Housesit Acquired: Stuttgart
Locked and loaded, finally been offered a housesit over Christmas. I've been keeping my eye on the THS website, creating alerts, registering interest - anything to help guide me past Athens. I speak to so many expats who live by the 'just decide the day before' - I hate that.
I'm a little older, I don't have any special transferrable skills (like developing), and we're in the middle of pandemic. Hardly the time to be taking chances on travel.
Getting the offer in my inbox made me jump with joy. Three weeks in a sleepy village outside of Stuttgart, with two older dogs in tow.
It's helped me work backwards, and to be fair, changed the entire plan around. The list now goes as follows:
- Athens, Greece (3.5 weeks)
- Skopje, North Macedonia (3 nights)
- Zagreb, Croata (4 nights)
- Budapest, Hungary (4 nights)
- Stuttgart, Germany (3 weeks)
I arrive in Stuttgart mid-December, after a good few weeks of buses and trains. Everything has been specifically set out to avoid getting an airplane. It's also been the cheapest option - meaning I'll be on bus for 12 hours in that leg to Croatia. I hope Serbia looks good from a bus window.
Stuttgart will be over the Christmas period, right into New Years. The property itself is in a valley, which will be interesting weather-wise, but I'm sure we'll survive. The city itself is 20 minutes on a train, and boasts some pretty cool food places and bar scenes. There's two car museums in Stuttgart, but I'm not interested in that. Give me the pretzels, give me the castles, give me the beer.
I wish my planning mind would stop here, but it just doesn't. With three weeks secured in Stuttgart, the next hurdle is determining if we can get work in this area, and where I can get my WHV. Will it even be necessary? I could be working fully remote at that stage. I'm on the computer almost everyday looking for remote options. Ideally, my efforts should be going to these freelancer sites, but as I say to my clients, make sure your work is perfect before showing someone. I feel like a bit more practise is necessary.
In my yoga class today, I reflected on passions in life. The reason I started this whole journey was discovering that the only true thing that brought me genuine happiness, was travelling. Not just trips, but earning money whilst discovering. Living like a local. Living exactly how you want, and moving on the minute another opportunity opens.
I'm obsessed. I've pushed my housesitting for almost 10 years to allow me the freedom of staying in places without paying for accommodation. I've done WOOFing, it's not for me. I need physical income and not in the form of a badly made family dinner and awkward conversation with people I'll never see again.
My mind wanders, I look at the options provided to me after Germany. And it goes on and on whilst I trawl websites finding contracted work and opportunities. My housesitting alert changes from 'After Athens' to 'After Stuttgart'.
Here's an alert - there's one for two pugs in Hamburg, end of Feb.
Time to dust off the application template, gotta be quick. Stay tuned!