Who Let the Dogs Out - Woof! Woof!
We have settled in easily to a new home. It is second nature to us at this point in our 3+ year journeying. Since we began June 22, 2015, this is "bed" #248 give or take a few variables due to Ky and I being in different places occasionally. People have very different reactions to that number depending on whether they love to travel, hate to travel or have severe reactions to thinking about living among other people's germs ;-)
We have genuinely enjoyed the many changes, or clearly we wouldn't still be doing it. Since we have no current plans to stop, there may be that many more again in 3 years.
What we have learned though is that we have a couple of preferred types of lodging and one type comes as a clear preference. I have probably mentioned before that hotels are last on the list. They are too impersonal, similar, and restrictive in size for differences in sleeping patterns, i.e. I hate sitting in a bathtub all night if I can't sleep.
Then there were the three nights in a tent, and while it wasn't as bad as I was anticipating (I'm just not a camping type of gal), I didn't want Ky to think it wasn't as bad as I was anticipating so that he would decide we should keep doing it, so I didn't let him know that it was really pretty fun. It was however, at Osh Kosh, probably one of my top 10 best experiences on our journey. It's all about planes and flying, and, well, you know I just love those things, so camping was okay.
Time shares have been another option, and they are generally quite nice lodgings and they work beautifully for some people. We have had them for years and weeks kept building up in our account when we didn't have the flexibility to use them easily, primarily because we always been spontaneous travelers without a fixed schedule. We just recently managed to use all of our points and weeks, and then we were able to get rid of of them. If you have them and want to get rid of them, the secret words to know are "deed back". Email me if you want more information on how to do it. It turns out that they are a very expensive way to live, which can be okay if you are on vacation, but not as a means to day-to-day living. The other issue with them is generally you aren't going where you necessarily would choose to go to use them. You are going where there is availability and hopefully it's an okay place that your'e okay with going to. We are happy to be done with the inevitable maintenance price increases, special assessments and keeping up with the dates that payments are due.
Staying with friends and family has been wonderful and we enjoy it and appreciate it immensely. We love to see and visit them, but we are careful to limit our stays so that we don't wear out our welcome. We really don't want to have our friends avoid answering our calls, or saying, "Oh no, they're back again!", blocking our texts or phone calls or moving without telling us to avoid a visit! When we go back to our home area, we usually get an Airbnb and then try to get together with at least a few friends and we see different people each time. We would love to see everyone, but we are usually only in town one to a few days at most.
And that leads to Airbnb's. We simply love Airbnb. We keep a spreadsheet that Ky started right at the beginning of our journey to keep track of everywhere we've stayed. We have enjoyed 101 Airbnb stays! Amazing - that was even more than I thought! Well, we enjoyed 99 of them, and that's an incredibly high satisfaction rate. The two that weren't up to snuff were not unsafe, just very odd, and they make for great stories, but that's for a different blog post. In most all of our stays, the owners were in their home with us, which is what we prefer. We rarely book a whole place just for ourselves. When we have, it was usually because we knew we would be getting over jet lag or having to leave at odd hours due to travel schedules. We prefer to meet new people and we are so fortunate to receive local knowledge from them. We have become good friends with some of our hosts and look forward to staying with them again in the future. You don't get that in a hotel!
But there is one type of accommodation that we enjoy probably even more than Airbnbs now. We are bonafide pet sitters as you can see from our web site www.coffeys2go.com . We have done 22 home and pet sits over the last two years and it has been so much fun! I will need to write another whole blog about some of our sits, but for now, suffice it to say that we have enjoyed every single pet and home. Well, except that one time when we thought the sneaky cat had somehow escaped the house... it was just soundly sleeping under the bed! That wasn't enjoyable, but at least we hadn't lost a cat! Talk about relief!
We just moved yesterday to a new home, and we have two beautiful dogs that we get to love on for awhile. We get to treat them like they are our own pets and love them and have fun with them and then, just like grandkids, we get to give them back to their mom when she returns. Their mom gets to go off and enjoy her vacation and not worry about her pets and the added expense of expensive kennel fees. The two sweet dogs get to stay home instead of going to a kennel or someone else's home and be loved on and played with by people who are so happy to be with them. Loving to travel and having your own pets is very incompatible, but this arrangement allows us to have both. And... in addition, like Airbnbs, we make new friends, with both people and pets. How sweet is that deal for everyone involved.
Many people ask us how we find pet sitting opportunities. Tune in tomorrow for the answer to that. I have to go let the dogs out ;-)
Hugs from all of us in Tranent, Scotland, including Finn & Belenus!