Creating and organizing meetups - chat thread

Hi! Curious about other solo sitters’ experiences connecting with locals or even other travelers while on sits. For longer sits it is nice to have some human contact to share a meal on occasion or explore a bit with. Curious if others have used any websites (I have tried Meet-up with little luck in the US) or have other suggestions on how to meet folks while on sits, especially during these pandemic times.

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Freebird - I had a meetup with Amparo when we were both sitting in the SW twin cities suburbs. We had a nice lunch and good conversation.
I was going to meet with another TH person in the Hudson Valley at the end of Dec but with the Omicron situation, we didn’t get together.
I have reached out to old friends in areas on some of my sits and gotten together about a half-dozen times, although Covid had made that tough.
Keep working on it - by posting my dates on this message board - there are geo-specific threads.
I’m a platelet donor through the Red Cross and have scheduled donations on some of my sits - Calif and Minnesota - but given Covid, the Red Cross is really keeping folks separate in the after donation refreshment canteens so that really is only a brief encounter.
You might also look at web sites like eatwith.com or airbnb experiences - you pay for the meetups - a local tour guide or home-cooked meal.
I’ve seen some folks that look for one-time volunteer opportunities
tom

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And a great time we had. I am currently sitting for HOs that are also sitters, off to two sits, one of which is also a sitter.
When we network, share where we are, engage with folks here on the forum or just simply share your stories, people are looking and the interest in connecting becomes greater.
I have had several members from the forum reach out. Sometimes the timing is off for an actual physical meet but the connection is there.
Enjoy @Freebird. Great user name btw.

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Hi @Freebird
I am not a solo traveller but I use sitting as a means of catching up with friends and family all over the world.
In your case, are you looking after dogs at all? If so, ask the HO if there is a dog walking group in the area?
If you are staying in a small community, have a look at notice boards to see what is going on, coffee mornings, talks, Womens Institutes (but you maybe a man!).
Ask the HO for ideas.
Just go into a cafe for a coffee and people usually want a chat
If you have a dog with you then everyone will want to talk to you!
I know @temba will also have lots of ideas for you
Good luck

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If you’re an active person, there may be a run/walk/masters swim/mtn bike/etc etc group you can tag along with.

If you’re a Rotarian or Lion’s member or a toastmaster etc, there may be a chapter in the area you’re sitting.

Another option is there may be a Hash House Harriers group around. You don’t have to drink but do need a sense of humour! https://www.gotothehash.net/

In my early sits, I was just a tad too far from x or y to join up with others & not a great idea :frowning:.

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Hi @Freebird. Like you I do many sits as a solo sitter, both here in Australia and the UK. In the UK my sits are generally in villages where I like to meet the locals. I have attended morning coffees at the church and been overwhelmed with friendship; attended church services; joined walking groups; been to a village lunch; attended WI meetings and been to local concerts and performances. I’ve loved every moment of these experiences and friendships have been formed. I usually check out village noticeboards plus ask owners what is going on in the village during my stay. If I was on a long term sit I would involve myself in the local charity shop.
I have an upcoming sit where the owner and her dog belong to an “informal” dog walking group every morning. She has sent me photos of each member and their dog/s plus the cafe owners where she gets her morning coffee so I feel as though I know these people who I will be walking with.
As @Itchyfeet mentions, dogs are a great way to meet and talk to other folk.
Good luck!

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This is a good question @Freebird and so I’ve split this out into a separate topic within this category.

Before the pandemic we regularly arranged meetups with other sitters but never found a really effective app or way to do this as most don’t allow for future dates, focusing more on where you are right now. Our meetups were mostly connections through social sites and word of mouth.

While on a longer trip in the US we also tried Meetup but without much success. Instead we reached out to several local organisation and offered to talk about house sitting. This created a great response and wonderful connections… we could have stayed in Austin for months and months as word spread! We did several business breakfast talks, rotary, hostel associations etc. which led to all sorts of group invites. This created a wider connection with locals but also travelers, although less house sitters. It led to us creating our own app for meetups, however, we’ve since stopped this due to the ongoing unrecoverable costs involved :slight_smile:

But ultimately… we’ve always found the best way to create meetups is through connecting in the community and what better place than this growing forum full of like-minds! We really hope to grow this aspect of the community and help facilitate these wonderful connections.

Always very interested to hear how others do make their own connections in the wider community.

p.s. we also found in Australia dog-parks were an amazing way to connect with others … we regularly encountered both locals, other sitters, and dog walkers to chat with and arrange get togethers.

TrustedHousesitters have now been involved with several events in San Diego, and so that’s definitely a watch this space!! You’ll see those advertised in our News and Events category here in the forum :slight_smile:

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I must admit, I’ve never managed to share a meal with locals on any sits. When I’m dog walking I will always talk to other dog walkers but it’s never led to anything other than that. I did chat to a woman at a bus stop in New Zealand and she used me for a project at University, so I arranged to meet up for coffee and cake. I sometimes have housesits near friends or family so will meet up with them. I do feel lonely at times…

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Hi there, this is a very interesting post. I noticed there hasn’t been any meet ups in Australia but I will watch this space.

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Hi @HappySunflower … I’m slowly putting up the country posts… I’ll get the Australia / NZ one up today or tomorrow and hopefully that will prompt some potential get togethers in Oz for the end of summer :slight_smile:

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HI @Smiley
Your story reminded me of the only time we have been to New Zealand which is the other side of the world to us.
We were sitting outside a coffee shop one morning with the 2 dogs when a lady came up to me to ask how I was as she had not seen me for a while! It turned out I looked like one of her friends. We then met every morning for the next 2 weeks.

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I think we’ve got the best chance with other dog walkers. Btw, I’m English in England currently so NZ is the other side of the world for me too! I’m looking forward to going back as soon as we can :pray::sunglasses:

That sounds good. I’m in Melbourne and would love to connect with housesitters around here.

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I’m sure there are many house sitters and owners in and around Melbourne who would love to meetup and chat travel, pets and house sitting! I’ve posted the Australian Meetup topic which you’ll find here…

If you pop your Melbourne request and the dates you are there, hopefully you’ll get some responses :slight_smile:

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I would try the local libraries for local events and posters in different places also have info on local events or just get talking to the locals

4 posts were merged into an existing topic: Meetup Opportunities - Australia

What an awesome life you guys lead. :slight_smile:

Lol yes! - We booked the first two to spend some of the summer at the seaside - Then found out that Brighton Gay Pride was happening just after we left. So we booked a third to extend our stay…Then the first booking asked if we would go back in September - the date fitted perfectly and she is so lovely that we didn’t like to say no!
It is longer than we usually like to stay in one place but there is certainly worse places to spend a few months - although we will definitely be moving on after our 4th sit - you can get too much of a good thing :wink:

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We are having a great time - In September 2020 we let our apartment, sold or gave away everything we owned that would not fit into two suitcases and set off to embrace this nomadic lifestyle. Our only regret is not doing it sooner!
So far we have only done Europe but hope to cast our net further in 2023 = watch this space!

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If we were 10-15 years younger, and didn’t have kids/grandkids nearby, we would seriously consider that. Or maybe for a year to start. Ah well, we have a pretty awesome life now anyway so I can’t complain.

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