When ever I sit on a plane and take off to our next house sitting engagement, an overwhelming sense of gratitude washes over me. It is at these times that I truly have to pinch myself to realise that the house sitting lifestyle we are creating is real. And amazingly awesome. Sometimes tears of absolute joy will well up as we take off to our next destination and adventures. At the same time the experiences of the location I am leaving are also at the forefront of my mind and this blending of what has been and what has yet to come results in a state highly charged with emotional energy.
I no longer say goodbye to people or places but instead use the phrase, "until next time." This leaves open the possibility of reconnecting with people and places at some stage in the future. Whilst it may be that we won't return to a destination or see people, many who have become good friends, you never know what the future may bring - I'm willing to leave that to the universe! Saying goodbye usually makes me cry as well as it seems so final so it's best that I skip off knowing that maybe one day things will reconnect.
One of the hardest things to do as a house sitter, I have found, is to say goodbye to the pets we have minded and often I will avoid a final pat or scratch. If I do engage with them as we depart I often fill with tears and quickly move on. On many occasions we have noticed changed behaviour of pets as they see us packing our bags and preparing for their owners return. This sense that they know something is changing demonstrates an innate ability as well as their loyalty and love for their carers and it truly is a privilege to take care of these precious animals, even for a short time.
Of course it's not all happy happy joy joy. There are times of frustration when plans fall apart or that sense of disappointment and rejection when you don't get selected for a particular sit. Not to mention the anxiety around where we will be living next week when we have no sit booked. And I am sure at some stage we may feel a little homesick, although as we now no longer have a permanent home, homesick for what will be interesting. No doubt it will be connected with family, friends and people rather than the physical building or a particular location.
So would we change anything? No way! The house sitting lifestyle is more than we had ever imagined. We initially were using it as a stepping stone to scout out a new location to settle down but now see the endless possibilities it can and no doubt will provide. And riding the emotions that go with it are part of the fun. In the meantime I always have tissues handy to wipe away any tears - happy or sad.