Tag Archives: new zealand

My First Two Weeks in New Zealand: a social media round-up

For those of you who haven’t quite gotten the hang of this website yet, it has 4 different parts:

WildlyMade – a catalogue of my photography and other art projects
WildlyRead – a blog of book reviews and other literary-related thoughts
WildlyTraveled – adventure stories

And last but not least, WildlyLived, which is sort of the one ring to rule them all. It has its own posts about my life (see the house/petsitting series I’m currently flogging blogging), and I try my hardest to do occasional round-ups of the things happening on all of the other sites, too. For instance, this is a round-up of the posts I’ve done about New Zealand in the past almost two weeks that I’ve been here.

You can also see photographs of my trip on my Instagram account or on my WildlyMade New Zealand catalogue of images.

You can also follow along on Facebook, on my new page, WildlyTraveled.

Because social media FTW.

WildlyLived Housesits (not as wild as you might think)

WildlyLived Housesits

Yurt Sitting. Reading a library book in a hammock. Life is hard.

Yurt Sitting. Reading a library book in a hammock. Life is hard.

Housesitting! It’s a thing I do professionally.

What IS a professional housesitter, exactly?

Well, it’s someone who does not own or rent a home of their own, but instead lives in the homes of other people, usually while they’re away from the home. I say usually because as a long-term professional housesitter, I’ve been in the situation of having my own quarters in someone else’s home. In that case, occasionally the homeowners will be around for stretches of time, but I still live there in my own separate (sometimes shared) space.

I’ve been housesitting for over 10 years, officially beginning in college in Western Massachusetts, where I stayed until 2010. My favorite story from that time is when a local college professor and her family were away for a week in the middle of winter, and I watched their house and two large labs (one yellow, one chocolate, both very sweet). During that week, their heat went out in the middle of a three-day snow storm (pilot light blew), I got a nasty cold, and my new doctor-prescribed allergy meds caused a very mild psychotic episode. All while working full-time and taking care of the two dogs. Clearly I survived to tell the tale, but it did teach me one valuable lesson – never be afraid to call the client and explain what went wrong. I waited for two days before calling them about the heat not working, and when I finally got ahold of them, it turned out all I had to do was run down to their ancient furnace in the basement with a lighter and light that sucker back up.

That’s the key to good housesitting: knowing that something is likely to go wrong so you prepare for that eventuality by getting all the information you can from the homeowners before they leave and then calling upon your resources to handle whatever it is that just went wrong when the time comes.

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The view from the back porch of my housesit in Sherwood Forest.

In Boston, Massachusetts, I was a long-term housesitter (and indentured servant, but that’s another story) living in an attic like Sara Crewe (see Frances Hodgson Burnett’s Little Princess for reference) for 15 months. In Oregon, I’ve been a long-term housesitter living in a near-mansion in Sherwood Forest for 2 years. In Portland, I was a yurt sitter, taking care of chickens, cats, and fish.  And in moving to New Zealand, I’m landing in a two-week apartment-sitting gig, a real dream come true.

If you’re going to be gone for a length of time and are looking for someone to take care of your home, your yard, your houseplants, your animals (no reptiles, please!), etc. drop me a line.

Oh, and despite the WildlyLived title of this site, please rest assured that I’m a very responsible, imminently experienced, highly qualified, NOT wild, housesitter.

If you’re interested in more information on my housesitting experiences, read my housesitting tips & tricks:


On WildlyTraveled: GoFundMe Campaign!

GoFundMeIf you want to continue to hear about my adventures, and not the ones where I’m destitute on the side of the road, please consider donating to my GoFundMe campaign! You can read about my adventures on WildlyTraveled. I leave for New Zealand in just a few months and every little penny helps. Thank you!

New Zealand, Post the First

Moving to New Zealand, Step 1
Hear ye, hear ye! Visa-depending, I will be moving to New Zealand later this year! Read all about how I came to that decision over on WildlyTraveled.