Roaming About

A Life Less Ordinary

Mark and Liesbet’s 2016

2016 has passed in a jiffy. The older you get, the faster time flies. I am a firm believer of that “theory”.

In October 2015, Mark and I started our life in the United States. We applied for my green card (for the 2nd time in ten years; the 1st one, obtained in 2008, was “returned”), which I received five months later. The process for that took a tad longer than writing these two sentences! We began house sitting, expanded The Wirie business and I decided to write a book. A month later, I created this blog and an initial outline for said book. In December, we escaped to Florida for warmer weather.

2016 is our first full year of house and pet sitting in the US. The business has been successful and much easier to “handle” than from a sailboat in the middle of the ocean. I worked hard on my blog, trying to keep up a schedule of three posts a week. In April, for the A to Z Blogging Challenge, this became one a day! I worked on my memoir, which I will write more about on Wednesday, and we took care of a bunch of sweet, entertaining and smart animals.

The year started with three months in Kent, Connecticut, where we cuddled on the couches and hiked many trails with Henry and Mickey, and watched Tutu and Kookoo cause havoc. The four of them made us smile on many occasions. I shoveled snow for the first time ever and we didn’t mind the relatively mild winter too much, although we stand by our conclusion “One winter in New England is enough!”

In April, we moved to a maple farm in Heath, Massachusetts for the rest of the spring and the summer. Jenny was the most wonderful dog, who appreciated being out and about and enjoyed hiking and camping with us. She listened well and loved her freedom and independence. We loved the all-you-can-eat artisanal maple syrup.

My – hopefully – once a year trip to Belgium took place in May. As always, it was so nice to see my part of the family and circle of friends. Feeling this welcome everywhere truly warms my heart.

September had us busy at our home base in Newburyport, taking care of some chores and visiting with friends and family. Mark and I enjoyed a rare five-day vacation in Acadia National Park in Maine and jumped on a one week house sit with sweet and cuddly Tui on Cape Cod.

In October, we left New England indefinitely. First, we headed south to Annapolis and attended the sailboat show with The Wirie. Then, we drove across the country at a fast pace: 3000 miles in 4.5 days. Running the business from the car and the remote motels along the way was a challenge.

And, in the middle of October, Mark and I began this three-month house sit in Rocklin, California with a cute trouble maker called Herk. An overview of this sit, which involves lots of walking and snuggling, will follow in January.

While we initially thought our current house sit would last until mid-January, it looks like we will leave a bit earlier, meaning there will be a small gap until our next week-long sit on January 14th. Once that one is finished, we are facing a homeless stretch of one month! We sure hope something else comes along, before we start our two-month house sit in Sebastopol, Northern California with dog Lola, an assignment we look forward to.

With 2016 coming to an end, we know what lays behind us, but – as seems to be our style – have not much of a clue about what looms ahead. We will follow the path as it reveals itself the coming weeks and months. That being said, we have goals and aspirations for 2017, involving my memoir, our Wirie business and, possibly, a change of gear and surroundings. One winter in chilly Northern California is enough as well!

May 2017 bring you good health, peace of mind, blossoming friendships, lasting love, successful projects, manageable adventures and lots of inspiration! Mark and I wish you happiness and fulfillment in the New Year. Thank you for following along with us!

How about you? Any insights about 2016? Any resolutions for 2017?


  1. Hope 2017 is filled with fun and fond memories. I look forward to hearing about your up coming adventures. Sending warm wishes always 🙂

    • Thanks, Ingrid! I hope your 2017 will be full of exciting adventures and things going a little bit to plan this year! Just enough to be comfortable and happy, but not too much to take out the surprise effect. 🙂

  2. What a nice summary of your year! Sebastopol is lovely… lucky you! I can give you all sorts of suggestions for things to do in that area. Have a great New Year celebration (or, if you are like us, go to bed early and wake up refreshed and without a hangover)!

