Life of adventure, Want to be a housesitter?

Do you have a HOUSESITTER next door?

Well, if you do, have you said “Hello”?

There are many reasons to do so.

They will most probably be foreigners, not locals. 

With an, even more, higher likelihood to be from downunder.

As in New Zealand or Australia.

People with a yearning to travel, at a slow pace.

To experience a village, a town, the countryside, like a local.

So, like us, they will find chatting about life in the Northern Hemisphere and numerous other “things” quite fascinating. Honestly, we travellers are genuinely really interested in knowing local information from other people as well as from the folk who live in the house we are housesitting.

Go on strike up a conversation, with that couple who are walking a dog/s that you know.  Or a face that you don’t recognise, that you have seen on more than one occasion you have seen out and about in your community.

Having a chat.  It’s an excellent way for us visitors to learn more about your culture.  

We have been fortunate to have had some marvellous experiences within local communities along our journey as Global Housesitters.  You can never have enough engaging conversations or the opportunity to make new friends.

If the answer is yes to having someone new next door.  

Here are a few neighbourly things that you could do:

  • Having a coffee morning with other neighbours, ask them along.  Sometimes the act of being asked is all that is needed to feel welcome when you are a visitor in a new community.

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  • They may be able to bake some scones to show you how it is done from another country.  Or even something more exotic like Chocolate Afghans or Anzac Biscuits.
  • Do you belong to a cycling group?  Ask them along if you have found that they are into cycling.
  • Need a helping hand for a moment, and no one is about?  Most people who housesit are a very approachable bunch. From many various backgrounds.  With quite a few skills under their belt.
  • Do you have a particular interest in some historical house that may interest newcomers to your neck of the woods?  Let them know.  Drop off a pamphlet.
  • If you don’t have the time for idle chit-chat, then a friendly smile and wave can do wonders for everyone’s day.
  • Have you seen them walking your neighbour’s dogs?  Introduce yourself you could have more in common than you think.
  • Want to learn more about a different culture?  If you see them in the pub, have a chat over a pint.
  • Invite them over for a meal and ask to bring a dessert or perhaps something else.
  • Have a local fete, market, school fair?  Go on over and let them know.  They may even help out if they have the time or are going to be around.
  • Get them involved in your latest tree planting.  Tree huggers come in all ages and sizes.
  • Small local events are not always advertised to visitors, let them know about it.
  • Know of a great cafe or pub, tell them about it.  
  • Share local knowledge, as in the good and bad of a town.  E.g. Parking is terrible, leave the car behind, or at a destinated area.
  • If time is an issue, just smile, say hello or wave.

As I was thinking through this subject of getting to know your neighbour, while out walking the dog’s, as you do on a sunny afternoon.  It dawned on me, like a bright light on a dim, foggy night, what can I say I was tired that day.

That the issue of “Who is next door?”,  really is not just about having housesitters next door it is a very generic concept of getting back to that way of life where community bonds were once very active.  Where getting to know who was around you was a thing to do.  Most of us grew up knowing the neighbours, some more preferable for chats than others.  The kettle was always available with a cheery voice yelling out;

“Want a cuppa, the kettle is on, come on over.”

Yes, there is no doubt many strong communities out there, though I would hazard a guess that they are in the minority.  The kettle replaced by a sausage between a couple of chunks of bread and a cold beer.

Community spirit can still be vibrant even when our societies are more mobile, that modern twist can make a community even more interesting.  Though some people make friends far easier than others, some need more prompting, and some are more chatty.

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Each connection, each stitch starts to be connected into a tight weave in this small world we live in.  The more I travel, the more I realise we are indeed interconnected on so many different levels.  Most of us are unaware of those connections.  No matter how far we live away from each other, we can still be quietly sewn together.

Do you know who your neighbours are?

Do you have a Housesitter next door

 

 

50 thoughts on “Do you have a HOUSESITTER next door?”

  1. I think the “kettle is on” may be a New Zealand/Australian social thing, which we probably inherited from the Brits initially.

    It surprises me that when I’m in the UK, I don’t often get asked that question, especially from complete strangers. I’m only ever asked when from my partner’s relative or our friends.

