Reason 1: I thought the 100 day Ultimate Canadian Trip would be the longest road trip we would ever take. Although admittedly it did turn into 140 days but that’s not the point.
Reason 2: Skye our little Honda Civic we bought for £900 has not died from exhaustion.
Reason 3: My attention span has lasted this long.
We’ve been diligent little bloggers (for a change) posting regularly about our adventures but there are a few things that have missed out. I wanted to take this moment to update you.
Since I arrived in the UK we’ve completed 8 house sits, have travelled over 8000 miles in all 9 regions of England and Scotland have looked after 7 dogs, 9 cats, 2 miniature donkeys, 2 pygmy goats and 5 chickens. It’s been a whirlwind.
Honestly we couldn’t have found a better way for us to travel right now. This housesitting gig has revolutionised the way we feel about slow travel. It’s enabled us to explore a country to it’s fullest potential with all the home comforts you miss as a backpacker… all while keeping it cheap. It’s just worked so well for this period of our travel lives and I seriously recommend it for home and pet owners just as much as travellers. If anyone is interested in knowing more feel free to drop me an email and I’m happy to share more.
Be warned though house sitting hasn’t taken off everywhere like it has here. Right this second there are 822 sits available in the UK while Australia has only 322. For such a small land mass we’ve had an enormous saturation of house sits to choose from which is why it’s worked so well. We booked ourselves out for 5 months!
Not only has housesitting been great for exploring the UK, it’s also given us heaps of spare time and we’ve truly treasured it. With plans to put our backpacks away later in the year this time we have together won’t exist when we have full time jobs.
We’d intended to use those hours making a convincing visa argument, for Becks to play with her book, to learn new recipes and improve our cooking skills. We also wanted to dream up and plan a future business, to refocus our goals and realign our paths. Oh and if we had to be wholly truthful, to binge watch Suits and The Good Wife.
So far it’s all going good.
Speaking of what’s next we have made some solid future plans and it’s about time we shared some of them. As most of your will know a month ago Becks Australian De-faco Visa was granted. It was 8 months earlier than anticipated and that’s truly crazy. On the visa website the government estimates the the process taking between 12-16 months. It took us 4. We must look like a pretty convincing couple hey? haha. No seriously it’s incredible news. So on that front we have decided that there is no point finding a job and a house here in the UK to save a little more money only to relocate in a few months when we both have permanent jobs in Australia waiting for us. The date isn’t set but I am certain we will both be back in Australia for my Dad’s ‘Off-the-hook’ 60th Birthday celebrations at the end of September. But we have a lot to cram in before then.
We have 3 house sits to go (plus a sneaky trip to Wales) to complete our Ultimate British Road Trip which takes us to some completely new areas of England. Post house sitting plans are slowly but surely coming together but one thing is decided – The tent is coming back out because we are road tripping for 1 month in Norway! #NOrWAYJOSE
How do we afford this?
Not everyone is a budgeteer however without a strong guideline for spending our travels don’t work. We’ve lived for up to a year (numerous times) without any income and if those budget guidelines weren’t set out from the get go we could wind up in a very messy situation.
So pretty early on we knew we needed to spend $500 (£300) a week or less to survive 5 months of travel before we needed to find work. That’s not too difficult with housesitting here in the UK. Now we decided that every dollar we spent under the weekly amount could go into a separate travel fund for the world travel adventures following the Ultimate British Road Trip (#NOrWAYJOSE). A goal like this is really good for me, it makes those quick splurges redundant when I know those savings will get me somewhere else I really want to go.
Recap: So we’ve kept our spending low (well, not fuel… we don’t stinge on road trip detours) and have saved up a nice little sum for what’s next.
Random Bit 1: For those who follow me on Snapchat, you probably think I’m a ‘lesbian cat lady’ or something and I’m sorry for that! I promise you, I do embrace other things than cuddling animals but I don’t have 3G and therefore can only snap when I’m in wifi.
Random Bit 2: New staple recipe I’m obsessed with: Chopped Thai Salad
Random Bit 3: ‘Westies’ may be THE coolest dogs on this planet (besides my own lil Penny)
Random Bit 4: Get involved with podcasts if you haven’t already. They have revolutionised my baths and long highway drives. My favs are No Filter by Mia Freedman, Mummamia Outloud, and the Messenger. Oh but start with this one, I listened to it today and it BLEW MY MIND – https://omny.fm/shows/osher-gunsberg/ep-176-michael-ware