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