Leap of Faith


As it happens towards the end of a year, we find ourselves reflecting on the past 12 months, talking about the highs, the lows and (mostly) everything in between. And then we realised that we’ve been traveling, without a permanent home, for 500 days and despite all our past life risks and challenges I would say that this has been our greatest leap of faith. We had no idea back then how it would all work out. And yes, we were just a bit terrified at first.


Who could have ever imagined that over 500 days we would combine traveling and house sitting across 8 countries, that we would sleep in 61 different beds, take 7 flights, 22 epic train journeys (not including countless local metro transits), 4 ferry crossings and drive more than 30,000 kilometers in 8 hire cars?


Thanks to our fantastic house sitting gigs, we’ve locked into our hearts 20 dogs and 18 cats, countless birds, fish and chooks. We’ve had the pleasure of knowing 19 gracious and welcoming home owners as we’ve cared for their precious pets, while tending their homes and gardens.



We’ve also had some really nice connections with Airbnb hosts, motel/hotel managers and various other dog walkers, locals, shopkeepers and bus drivers along the way. Some of these folk are now valued friends.


Do you know how many kitchens we’ve cooked in over the past 500 days? I’m still counting, but I think it’s in excess of 30. Some really memorable meals have been created in unfamiliar surroundings, and just a few disasters.



Have you ever considered the many ways to feed a dog or cat? Some pets have just 1/2 cup of dry food once or maybe twice daily, or organic raw meat, cooked meat, tinned meat, tinned fish or raw fish, home-made bone broth with turmeric, beef jerky, steamed chicken, brown rice, possum meat (in NZ), and dried fish heads, while others thrive on kitchen scraps and home grown veggies.  Treats for some but never for others, and then there are those dogs that know when we’ve finished eating and head over full of expectations of leftovers.


So that’s been 38 different pet feeding routines we’ve adapted to, at varying times of day and each pet with their own unique and often quirky eating habits. Some pets are always really hungry and then we’ve had others that are just not very interested in food at all and just graze as they like. We’ve nurtured gravely ill pets through vet visits and nursed them to good health.


Some dogs are allowed in the house only at certain times of day, some are always in the house, some never in the house. All of the dogs have one thing in common – they freak out over their daily walks and we always get right into their excitement when the leash comes out and we have to spell out that magical word w.a.l.k. We love walking the dogs, a fabulous way to get out and know the neighbourhood and meet locals. The dogs know where to take us so we usually let them lead the way.



And then there are the cats. We really love cats, each one is so different to the other and it never takes them very long to have us right where it suits them. We’ve had cats that love the outdoors and others content just curled up in a warm spot waiting for the next cuddle or feed time.


Once we got started on this adventure it really took us no time at all to find our way. We quickly overcame our initial uncertainties and got right in to our rhythm. In our 500 days we made one trip home to Australia and will be back for Christmas for a few weeks before we head off again, to South America.


Dave said to me today: “if for any reason it has to stop right now, we have had the time of our lives and we’ll never look back”.


We do look back though, to a time when we had absolutely no idea the extent of our resilience, capabilities and endurance. If we didn’t have the courage to back ourselves and take that leap we would still be talking about what we would prefer to be doing, and not actually doing it.


Oh, there’s another quality we’ve discovered, and that’s the special art of getting along with each other all day, every day. After day. After day…..



This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. Mary Lou Stephens

    You are an inspiration. We’re looking forward to catching up with you in January on your brief visit back home.

    1. whereverarewe

      Thank you Mary Lou, coming from you that is a great compliment! Yes, we’ll have a lovely catchup in January at Palmwoods!

  2. Tricia

    Brilliant as always. I have always said that at the end of ones days, you won’t remember cars, houses or clothes or any other goodies but your memories of places and the good times will stay. You two have accumulated enough memories to keep you busy for many years to come. x

    1. whereverarewe

      Thanks Tricia, I agree that it is our memories, not possessions, that will keep us happy forever.

  3. Celia

    I love your reflections on life, what you see, feel, experience and share. Makes me restless every
    time I read one of your posts but I still have to make my own leap of faith….

    1. whereverarewe

      Celia, lovely words thank you. We each do have our own path to follow.

  4. Nancy Casey

    Fabulous!! We spent 5 months dipping our toe in ‘house sitting ‘ in Australia (our daughter now lives there) and yes we are still at the ‘talking about taking that leap of faith ‘. Lots to organise but people like you guys give inspiration and motivation. Love to see where you are.

    1. whereverarewe

      Nancy, there are a lot of online resources available now for those wanting to take the plunge into full time travel and house sitting, though I’m the first to say it is not for everyone. There is a lot to organise but once the ball starts rolling it just all seems to gain momentum and then it happens. Good luck on your own journey. Thank you for following along.

  5. Estelle Anderson

    Thank you Sue for sharing this post. It is so inspiring. You have obviously enjoyed your travels and house / pet sitting along the way . I enjoyed reading all the stats over the 500 travel days… they actually made me smile. No doubt you have to flexible and able to adapt to different pets, homes, countries , cultures, foods available , and on it goes. But it sounds such exciting. We have two house sits under our belt and two more booked – in Australia. So keen to find a sit OS next year.

    1. Sue Pearse

      Hi Estelle, thanks for taking the time to make your lovely comment, I do appreciate it. Yes, it has been an incredible journey and we’ve learned to be adaptable to many different situations. Enjoy your upcoming sits. Suex

  6. Nicole Gustas

    Oh, there’s another quality we’ve discovered, and that’s the special art of getting along with each other all day, every day. After day. After day…..

    Ha! I know exactly what you mean. What surprised my partner and I was how quickly we adapted to it. At one point we looked at each other and realized that in three months we’d been apart for maybe 8 hours total. We really enjoy each other’s company…but sometimes now we try to separate for a few hours just so we’ll have something to talk about!

    1. Sue Pearse

      Exactly, we all need something to bring back to the table otherwise we just talk about the same ole stuff.

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