We hope you had a wonderful Christmas and a great New Year?
We’re currently house sitting Down Under, in Western Australia. Christmas in the southern hemisphere feels very different to the traditional British Christmas we are both used to.
In November in the UK we felt bombarded by Christmas ads on TV, and every shopping centre was festively decorated, Christmas songs playing constantly on an endless loop.
Down Under, where wintery scenes of snowy weather are far from most people’s normal experience, the Christmas season is much less commercialised. Perhaps it also helps that we don’t watch any TV here.
Anyway, for us, Christmas and New Year passed relatively quietly.
Did you make any New Year’s Resolutions?
The end of one year and the start of the next is often a time for reflection on our lives, and many of us wonder if we are heading in a direction that is in true alignment with what we really want from life…
Did you make any big resolutions?
We’ll tell you of one of our decisions later on in this article – it concerns House Sitting Magazine…
Radio and TV appearances
Here in Australia it is currently mid-summer, of course. We are enjoying the outdoor lifestyle, and our current pets enjoy quite a few visits to the beach, or long walks in the countryside.
In early January we were contacted by ABC Radio, and invited into the Perth studio to chat with Glynn Greensmith about our lifestyle choices, and house sitting in general. Glynn centred his interview around the idea of reassessment at the start of a new year, and around a central theme of freedom.
That was followed by a live appearance on Australian Breakfast TV. We had to be at the studio around 5.30am for make-up, and were live on air just after 6 am, chatting about our house sitting lifestyle.
You can see I have stuck to “Aussie-casual” style below the waist for the interview!
What an amazing experience!
In the run-up to the New Year we took some time to re-assess.
One of the conclusions we reached involves this very magazine. We have been publishing House Sitting Magazine for over a year and a half, and continue to offer it as a free resource. We are finding that preparing and publishing the magazine takes up a lot of our time each month.
We began our house sitting journey several years ago with the goal of enjoying more freedom, more leisure time, more adventure, and more time to spend together. I imagine many of you have done the same, or are considering a lifestyle that offers more of what you want…?
We found the life we wanted, and our passion for this lifestyle has led us to try to inspire others. When the opportunity to publish House Sitting Magazine came our way, we thought this would be the perfect solution.
But of course, the trade-off for taking on this labour of love, based on our passion for the lifestyle we live, means that we now have a less time to actually enjoy that lifestyle.
We toyed with the idea of charging for the magazine, but concluded that this wouldn’t really address our main problem… namely not having enough time for ourselves.
So we have decided on a halfway-house solution.
In order to win back some of our valued free time, we are going to publish the magazine bi-monthly. This will mean we can continue to maintain the same great quality, but will win back a full month of time each issue to pursue our own personal goals and adventures.
We feel sure that our readers will understand this decision. We know that many of you appreciate how long it takes to contact contributors, gather all the materials, edit everything, and pull together an interesting and informative publication each month.
So, with a full month of online teaching to fit into January, as well as some Australian travel and fun, we decided that the December 2017 issue would be the final monthly issue, and going forward, beginning this month (Feburary 2018), we’ll be publishing every second month. The next issue will be out in mid-April, with following issues in June, August, October and December.
This isn’t too different from what we have done in the past anyway. We skipped the February edition last year, while we spent a month travelling around Cuba. We skipped the November issue too, as we were on the move so much in the UK during that month – however, we did manage to produce a useful “Black Friday Offers” special edition.
So, we hope you understand. We continue to produce this magazine out of a passion for the endless lifestyle options house sitting can offer, and with the hope of inspiring others to take a leap, and find their own personal version of freedom.
So what did we do with the extra bit of freedom we created for ourselves? We bought a car, put a foam mattress in the back, and hit the road. We had an 11-day gap between house sits, so we spent our time camping out on beautiful secluded beaches, and sleeping under the stars in amazing ancient forests.
There will be a few more pix from our journey scattered through this month’s issue of House Sitting Magazine.
We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we have enjoyed putting it together.
Ian and Vanessa
(currently house sitting in Western Australia)