Fiona got her first pet when she was about five. They were two small zebra fish that a friend of ours gave us. Of course when we decided to travel, taking the fish along wasn’t an option. So I found a friend willing to take them. Fiona does miss them at times. And like any child sometimes wishes she had a pet cat or dog. So it’s been kind of nice for her to have pets to care for as we house sit.
So far everyone we’ve house sat for has had pets. Our very first house sitting job for friends in Roseville included caring for their two mini dachshunds, Bob and Bentley. We made sure they got fresh water, food, treats and lots of play time with Fiona. Our second house sitting job in British Columbia included caring for their dog Brodie. Brodie is the ‘perfect’ dog. He and Fiona loved to play and go for walks.
The last time we paid rent was September 2010 for the house we lived at in Roseville California. Since then our accommodations haven’t cost us anything. Instead we’ve stayed a night or several with family, friends, Couch Surfers or have had house sitting jobs. Two nights someone did put us up in a hotel since they’d arranged a couple of business meetings for us.
For the first time in seven months we’re paying for a place to stay. We decided to spend six weeks in Wisconsin to be able to visit Joel’s mom and help her out. However the building she lives in only allows visitors for up to two weeks. That meant finding another place to stay for four weeks.
We tried to find Couch Surfers in the area to see if there might be someone we could stay with for a bit – nothing. We tried to find a house sitting job nearby – nothing. We asked friends and family in the area if they knew of anyone who might be willing to put us up at a low cost or in exchange for services we could provide. We checked everywhere for a place we could possibly rent for just one month.
You’ve heard that the Canfield family is going to travel and live a nomadic lifestyle. What does that mean? What are we really doing? Let me explain.
We are no longer renting a place to live. We’re packing our Kia Sedona minivan with our clothing, Joel’s musical instruments and equipment, important books and papers, Fiona’s books, toys and school books. The few important possessions we want to hold on to but don’t need on a daily basis are being stored by our close friends. They’ve also told us that anytime we’re back in the Sacramento area we have a place to stay with them.
We’re taking our packed van and we’re going to travel the U.S. and Canada for the next year or two. We’d like to spend extended periods of time in one area or location before moving on to another location. That would allow us time to get to know an area and the people. To accommodate that we have plans to house sit for people who need someone to care for their house and even their pets while they’re away for an extended period of time – perhaps vacationing or traveling themselves. Our house sitting service provides the homeowner with peace of mind and provides us a place to stay and work. So no, we do not charge a fee for this service.
How will we make money? The way we always do. We will continue to run our virtual businesses as we always have – creating and maintaining websites, running my virtual assistant business, coaching and training new and aspiring virtual assistants, writing books, helping people find their ‘why’.
Will this be a good thing for Fiona? We think so. Already she’s made new friends in British Columbia. And in October she’ll get to meet her great Uncle Denny and Grandma Mumsie who’s never seen her. She’ll learn about places, people, different cultures – not just from a book, but from real life experiences. We will continue to read the Bible with Fiona at bed time and teach her God’s values. She’s going to meet other members of our worldwide spiritual brotherhood and make new friends.
How long will we do this? Who knows. When we decide to stop, we’ll let you know.
I’m sure you have other questions. We’d love to answer them for you. So just post your question in the comment section and we’ll post our reply.