    • We would love to hear your suggestions, Janis! We also feel like it will be a nice area. Nothing like the suburbs of Rocklin… By the way, do you know of anyone in Southern California – or elsewhere in the California surroundings – who needs house and pet sitters between January 21 and February 21?? Yes, we will follow your lead tonight! 🙂

  3. Looks like 2016 was a very busy and diverse year for you. I am greatly looking forward to following your adventures in 2017!

    • It was pretty diverse, but we hope for a little bit more excitement in 2017. Hopefully, that means getting up to Vancouver Island over the summer! 🙂

  4. What an adventurous year! I hope 2017 will bring more adventure and fulfillment.

  5. You guys sure have been busy! May 2017 bring you more peace, love and “Roaming About.”

    Stephanie @ SV CAMBRIA

    • Thanks, Stephanie. It sure looks like there will be a bit of roaming about this month, until our next – confirmed – two month sit in February… More uncertainty than we prefer!

  6. What happens if you don’t have a housesit, Liesbet? Would you have to rent somewhere? I don’t suppose you’ve budgeted for that. Hope it all goes well in 2017. Best of luck to you and Mark 🙂

    • That is the million dollar question, Jo! We, indeed, have not budgeted for that, hoping that something else will come our way. I’m trying hard to find more sits this month and the next, but the competition is fierce in California and not much has appeared, because of the holidays. And, of course, exactly during this period, one of the services that is supposed to send us real time alerts for new listings is not doing that anymore for some mysterious reason and we can’t get in touch with them because of the holidays. Yeah. Anyway, your question is a good blog topic. But, in the meantime, we just count on some luck. 🙂

  7. Happy New Year, Liesbet! All the best for 2017.

  8. I am always fascinated reading about your alternative lifestyle. I would be way to concerned thinking about where I would be in 6 months time:) It seems you have had a great 2016. Wishing you a happy new year and all the best for 2017!

    • Thank you, Inger! Have an amazing 2017!! As of now, we are “on the streets” in three weeks. So, really living from day to day now. Not sure whether it is as exciting as it sounds… And, we are crossing our fingers big time to find other sits soon. 🙂

  9. Is living on a maple farm as delicious as it sounds? I am imagining an endless supply of syrup….Wishing you a happy new year Liesbet! May you find a home soon and may your lovely adventures continue in 2017.

    • You are imagining that right! On the maple farm, we had an endless supply – and different varieties – of maple syrup to go with our Sunday pancakes. 🙂 It was a splurge and we do miss it now. I am wishing you all a fantastic 2017 as well, with many adventures and things going your way! Now, back to crossing my fingers for a home later this month. 🙂

  10. Wow Liesbet, you guys have had one busy year! I’m impressed that with all your other writing that you can pull off 3 posts a week. Sometimes we struggle to get one out. I’m also intrigued by your house/pet sitting lifestyle. It’s certainly unique and a great way to see lots of new locations. All the best in 2107. ~James

    • We do love our house and pet sitting lifestyle (as long as we keep finding sits :-)). It is very diverse and combines the right amount of comfort and change to keep life interesting, without having to be constantly on the road. Yep, the 3 blogs a week is very exhausting and time consuming. I do need to reduce that and focus on my book more. A New Year’s resolution?!? 🙂 A fantastic 2017 for you and Terri, with many travel tales to experience and report on!

  11. Your house-sitting lifestyle is remarkable, Leisbet! Loved the photos! You have had a wonderful 2016! I’m sorry we couldn’t connect–so close but yet so far, as they say! You will love Sebastopol. It can be similar coldness like Rocklin though, but less fog 🙂

    • I hope you had a nice holiday period, Terri! We might be back in the Sacramento area… Who knows? Right now, we have no clue where we will be in three weeks. I am hoping somewhere more south! 🙂

  12. That’s a wonderful recap of your year! I love seeing the contrast between the different house sitting gigs you did and the adorable furry and feathered creatures you took care of. All the best for 2017 – may it bring you health, joy and peace 🙂

    • So many interesting places to live and pets to love! 🙂 Thanks for the wishes, Ellen. I hope Scott and you get through your list of projects soon and get to sail away and enjoy the beauty of the oceans and islands!

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