Sorry, it‘s been a while since we posted something on our blog.
Quite a few things happened during the past few months. Sitting still is not really an option for us 🙂
You might remember we decided to go to Australia for Christmas. We actually hadn’t been in a while (or at least I had not – due to Covid). Our original plan was to come back straight after Christmas. But, I was talking to some good friends and they were wondering why we just didn‘t stay longer in Australia. After all, we had to wait over the winter for the weather to warm up in Europe anyway. So, why not spend that time in Australia instead?
This got us thinking. It would be a lot easier to stay longer in Australia, but it is almost as expensive as Switzerland. And, we did not want to bother friends and relatives for months at a time.
Housesitting In Australia
So, by coincidence, I stumbled upon the idea of house/pet sitting. And, I got hooked immediately. Ever heard of it? The idea is quite simple:
- you take good care of people‘s pets while they‘re on holidays
- you get to stay in their house in return
After checking out several platforms we managed to secure 4 housesits. It can be quite difficult, but we FaceTimed the people, got to know each other and got selected. Even with no experience!
We were very happy! Not only did we get some amazing pets, we also got to stay in some beautiful houses (some would say mansions) and all for free! Sometimes you could even use their car! Crazy, right!
We covered half of our accommodation costs by doing this!
We had such a good time. Most of our housesits were around Sydney and we got to know a lot of different areas. We didn‘t do that much touristy stuff as we know the city already. We were happy to stay “home“ and take care of these great pets. It‘s actually amazing how quickly these animals trust you and how fast you get attached to them. We got all kinds of dogs and they were all great. We also learned a lot in a very short time. Especially since we are not super-experienced pet owners.
It was really hard to leave them behind too. At our last housesit near Perth (again in a beautiful area right by the ocean) the dog and cat were so adorable. We would have taken the dog into our suitcases if we could have. He was so cute! We even stopped by again on our way to the airport to say a final goodbye. Apparently, the dog had been sitting on our bed, waiting for us … God, which human being would do that?
So, our trip to Australia was great: the perfect mixture of catching up with family and friends, some fantastic housesits and a bit of holidays. And, we discovered housesitting!
This housesitting business is definitely something we will continue to do whenever it fits into our schedule. And I think it’s pretty clear that once we get settled somewhere, we have to get a dog.
Back To Switzerland…
Once back in Switzerland, it was all hands on deck to get ready for our next adventure as we still wanted to go East. Insurances needed to be adjusted (once you leave Europe, it‘s all a little more complicated), passports renewed, car registration changed etc. etc. A never-ending list. But, I like lists and specifically ticking things off a list, so I was in my element. We were only in Switzerland for a very short time, so we had to hurry.
Our Plans Had Changed, Again
It is still our dream to go to Iran and the Stans (Uzbekistan, Tajikistan etc). However, due to the ongoing issues in Iran and Ukraine/Russia, it is very hard to get there without taking some big risks. Some people do travel across, but it is at your own risk (according to all embassies).
We talked a lot about it. And it’s tempting to go. Quite a few people do it and have no problems. But, you never know if some crazy guard is going to arrest you somewhere for no reason – so we are not going to take the risk. There are other ways to get to the Stans, so we will get there, just not in our van.
I feel very sorry for the local people. They get somehow punished. They are lovely people with a very interesting culture and no one to share it with.
We already see a lot of people in their vans turning around or selecting other destinations like the Middle East, Africa, the US or South America. It‘s a shame that the world has become such a mess in the last few years!
So, we will do part of our original trip and will travel through Turkey, Georgia and Armenia. There is still a lot to discover in these beautiful countries. Of course, we want to go to the mountains and are therefore a bit tied to the seasons. On top of that, Turkey has a complicated visa system (when you travel in your own car), so it‘s not all that clear how long we can stay in each country.
Ok, that‘s it for the moment. Our van is parked in a beautiful bay in Turkey on the Datça Peninsula. So far the wild camping is pretty good, but we are not in the touristy areas just yet. Turkey is still very much asleep along the coastline. Lots of stuff is either closed or they are setting up for the summer season.
This suits us just fine. The water is freezing but Ash already went in for a quick dip. The people are really friendly and always up for a chat.
We will send a Turkey update soon and I will try to get more active on my Insta-account as most of the current travel info is found on Instagram. Through Instagram, we also get in touch with people who are doing similar things/routes and that‘s pretty cool. Unfortunately, I just can‘t get the hang of it, so it takes me ages to post something. I really need an Insta-star to teach me the basics…
More news later!