2018 at 09:44

    I loved this post Suzanne. We are both still working so haven’t thought seriously about house sitting yet. Although we have discussed it for the future. We have difficulty getting away as we have animals so have thought seriously about having a house sitter. Great guest for your Thriving series Sue

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 15, 2018 at 15:10

      I think it would be a great experience Jennifer, however we have too many commitments at the moment with family to go for a long period of time. Great way to see the world though! xx

    • Reply Suzanne [Globalhousesitterx2] June 15, 2018 at 17:01

      Hi Jennifer, thanks for commenting it is a great way to see the world. For us, it is a way of life, not a holiday as such. We are “at home” during the length of the housesit and go on holiday in between. Hopefully, you will have more opportunity to travel more shortly.

  • Reply Suzanne [Globalhousesitterx2] June 15, 2018 at 17:05

    Thanks, Sue for including me in your Thriving over 50’s series. It is a fantastic opportunity to highlight the lifestyle that we enjoy, as it does keep our minds [never have the chance to get into a rut, learning about new cultures] and bodies active [dog walking and exploring]. Look forward to keeping in touch and we hope to housesit downunder in 2020. xx

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 15, 2018 at 17:07

      It is my pleasure, Suzanne. I loved reading about your experience housesitting and it really is a great lifestyle. I’m so pleased to be sharing your story with others. It would be great to catch up if you are ever in Brisbane or the GC. Enjoy !!!

  • Reply Lyn June 15, 2018 at 19:53

    I thoroughly enjoyed this post. Love your energy and the way you live your life. Lyn

    • Reply Suzanne [Globalhousesitterx2] June 15, 2018 at 22:23

      Thanks very much, Lyn. Some days my energy isn’t so high. Then that is what is so great about housesitting as we get off the travel circuit and have a rest. With an extra burst of energy to explore in between housesits. PS I loved your posts about NZ, nearly wished I was there 🙂

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 16, 2018 at 09:30

      It is a very different way to live isn’t it Lyn. I found the whole concept fascinating. Thanks for visiting and have a beautiful day xx

  • Reply Karen Hume June 16, 2018 at 08:33

    Housesitting would never be for me Suzanne because I love to create a haven in my home and be there, but I do admire you for your openness to take on the adventures that call to you.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 16, 2018 at 09:32

      Hi Karen, I think I would enjoy it for short periods at a time to really get the ‘feel’ of a place. Of course, I’m always torn between taking off and travelling (which we do) and also being here to spend time with my grandchildren and family. Thanks for stopping by and have a beautiful weekend xx

  • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au June 16, 2018 at 13:13

    I really enjoy reading about Suzanne’s adventures on her blog – she has led such an interesting and fulfilling life. I guess people that plunge right in and find new “passions” will always be doing something exciting (as opposed to those of us who are happy just cruising through life). It’s great to see that you can always be discovering more and finding new things to engage with in Midlife – great post Suzanne 🙂

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 17, 2018 at 05:42

      Hi Leanne, it is a very different lifestyle isn’t it? It shows that everyone finds their own way to enjoy life. I know that although I would like to try this, I know I wouldn’t want to leave my grandchildren at this point for too long a period of time. Mike and I travel and we enjoy travelling and discovering new places but only for a month. I find Suzanne’s way of life fascinating and yes there are so many options open to us in Midlife, we just have to find our niche. xx

    • Reply Suzanne [Globalhousesitterx2] June 23, 2018 at 03:18

      I am glad you enjoy reading my blog, though I would’ve have known Leanne as you have not left a comment, which is a pity. Love to hear from Leanne. Everyone’s life is different that’s what is so great about doing housesitting we meet lots of people.

  • Reply Candi Randolph June 16, 2018 at 19:49

    What an adventure, Suzanne! I’m not sure that house sitting would be for me, but I love to hear how others live and see the world through this service. Very exciting! It sounds like the perfect lifestyle for you and your squire 🙂

    Thanks, Sue for another great guest post.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 17, 2018 at 05:47

      It is an adventure isn’t it Candi and whilst it isn’t for everyone I know that Suzanne and ‘The Squire’ have found their passion in life and are living it. I’m not sure I could be away from my family for long periods of time, but Mike and I do enjoy our travel each year. We all have our passion we just need to find what ours is. I’m excited about the guest series because I’m learning from interesting and wonderful women who are taking life by both hands and making the most of it. Have a wonderful weekend, Candi and thanks for stopping by. xx

  • Reply Donna June 17, 2018 at 13:51

    Hi, Suzanne – I greatly enjoyed learning more about your story here. My husband and I have completed home exchanges in Paris,. the South of France, Prague, Bangkok, and Maroochydore, as well as several places in the USA and Canada. We have thoroughly enjoyed every single one of them. I agree, that home exchanging is not for everyone. For those who are interested, I highly recommend giving it a try!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 18, 2018 at 08:02

      Hi Donna! I had no idea you had visited so many places via a home exchange, even Marooychydore which is just up the road from Brisbane, where I live 🙂 Perhaps Mike and I should try this even within Australia. Have a great week! xx

  • Reply Rebecca Forstadt Olkowski June 18, 2018 at 06:43

    I love the idea of housesitting as a way to get around and travel. I’d do it if I didn’t have a dog myself unless they’d let me bring her. It sounds like a fabulous way to travel on the cheap and do more of it.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 18, 2018 at 08:00

      It is a great way to travel Rebecca isn’t it? I know for Suzanne and her husband the idea of looking after animals is one of the benefits for them because they love animals as much as travel so its a win/win! x

  • Reply Samantha Smith June 18, 2018 at 17:52

    Great to see you on here Suzanne! I’ve been following your blog for a while now and love to read about your travels, your walks and the pets you look after 😀 You have such an interesting life which I totally understand helps you both to thrive and it was an absolute pleasure to meet you a few weeks ago too!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric June 19, 2018 at 11:28

      Hi Sam! Yes, I agree, Suzanne does have a very interesting life and it must have been great for you both to catch up and meet IRL. As bloggers, we form friendships over the internet but if an opportunity to meet IRL arises it is wonderful to be able to grab it. x

    • Reply Suzanne [Globalhousesitterx2] June 23, 2018 at 03:15

      Thanks, Sam for the lovely comment, the feeling is mutual. 🙂

  • Reply Tina Gleisner August 18, 2018 at 05:30

    What a fantastic idea for traveling. Having lived in Tokyo for 3+ years, I truly believe the best travel experiences are those where you live & work locally, to experience the community & culture. I definitely will look into this option for the next few years when I hope to travel more … so thanks for sharing.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric August 18, 2018 at 05:34

      Hello Tina and welcome to Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond. I think Suzanne and her partner have really taken the step to live their dream and are enjoying life. Living in Tokyo would certainly be an experience. We are taking a cruise which departs from Tokyo in October and looking forward to it. Have a lovely day and thanks for stopping by x

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