Going with the Flow

My understanding of house sitting at this point indicates that I will always be going with the flow. Changes can happen from day to day. There is little in the way of long-guarantees. Some would call it living on the edge.  

Arriving in Gütersloh  

I arrived in Germany a month later than what I originally agreed to as my hosts were behind schedule building out an apartment on their top floor. That was no problem, as I still had an apartment in Ecuador. When I did arrive, the construction work was still ongoing. I lived with my hosts for about three weeks until they finished. They then took off for about four or five days.  

They returned as their four children were arriving from England, France, Australia, and here in Germany. Two of them were attending a wedding here. It was the first time in four years that these children had all been together. So, I lived another week with the family. The house was jumping from top to bottom. I fit in as best I could. This was not a problem, but it did require me to remain flexible (the major tenet of house sitting).  

After a few days, the children started leaving, with one remaining. By the time you read this, the parents will have left to start their long-awaited travels, and I will have begun house sitting (with one son) as originally planned. All of which is to say, I have been going with the flow.  

Getting into Town          

Marketplace with Martin Luther Church steeple
 in the background

I haven’t had much opportunity to get out into the community, though I’ve made a few ventures. Gütersloh, like most European cities, is built out from a central square. The square here is not as striking as many others, as I believe there was much war damage throughout the city. Yet it is functional. Three days a week, the square functions as a marketplace with food vendors taking up most of the space. I have managed to get to the market twice.  

Woolworth in Gütersloh, Germany

On my last trip into the square (about a 20-minute walk), I discovered a Woolworth store. I grew up with a Woolworth Five and Dime store in Minnesota, but I was under the impression that they had long gone out of business. In fact, I’ve learned they have diversified but declined over the years. A current brand is the Footlocker stores. I am going to visit this Woolworth on my next trip to the square.  

Attending an Organ Concert  

Martin Luther Church Gütersloh, Germany

Last weekend, I attended an organ concert in the Martin Luther Church. I had not been to an organ recital since some years before leaving the U.S., as I had not been around pipe organs where I lived. I very much enjoyed the concert given by a Swiss-trained organist who was a native of Gütersloh. The organ was German built in the 1950’s, and the organist showcased it as it was intended to be played, choosing a single 19th Century popular French organ symphony. I hope there will be other organ recitals here.  

Searching Future House Sits  

In the meantime, I am spending a lot of time searching for future housesitting opportunities. The secret seems to be to jump on the newly listed openings for the months ahead. It seems to be harder to secure more immediate opportunities, as they have been listed for some time and the hosts have had many applicants to consider. Consequently, I am also looking for alternative housing situations.  

With time, finding subsequent opportunities should even itself out. So, I’m hanging in there and simply going with the flow.  

Fact: House sitting is what a volunteer does when someone asks them to live in their home while they are away on holiday or travelling. 
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Starting a New Career?

It seems like I’m always starting a new career. How many have there been: organist-choirmaster, perpetual student, book dealer, medical data manager, author, writer, blogger. What now?  

Daniel Frese – Pexels.com

If you’re reading this on the day I upload it, I may already be starting a new career. At the moment, I am either high in the air or killing time in an airport somewhere. My attempt at starting a new career has the potential of being fulltime. We shall see.  

House Sitting

What is this possible new career? House sitting. This is best defined as taking care of an owner’s home while the owner is away. The primary reason to arrange for a house sitter is to provide some safety for the home. Often this includes caring for a pet or pets. Other responsibilities may include watering plants, gardening or lawn work, bringing in the mail, making sure everything is functioning properly, and preserving the home as it was when the owner left.  

Advertising is the most common way to find a house sitter or housesitting opportunity. There are numerous websites that exist to bring house sitters and homeowners together, usually for a fee. Social media sites are another way to offer or look for these situations. Word of mouth is probably the best source for taking advantage of these situations.  

Free Rent

Housesitting arrangements generally are rent free. A sitter provides a service in exchange for free housing. Some sitters charge for their services, however. Any arrangement can happen when it is mutually agreed upon by two people.  

Why does someone choose to be a house sitter? Often to garner free rent. Other reasons may be to experience new locales, cultures, get acquainted with a possible new home location, bide time while a new home is being built or remodeled. The reasons are numerous and particular to the individual.  

So, what am I up to? I’m still interested in traveling and not interested in settling down. I have the travel bug I warned about at the start of this blog almost two years ago. I have been doing slow travel since then, defined as longer stays in a community. I shall likely continue doing that, but I am also going to be adding some shorter travel experiences. Which brings us to today.  

Gütersloh – Google.com

I am leaving Ecuador and flying to Germany. There I will be house sitting for three months while a couple will be doing their own traveling. I am heading for Gütersloh in Northwest Germany. This is a town of about 100,000 population. One of the attractions I want to learn more about is Bertelsmann, the world’s largest media company headquartered there. I will write more about them as I learn more. I will also be writing about Gütersloh and the area.  

Flying High

If you’ve ever crossed the pond, you know it is a bit arduous. It will take me two days and five airports: two in Ecuador, one in Colombia, one in France (Paris) and finally in Hannover, Germany at midnight on the second day. I will lose six hours. On the third day, I will take two trains to get to my final destination. I will then remain there for three months before heading to England and some more house sits.  

I hope you’ll join me on these adventures.  

Fact: Your tastebuds are reduced by around 30% during flights
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A note to my Panamá friends: I tried to schedule a continuing flight (taking a break before traveling on) through Panamá City so that I could come out to Boquete, but I could not find one. I also needed to take advantage of the half-price ticket Ecuador offers to we old timers. I still could become a Panamá resident one day. Hang in there with me.

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