Last August we held an event for virtual assistants in Vancouver British Columbia while house sitting in the area.
Kathy had found our event online and registered. We’ve kept in touch over the past year by email and calls. Today we received this email from Kathy:
Hi Sue & Joel,
Just wanted to let you know how appreciative I am for the encouragement you gave me last year when you were in Vancouver and the few months after when I was so unsure.
I have just landed my first “big” contract. It is for a business coaching firm in San Jose. We got together because of a LinkedIn VA discussion. They were asking if it was possible for their meetings to be transcribed live. All of the VAs that answered said, no, you had to record it first. They said their meetings could not be recorded. Then I came on and said it could be transcribed live. I did a test run for them to show how it could work and we are now working together several times a week.
I never would have had the courage to go to these forums let alone say I could do it if it was not for the encouragement you had given to me.
Again, thanks, and enjoy your nomad life.
Kathy told us the company was looking for 80% accuracy and she got 90% so they were very impressed! And as Joel told her, “Real-time transcription has to be nearly unique. In cases where there’s a need, you probably have NO competition!”
We’re glad to have been a part of helping Kathy succeed as a transcriptionist. Visit Kathy’s website at http://andrewsvirtualtranscripts.com/
Coronado is my favorite part of San Diego. The historic Hotel del Coronado was the largest wooden building in the US when it was built more than a century ago . . . and it still is, today. Then we cross the enormous Coronado Bridge, completed and opened in July of 1969, the month before my family moved to San Diego.
The ‘zippers’ I keep talking about in the video are two machines that move large concrete blocks from one side of the middle lane to the other side on the bridge. It’s a 5-lane bridge, so in the morning, it’s 3 lanes inbound to San Diego, 2 lanes into Coronado. Late in the morning, the two zipper-mobiles drive across the bridge. As the front of the vehicle comes to the concrete block, the block is lifted on a conveyor under the machine, then dropped off at the opposite corner of the zipper. Each one is only long enough and wide enough to move the blocks half a lane, so the two travel in mated pairs, moving the blocks across the entire center lane twice each day. It’s fun to watch; the weirdest mix of high tech and low tech I’ve seen.
The incidental music is “Can’t Get It Out Of My Head” from ELO’s “Eldorado”
Catching up on some more video from our Vancouver trip. Someone told us about this swinging scary bridge 150 above the floor of Lynn Canyon, so of course, we had to go see.
Fiona was very brave. I don’t know what Sue was, but she seemed to like it.
Here’s proof that I crossed it. Twice. Will I cross it again? Ever? Dunno.
We crossed the 49th parallel heading north at 9:15 am Monday the 2nd of August.
We crossed the 49th parallel heading south at 3:30 pm Wednesday the 25th of August after spending 3 weeks, 2 days, 6 hours & 15 minutes in Canada
Still to come: statistics (miles, dollars, etc.), impressions, achievements, and more.
We loved house sitting in British Columbia for Caitlyn. It’s been fun and we appreciate the trust she and Ian put in us in taking care of their home and dog. When they came home for one day before the next leg of their trip and then took Brodie their dog with them he seemed to miss us. So I think we did a pretty good job.
It was very important to us that they felt we cared for their home the way they would care for their home. We were there for three weeks so I made sure that in addition to neatening up daily I took one day each week to clean. That included:
- sweeping the hardwood floors upstairs and downstairs
- washing the bedding and towels
- vacuuming rugs
- cleaning bathrooms – tub, shower stall, sinks, toilets
- cleaning the kitchen – sink, counter tops, stove top
- taking the trash out each week
Daily we made sure to:
- run the dishwasher as needed
- wipe down the kitchen table and counters
- neaten up
- bring in the mail
- feed and walk the dog
Caitlyn had given us very specific information regarding the pantry and what we could use and what were ‘hands off’ items. Though we could use what was in the fridge, when the salad dressing ran out, we made sure to replace it with a new bottle.
It was our goal that when Ian and Caitlyn came home they would find their house in as good of condition as when they left it. There should be no reason for them to come home and have to clean house or do a load of towels or run the dishwasher. We hope we fulfilled that goal and that they will be happy to recommend us as house sitters and welcome us back again.
A note from Joel: my favorite house guests are those who know how to be invisible. Our goal is for Caitlyn and Ian to come home and, at first, wonder whether anyone was even here, and then, as the days pass, discover that the tiny hints of previous denizens are simply pleasant reminders.
So Ian and Caitlyn – here’s your chance. Let us know how we did and what we could have done better. And thank you again for allowing us to care for your home and precious Brodie!
We came across a strange-looking fruit here in British Columbia called the dragon fruit. Our friend Shannon told us it was a mild fruit somewhat like a Kiwi with a hint of coconut. We decided to buy one and try it out. It is quite mild and would be great in a fruit salad.
Oh, Joel’s baby dill pickle is not a dragon fruit – but I had to show how happy he was to get some.
If you’d like to learn more about the dragon fruit, there’s lots of information at Dragon-Fruit.biz.
Today has been a typical day for our family. Except we can do it as a location independent family. We did all the usual things we do when we’re living in our rented home in California – except we were able to do it from New Westminster British Columbia from the home were we’re house sitting and dog sitting.
We had our usual breakfast and lunch and the usual routine in Fiona’s non-school day. Well, we do have to make sure the dog eats and gets out regularly. Fiona loves that!
Sue was able to send out two client newsletters, Joel and Sue both had client coaching calls via Skype, updates were made to client websites, and preparations were made for next week’s group coaching call for virtual assistants. All the same things we would have done if we were in our home in California. But we aren’t tied down there as we are able to work from virtually anywhere as long as we have internet access. It’s great!
Would you like to work as a location independent virtual worker?
While we’re here in BC we plan to visit, if possible, all the Waves Coffee Shops in BC. Here’s your chance to meet the Nomad Canfield Family in person! Today, August 5th, we’ll be at the Waves on Columbia in New Westminster from 11:30 am to 12:30. On Monday, August 9th, you can find us at the Waves in Burnaby at Kingsway & Edmonds from 12:30 to 1:30 pm. We hope you can stop by and chat for a while. We love to meet new people!
Yesterday, Tuesday August 3, 2010, was our first full day in British Columbia. We slept with the windows open; it’s very quiet. As soon as I was up I took the dog for a walk and then came home to make our morning tea. Joel and I drank our tea while sitting on the front porch.
We set Fiona up with a laptop and she worked at one desk while I worked at another close by. Joel sat in a comfy chair in the living room a few feet away working away on his laptop. It was work as usual. We stopped at lunch and ate in the dining area that leads into the back yard through French doors. In the afternoon we had two business calls via Skype that went very well.
Fiona’s enjoying taking the dog for walks and making sure he has his food and water. Last night he was comfortable enough to sleep on his pillow in Fiona’s room. She loves to read in bed and has lots of books to read. We will have to go to the local library still. There’s a huge park nearby and tonight we may explore it. Fiona thinks it’s a forest and I’ve heard they may have an animal petting area.
Tomorrow we’ll go to the local Waves Coffee House and check it out. So if you happen to be in the area of New Westminster, come on by about 11:30 am and say hi!
Updated August 19, 2010 with this picture: