During our eight years of sailing around on Irie, there was one day every year when Mark wished he could be in the United States with his family: Thanksgiving. This no-nonsense event has always been his favorite holiday; a relaxed one with heaps of yummy food, without the madness and obligations of Christmas. In the past, we always hoped there would be some fun cruisers around with whom we could celebrate and share a somewhat special meal (chicken or duck instead of turkey, but always heaps of stuffing!). Continue reading
Mark and I have lived in a very pleasant climate for the last eight years. Longer, if you count our yearlong overland adventure in Mexico and Central America prior to that. We love blue skies. We love to hang out in little more than a bathing suit. We love small piles of laundry. We love to jump in the ocean to cool off or sit in the shade with a good book. We cherished that part of our previous life, forgetting the times that we melted away from heat and humidity during the summer time… But the winters in the tropics were so very comfortable! We listened to the “horrifying” stories from land-based friends and family in the US and Europe and we smiled.
Now, we have our temporary base in New England, USA. We are in the Boston area, a region with record snow and cold temperatures last year. And, winter is coming… Continue reading
Mark and I are spreading the word about our inclination and availability to house sit for people needing to leave their home and pet(s) for a little while, either for pleasure or for work. When we brought this up to our brother-in-law a little while ago, he agreed it would be a good idea for us to move into his cottage while he went on a two week vacation. He is the caretaker of a beautiful property in Greenwich, Connecticut and lives on-site. The Manhattan-based owners of the domain were equally pleased with our suggestion to watch the cottage (the main house is set back on the property), the dog and the two cockatiels. We were not in charge of the property by any means, but kept an eye on things, taking action whenever something would go amiss. It would be our second house sitting position, not too long after the Gloucester one. Continue reading
Our wonderful companion for two weeks
When Mark and I first found out about house sitting and the opportunities it offered, we immediately knew it was “our thing”. And, when we actually started browsing the availabilities online, the real excitement could begin! We felt like kids anticipating something fun to do, like teenagers planning an adventure out of the house and like adults browsing real estate pages online. It was almost comparable to planning a holiday. Almost… We came across a few potential house sits, sent off some messages and soon after, committed to our first long term house sit, which isn’t until January 2016. Landing our initial “gig” quite easily, we were encouraged to keep looking for something that would take place a bit sooner. Continue reading
The idea of a house and pet sitting lifestyle sounds great in theory and is pretty amazing in reality as well, but… what to do in between assignments? That is, if you don’t have a place of your own like us. Staying in hotels is cost-prohibitive, a hassle and contrary to our frugal manners. The chance that one house sit position smoothly transitions into the next is pretty rare as well. And, visiting with friends is not a long-term solution. So, what is the answer? Continue reading
Surrounded by colors
Leaf playing with Sophie
So many leaves!
In the past, whenever autumn came around in the northern hemisphere, I was sure to receive an email from my mom, mentioning the burst of beautiful colors surrounding her on walks. With the Dutch equivalent of “You should see all the trees! They are turning yellow, orange and red. So pretty…” she tried to convince me I was missing out on the magical change of the seasons. I would agree it must be spectacular – I grew up near the forests – but I subconsciously shivered, looked out of our boat’s windows at the blue sky, the turquoise water and the white beach and tried to imagine wearing a thick coat, while actually being pretty comfy in my bikini. Nope. Perpetual summers were definitely better! Continue reading
When Mark and I decided to sell our boat and floating home Irie, we had no idea what we would do next. Nor did we want to jinx the prospect of selling her by making plans ahead of time. From experience, we knew this would only lead to disappointment. So, when people asked us what we were going to do after leaving French Polynesia, we just answered with our life’s mantra: “We’ll see what happens…” When we both left Irie permanently, a month before a prospective buyer was involved, the obvious solution was to move in with our parents for a little while. Last summer was divided between Belgium and Massachusetts, USA, until we came up with a plan…
I have always – jokingly – said “One day, I will write a book”. When people suggested “You should write a book,” I laughed it off with a “suuuure!” People say a lot of things. Everyone who travels frequently or extensively has friends suggesting the book idea. And, a lot of people do write books! If you want to dive into a book project, you have to at least like to write, and, ideally, you are good at it as well… Continue reading
Hello everybody and welcome to Roaming About!
Mark and I are excited… about selling Irie, making plans again, incorporating a new lifestyle, and the creation of a new blog! We have successfully left our previous – eight year long – cruising life behind and are now semi-settled in the United States. What our plans are and what has been going on the last couple of months will soon become clear in upcoming blog posts. For now, I just want to refer everyone to our previous website It’s Irie if interested in stories and photos of our past sailing adventure in the Caribbean and the South Pacific, and to point out that this is the place to keep up-to-date with our current comings, goings and doings!
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