    I digress here but…

    Italy is very much like that but with coffee. Here, I’ve been passing through as an outsider in the smallest villages in the mountains and have complete strangers (amazingly also elderly people) invite me in for coffee and freshly-bake cake. Also, so different is that if I’m at a Bar having a coffee or Apero with my friend and someone she knows bumps into us, that person will pick up the tab or buy another round, for the whole table. The Calabrese hospitality here is humbling.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a friendly, nice person you are, Suzanne 🙂 🙂 I was thinking already, as I read the earlier part of this, that people are nothing like as open and friendly with neighbours as they once were. I used always to put a welcome card through the door but it’s many years since I got together with neighbours, other than on an individual basis. I have a couple of elderly friends living alone, but otherwise it’s mostly a nod and a smile. One of the things we love about the Algarve is the friendliness of our neighbours.

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  3. Thanks for the important reminder about community spirit in general. I don’t believe we have any housesitters in the neighborhood right now, but there are certainly people I could reach out to. We’re quite friendly with the neighbors right next to and across from that, but beyond that there are many I do not know. I’m a bit of an introvert, so making the first move to meet someone is not easy for me, but I do love getting to know people and learning about other cultures. And who doesn’t love a good scone! #MLSTL

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Christie, I think we can only do as much as we are comfortable with regarding meeting people. In most communities as long as we know at least a couple of neighbours that is usually enough. Couldn’t agree more regarding the “who doesn’t love a good scone” 🙂

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  4. What a lovely post and a lovely reminder. And does it matter if it’s a house-sitter next door …. whoever is there, the same rules apply surely? And if it is a visitor, someone temporary, that should be no bar to welcoming them in and allowing that wonderful symbiosis of learning from one another’s cultures.

    PS: Can you remind me of the website you recommend for finding a house-sitter please. I have a couple of people here asking me

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  5. I know all our neighbours (and half the rest of the neighbourhood) My husband only knows them because I stop to chat when we’re out for a walk. There is definitely a need to have a social personality and to make the effort to say hi and strike up a conversation. Nobody in Australia sits on their front verandahs – everyone lives inside or out the back – so if you catch someone out the front it’s great to say hi and get to know them a little. I love our neighbours!
    #MLSTL 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Leanne, and it is great that you get to chat with people as you are out walking. When we stayed in Brisbane with family, I was out walking around 5.30 am due to the heat, and WOW what a difference to the suburb. It was alive with people. The early evenings were the same. I think our societies need to have a balance of what it was like when we were growing up and how it is now. Acknowledging who is near us with respecting everyone’s privacy. We love our privacy though enjoy interaction with others while out and about.

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    1. Great that it made you think about how you would initiate a dialogue with someone new. Where we used to live and we will be going back to the same small city though to a different area, most people say hello, as I pass them, whether they are a neighbour or not.

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  6. I would definitely welcome housesitters to our neighbourhood. I’d love to talk to them about their experiences as I would love to live the life of a housesitter one day. We would also love to have housesitters st our house to make life easier when away. Shared on SM #MLSTL

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  7. HI, Suzanne – For the first time since childhood, I actually know who my neighbours are. And when they are out walking they often stop by to see if we are home and care to chat — without calling first. I absolutely love it! My only regret is that I have gone without this so long. Thanks for an awesome post — and a very important reminder!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Sue, that is sad. Though we do love our privacy, and not into being in our neighbours pockets. We still enjoy saying hello and having small chats. As it doesn’t take much to say hello and have a chat outside in the street or in the front section.

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  8. I love this, Suzanne! I’m always happy to chat with friendly people. Do you find that most of the homeowners you sit for let their neighbors know that they will be having housesitters? I would think that would be a great way to encourage interactions. Funny that this is your topic this week… our friends who normally sit for us had the chance to do a two-week sit for our neighbor (who met them while we were traveling). It was wonderful having our friends (who live one state over) close-by for a while and our neighbor had trustworthy people stay in her house while she was gone. Win-win-win!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Janis, that would have been fun having your friends next door. Most people do let their neighbours know, some do not have anything to do with their neighbours. All different. Though we do make an effort while out walking to say hello to everyone we pass. Some don’t reply though most do.
      For some reason, most conversations we have with strangers occurring in supermarkets. The whole exchange is a win-win situation.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I believe that you would do that Sam. Canal boating is very similar to motorhoming where the community feel is very much alive no matter where you are berthed or parked. Hey, always a first having a housesitter on a canal boat 🙂 Though I haven’t seen any advertised on Trustedhousesitters.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I couldn’t agree more and you can then get some recommendations for nice places to eat, see etc that aren’t perhaps as touristy and much more local!

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