The upsides of house sitting

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Flowers and vegetables in the garden

There are many things that are good about house sitting for others. We have  written earlier about how little we’ve payed for our accomodation over the first ten months without a home.

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Ready for morning ride

There are numerous other cool, fun, nice, tasty and friendly reasons why we like house sitting for others. Right now we stay at a small farm with lots of fresh food that we’re allowed to eat while we take care of the place and all of the animals.

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Fresh chili

Sure, it’s just so much one can eat, but to get to harvest all of these wonderful things is lots of fun, and makes the watering, care and weeding all the better.

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Lovely raspberries

On the down side, we found traces from a mouse earlier today – not our favourites… But, a dip in the pool usually puts a smile on our faces!

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Pool with a view

And the horses, cats, chickens and sheep are a real treat for us animal lovers!

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Anders view from this morning

Wivan is practicing for her future as a cow girl, riding on a horse and having one extra by the hand.

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Happy horse after a mud roll

Today is one of our “watering days”, when bushes and hedges need to be watered. So, there are things to do every day, small tasks like feeding animals, harvesting and taking care of things around the house.

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What we find though, is that those little things usually are fun and that we like to help other people.

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Beautiful cale

We learn new things, just by those daily assignments, and appreciate the possibility we have to try out different ways of living. Along the way we have also gotten to know amazing people, friends for life, and seen places we would never have visited otherwise.

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Fresh walnuts from the trees

It still is amazing to us to follow the weather here in southern France, compared to where we used to live. Here it’s still possible to plant fresh salads and count on their survival without cover. And when we water it now, we know our hosts will benefit from it several months ahead.

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The salad that will be served in November

So, there are many up-sides to house- and pet sitting in different places, and as Anders realized earlier today – this is rather different from a Tuesday in the office!

With sunshine,
Anders and Wivan

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When dreams come to life

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Morning reading before breakfast

Have had one of the best days of my life today. This far in life, that is.

After breakfast I got to get out horse back riding with one of the friends who host me this week. The sun was shining, I had a very nice horse, good company and the scenery was astonishing.
I love horses and have been riding for about 30 years. To ride in this part of France was a dream I didn’t realized I had before I was out there!

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Saddle and head piece

After riding I took a swim in the pool and then had lunch. All was calm and peaceful, just like my mind.

In the afternoon we did some work, and I have spent most of the day outside with sun bathing inbetween.

Why this day has been so good probably has more to do with my state of mind and being rather than the actual activities. Well, that’s really how it always is – we can do wonderful things and yet feel crappy. And we can do boring things and have a great experience.

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Afternoon coffee by the pool

Today the combination of activities, setting and state of mind made it a wonderful day for me that I will remember forever.

Until next time!

//Wivan

Can’t stop obsessing

As we wrote some week ago, we’re thinking and doing some research about what to do and where to go next winter. The place we’ve gotten several hints about is Costa Rica with its beautiful beaches, forests, warm but not too warm weather, growing coffee, bananas and cocoa (!), a rich wild life and possibilities to surf and talk Spanish.

Picture: wavetribecompany.com

Picture: wavetribecompany.com

But we’re also talking about Bahamas and the romantically beautiful Maldives…

Swiming pigs in Bahamas. Picure: grandisleresort.com

Swiming pigs in Bahamas. Picure: grandisleresort.com

One of many islands in the Maldives. Picture: hoom.se

One of many islands in the Maldives. Picture: hoom.se

Since we don’t know yet what will happen at Anders’ work (they’re laying off about 50% of the staff), we don’t want to book anything or make too serious plans. But, we can still think about it and check some things out. Our hope is to continue travelling for an extended period of time, and in the thought process we’ve also opened up for other things: is there anything we really want to do, see and experience if there are no limitations?

What comes back in my dreams are the horse back tours; to check out new places and experience travelling by horse. And to be working with cattle or horses in a farm. This is not really something we’re gonna do together though, Anders have never been riding a horse and the obsession for horseback riding is mine. He’s open to try, but probably won’t go for a two or three week tour or a three month Workaway project with me.

When I started looking at different possibilities, my mind and imagination went totally wild! I started crying when reading about and seeing pictures of tours in Mongolia and love watching the images of cowboys and cowgirls riding on the wide plains in the US. Excitement and happiness fills me when seeing people on horses in the summer landscape of southern France or Bulgaria. I just can’t stop obsessing about it.

Picture: inthesaddle.com

Picture: inthesaddle.com

This has been a dream of mine for so many years, to go riding in different countries in the summer or to travel by horse on Iceland for weeks at a stretch. It all comes back to life now when I’m seeing broader possibilities.

Riding on Iceland. Picture: ishestar.se

Riding on Iceland. Picture: ishestar.se

Through the network of Workaway, it might be possible to travel, work 4-5 hours per day at a ranch or farm and go riding and staying at the place for free. Maybe even work with horses and cattle as part of the daily chores.

Not having to pay for the stay and instead offer my hours is a good way to make trips like these less expensive. Who wouldn’t want a Swedish cowgirl coming to work?! I’m also looking for not-so-perfect-and-polished places, meaning I wouldn’t want to stay at a 5-star hotel but rather in clean sheets at a ranch, or in a sleeping bag in a jurt or tent.

Picture: thehideout.com

Picture: thehideout.com

It’s so much fun to let out the girlish dreams and excitement about this riding trip/exploring I’ve kept for so long. And though I’m travelling together with my husband, it’s also of most importance that we do whatever we feel we long to do, otherwise none of us will be happy.

So, during his trip to Sicily this coming September, he’s going with a good friend and they’re gonna drive motorcycles around the island. That’s one of his dreams. And I’ll be surfin’ in Portugal instead.

Gonna stop looking at riding trips and be where I’m at now; in Flores. It’s May and this is where we are at the moment :-).

Take care and keep dreaming!
// Wivan