Hello from Maine! Anyone want a Lobstah?

Hello Fellow Sitters, My name is John, I’m 55, recently retired from teaching Middle School Science for the past 20 years. Recently divorced and no longer tied down by a mortgage, so “I’m free to do whatever I want any old time” name that tune! I discovered TrustedHousesitters when I was reading an article about a young couple who ended their lease on a very expensive apartment in San Fransisco and are now living in a van! Saving a great deal of money!
When I decided to retire last year my first thoughts were to convert a van into a camper and travel across the good old USA! Unfortunately, things don’t always turn out the way you want them to, the divorce and sale of the marital home did not occur until August of this year just in time for COVID to start ramping up. Even with this somewhat bleak COVID outlook, I signed up with TrustedHousesitters last week anyway! Hope springs eternal! Also, if I have to spend another winter in New England… Grrr :wink:

Any advice for a newbie flying solo I would greatly appreciate it!
I wish you all the very best and stay healthy and safe!
Thank you,
John
AKA Marco Polo

3 Likes

Welcome John! Covid seems to have done a number on all of our plans, huh!?

We (Shannon and Sergio), sold most of our belongings, packed a 36 liter backpack apiece and started our travel adventure over 4 years ago. It’s been an amazing experience and house sitting it a HUGE part of it. So congrats on making the big decision and jumping into it, COVD or not!

You certainly have the benefit of a vehicle, which many full-time sitters in the US don’t have (like us!). Our biggest tip is to stay positive, be personable and really work on having a good profile (detailed about who you are) and include pictures.

Best of luck! We’re happy to help and answer any questions we can along the way. Plus, there are many full time sitters on here, so you’re in good hands! :hugs:

1 Like

Welcome to our community forum John aka @MarcoPolo and another big welcome to TrustedHousesitters … BTW “I’m free” The Soup Dragons … we take it snow is not your thing :cold_face: although New England is beautiful.

Great move in joining the forum it’s the right place to come for help and advice, after all even the most experienced of members started from exactly the same place, all of us newbies once upon a time …

Thank you for joining, we hope you enjoy the conversations and connecting with new friends and fellow pet loving travellers and please don’t hesitate to ask any questions, make suggestions and give feedback.

Angela and #TeamTrusted

Hi Angelo, Very good on naming that tune! I actually love snow, I think it’s a change of scenery is what I really need. It’s been a rough couple of years so a little R&R with a furry friend and a new place to explore will be good for the soul!
Thank you
John

Here’s another name that tune “I don’t mind stealing bread from the mouths of decadence…”

1 Like

Hello Shannon and Sergio, What you’ve done is so awesome! You are living the Dream! I was lucky enough to do some traveling before I got married and when I was a teacher I made a list of all the cities and countries I had visited. My students were given a list of Latitude and Longitude, then they had to find the city or country. I wanted to show them that if I could travel all over the world, they could too! You don’t have to be rich or do the type of work that you had to travel for. I would tell them to forget going to Disney World or another Cruise, tell your parents you want to go to Ireland or Italy! It would probably cost the same and they would be hooked!
Thank you very much for introducing yourself and for your support! I greatly appreciate it!
John
PS I was just thinking that you have been without a vehicle of your own for the past four years! Talk about “Taking a Road Less Traveled”, no pun intended, well maybe :wink: It must give you a great feeling of freedom to not own a car!

2 Likes

Hi @MarcoPolo, good luck . Retirement sounds like it brings many changes in your life. Traveling brings rich experiences but on my side i feel free with a car. Much more than without and stuck to train or bus schedules.
With a car you can sit in remote homes, take the pets with you If you want to discover the area. It’s less easy without…
We wanted to eat lobsters in Maine, around Portland, drawn by signs of small places, but many of them having no licence to sell alcool, we were desappointed : eating lobsters, drinking Coke ?

1 Like

@MarcoPolo We were both fortunate enough to travel a bit as children, so we both had at least some understanding of life out side of the US. Your activity of giving coordinates is a clever one. And such great advice to forgo the theme park/cruise vacations! Even if it’s as simple as traditional road trip down Route 60 or just crossing the border to Mexico, the experience can be so much more impactful that a couple of rides and pictures with Disney characters.

Have you heard of Flyte? It’s a non-profit we recently discovered and absolutely love their mission. It was started by Nomadic Matt (a well known travel blog) with the goal to enable students to travel who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity.

And yes, it’s very freeing not to have a car! It can be a challenge at times but we don’t plan on going back to car ownership anytime soon! (Quick tip though, for anyone in the US considering selling their car, don’t cancel up your car insurance :wink:)

1 Like

Hello Shannon and Sergio, Thank you very much for the tip on Flyte. I’ll take a look at it and then pass it on to guidance counselors in underserved communities.
One of the reasons that I would have the kids do the “Where in the World is Mr. Kearney” activity, is to see that not everyone lives the charmed life that they do. Granted, that can be achieved by taking them to a Homeless shelter or an impoverished town or part of a city. In some countries, poverty is starker. I remember going to Jamaica on a training cruise with my school, from the bow of the ship we could see a large area of “homes” that were corrugated metal shacks. Not even a mile down the road was a cruise ship companies private resort, with high walls so the passengers and guests could not see the poverty that exists across the road.
Sorry, I’m not normally so cynical, I’m actually very laid back and happy with life. Under the current administration in the US, instead of seeing life through rose-colored glasses, the glasses make everything look dreary and hopeless. Unless of course, you’re a supporter.

Where are you now and where did you grow up, if you don’t mind me asking?
Thank you again for the Flyte information.
Take care and stay safe!
John

3 Likes

We agree, there’s walls built around the “charmed lives” and it becomes a way to not see the way others live. And it’s one thing to look over the gated wall and see it, and another to be a part of it and experience it. The most amazing thing is though, when you spend the time to get to know people, it becomes very quickly apparent that kindness, happiness and appreciation are completely independent of wealth and material things.

We’re currently in southern California where we both grew up. We’ve been very fortunate to be able to house sit near family (Oregon and California) over the last year, however have now taken a short leave from sitting to help Shannon’s aging parents. Although, we have a house sit lined up for Jan/Feb that’s near the beach with owners that have become like family to us, so we’re very excited!

Since it seems like you want a warmer winter this year, where is the camper van taking you? The open road is yours for the taking :wink:

1 Like