What is a house sit without a road trip in between!!!! Iconic movies have been made about them. Long running family tales of adventures gone wrong have been told about them. To say nothing about that small scar from a paper cut that has morphed, to being savaged by a ferrel squirrel. Road trips will rekindle those long lost memories from our childhood in everyone. Even if you were just going to Grandpa and Grandmas place.
A road trip in our family always brings up a Griswold’s comparison and hoots of laughter around the kitchen table. My dad is the quintessential father figure in the driver’s seat cracking the one liners. Mum playing the straight man in the passage seat keeping dad inline, saying Stu…. the children. In the background the unruly kids farting, belching and saying are we there yet!!! Such great memories from those long never ending road trips. Sooner or later we have all experienced our own version of a Griswold trip to Wally World.
Joining the Ranks
Carolyn and I joined the ranks of House and Pet Sitters in August 2018. We have jumped in whole hog, we sold our unit on the beach, and our lovely car and pretty much all of our possessions to be able to finance fulltime house sitting. Crazy you say!!! Maybe, would be the response. But after years of working to make the banks rich and doing that dirty word…. WORK. Definitely no, would be our final response. How much worse could it be? After all, if we have a year off and travel the world, experience new things, meet new people and oh yeah, some road trips thrown into the mix. If we then have to come back and start over again, well, so be it.
We have now completed two house sits in Australia and nearly completed a month long sit in Colorado. Our next house sit is in Wisconsin three weeks away, so what to do? You got it “Road Trip”!!!
As Clark Griswold says: “Getting there is half the fun”.
But Carolyn my wife would say: “The other half is planning it”
So, all good road trips require decent planning!!!
With house sitting we have a plan of where we would like to sit and when. Therefore, we spend time researching house sitting websites to find sits we believe to be a good fit for us. We then go about applying, and hopefully skyping with home owners and fingers crossed, getting that house sit. Planning your road trip is no different. Hence the basic structure of where and when, is always a wonderful place to begin. Twenty one days was our allotted road trip to reach Madison, Wisconsin from Loveland, Colorado. Thus, having our basic frame work I could now, fill in our itinerary. The must see places to incorporate into our trip were Denver, Grand Teton NP, Yellowstone NP, Mount Rushmore and Le Claire. In addition, allow days for travel, time to sight see and for any unforeseen situations must be considered.
Having now organized, what I believed would be a great road trip I enter the data it into a excel spreadsheet. Tweaking it to cater for the distance needed to travel versus time to relax and enjoy the trip, I must admit it took a considerable amount of time. Even though this took over a week to fine tune and get the finalized itinerary, it would be worth it in the long run. Adding to this I have also incorporated a list of sights to visit within our major stops. Hopefully this will cover most, if not all of the things we wish to see.
Benjamin Franklin said: “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”
So, what has our road trip got in store for us?
We are now 16 days into our road trip and what an adventure we are having. Having seen some truly amazing sights, that fill our soul with pure joy as we sit in awe of Gods wonderful creation. Photography is a major passion and to capture the Grand Tetons in all its splendour was one of the highlights of our road trip. The below image was captured there, just one of many.
Equally important to the majestic scenery, has been the array of wildlife that we have encountered along our travels. Creatures that we Aussies have only seen in movies, tv, pictures or zoos. To actually observe them in their natural habit has been exhilarating to say the least. Bears have been the number one creature on our list and though not exactly in their native surrounds, seeing them in a nature park was pretty close. The image below was taken at Bear Country USA just outside Rapid City South Dakota.
Having travelled well over 4800 kilometres so far and planning to the best of our abilities there was always a chance that something may go astray and of course it did. Believing I had considered all the places we wanted to visit, two notable spots I had completely forgotten about. This is where allowing for any unforeseen issues in our plan saved my butt. I had missed Little Bighorn Battlefield Monument and Devils Tower in my original travel plan. They added considerably more travel time in between 2 legs of our road trip. But as I had allowed for this we could easily accommodate this extra travel. The other dilemma we came up against was the weather, which as we all know can be very unpredictable. Mount Rushmore was a priority point to see, and I had allocated three days in Rapid City to relax and see the surrounding sights.
The day we arrived the weather decided to give us a glimpse of what we could expect over the coming winter in the USA and Europe. Day 1 we went up to Mount Rushmore and we couldn’t see anything because of the snow and mist. Second day the weather deteriorated, no chance of seeing anything. Final day last chance to see it, but I knew in the back of my mind we could actually extend our stay in Rapid City 2 more days if needed. I had made the next few travelling days only very small mileage trips. So, we could stay and then just drive a big day if needed, but lucky for us we had a small window where the snow and mist cleared and hallelujah we saw the Presidents.
As a result of our preparation we were able to easily adjust our trip to overcome the problems that had arisen.
Our Field of Dreams
“Sometimes the most scenic roads in life are the detours you didn’t mean to take.” – Angela N. Blount
The quote above was so apt, that on our penultimate day we didn’t know what sights were around to see. Therefore, I typed into the Navman places to see around me and one popped up. We were surprised, as neither of us knew that this spot even existed. Let alone was in the vicinity, but we were excited to go and visit it. Can you guess where it is from the picture below?
This famous quote is from the movie “If you build it, he will come”. You would be correct if you said, “Field of Dreams”. This movie has now become sort of a theme for our life as house sitters. When Ray hears the voice again and it says: “Go the distance”. How many times in your life have you started a journey, but due to life’s distraction, never finished. As house sitters this can happen due to many circumstances having difficulties getting sits, losing your passion or any number other issues that hinder you from going the distance. Balance is the key.
Balance for House Sitters
We are loving house sitting as a way of life and we hope it becomes our way of life permanently. The joys and no doubt some lows will come. There will also be times when we just need a break to rejuvenate our souls. Finding a balance is a crucial part of the life of a house and pet sitter, so being able to discover a way to revitalize yourself is of upmost importance. Carolyn and I love to travel so our way to refresh is to do road trips. This current road trip has been wonderful to just slow down and smell the roses. As Jaime Lyn says:‘’Jobs fill your pockets, but adventures fill your soul.’’
Now that our road trip is approaching its end, we look forward to our new house sit in Madison and bonding with the 2 dogs we are to take care of, for 10 days. With a fresh outlook and renewed enthusiasm our road trip has provided us that balance we all so richly deserve. Our motto “Travel Is Sweet” (Dream It, Experience It, Treasure It) is ringing true in our lives.
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Travel is Sweet (Dream It, Experience It, Treasure It)
Find Your Flights
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Book Your Accommodation
Booking.com is our go to tool for booking hotels. It always gives us a large variety of hotels at great rates. We also use Airbnb as a wonderful alternative for those places you may want to go and live with the locals.
Always Get Travel Insurance
Travel insurance is a must and this is speaking from experience. Comprehensive protection will protect you against illness, injury, theft, accidents and cancellations. Just in case something goes wrong, heaven forbid. We never travel without it, having used it several times over the years. World Nomads have years of experience and knowledge to look after all your travel needs.
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