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Liesbet and Mark roulottes Tahiti

Mark and Liesbet

LiesbetLiesbet was born in Belgium, but calls herself a world citizen. Traveling has been her lifelong passion, closely followed by writing. She has been intrigued by foreign lands, adventurous pursuits, captivating cultures and a simple world map since she was a teenager. As an adult, her worldly explorations started in earnest. During her college years, she saved up money to travel as much as her vacations allowed. After graduating as a teacher in 1997, she set out on an intensive backpacking trip throughout Southeast Asia with friends. Two “normal” years at work followed. She never owned anything, went on a few outings abroad during school holidays, and saved her income for future adventures. The next break from a semi-settled life in Belgium was a one year solo journey back to Southeast Asia and on to Australia, and New Zealand, where all the extreme sports had to be sampled. She went back to her teaching job in Belgium for another two years, before (unintentionally) leaving permanently in the summer of 2003.

MarkMark is from the United States of America. He grew up in New England, but preferred living in California. He has a master’s degree in computer science and built a successful career for himself. Utilizing his knowledge, abilities and skills, he lived the “American dream” for ten years, before deciding that it was time for something else. His familiarity with comfort, convenience and luxury was traded for an insurmountable hunger for adventure, freedom and a more basic lifestyle in 2005.

Liesbet and Mark B&W cockpit

Mark and Liesbet met in California in November 2004 and have been roaming as a team ever since. She was traveling throughout the US, Canada and Alaska in a camper for a year and a half when they fell in love and immediately “moved in” together. When things settled down a bit, they decided to “unsettle” by buying a 36’ sailboat and moving into a marina with Mark’s two gorgeous and amazing Australian Shepherd mixes Kali and Darwin. Mark’s belongings were sold and for seven months they fixed their 25-year-old monohull up and prepared her to sail south.

That plan didn’t work out so well – the dogs hated the constant slant of the boat in the ocean – and a year after they met, they found themselves traveling by truck camper throughout Mexico and Central America instead. Kali and Darwin (and Liesbet) loved this much better! When they returned to the States a year later, they downsized to a tent and a little Toyota pick-up truck to search for a suitable sailing catamaran along the East Coast. They succeeded in their two-month mission and in 2007, they bought Irie and set off into the sunset once more, Kali and Darwin in tow. What followed was an eight year sailing adventure – with many ups and downs – that brought them from the Chesapeake Bay all the way to French Polynesia in the mighty Pacific Ocean. In August 2015 they sold their floating home in Tahiti and figured, once again, that it was time for something different; something exciting in its own way… They decided to focus on their blossoming freelance careers without actually settling down.

Mark, running a successful long range WiFi and cell data business (The Wirie) since 2009, and Liesbet, having an arsenal of ideas in her head and feeling inspired to write more articles, frequent blog posts and even a book, are fully enjoying their changed lifestyle. For now. 🙂 Abiding by their frugal habits and roaming spirits, combining their love of animals with their desire for some temporary conveniences, they are house and pet sitting throughout the United States, putting their sense of responsibility and their creative minds to good use.

 

18 Comments

  1. Is this a new blog layout? It looks fantastic! This (dog)sitting profile is so good I can’t imagine you don’t have work lined up from now until eternity. I am SOOOO dumb, too, because we were looking for a 2+ week dog and house sitter in September and just before Lisa Dorenfest reminded me that you guys did this, I had booked someone else, and of course, it would not be nice to cancel her after I committed. (Now you are booked anyway.) The reason I’m so dumb is I READ all your blog posts and know perfectly well what you do, and yet I think I was thinking you are always in CA. Next time for sure – I would absolutely love for you to watch our dear, sweet dog.

    • Nope. Not a new page. I think I created it when I put this blog together in November 2015. Believe it or not, but we don’t get swamped with house sitting invitations, Lexie. I am not really advertising our services and my blog is not a house sitting blog, exclusively, so other “professional” house sitters are ahead of the game. Our life and blog is about so much more than house and pet sitting as well – too diverse. One needs to have a niche to stand out. 🙂 That being said, I do spend heaps of time going through notifications and applying to attractive sits, with personal letters and friendly communications.

      I’m sorry you are feeling dumb. You aren’t!! And, I could totally see myself do this as well – following along with someone’s life, but in my head making a connection to the location they are in. Totally normal behavior! 🙂 We do house sit in most parts of the USA, but have been sticking in this area, because the drives are shorter and we prefer warmer climes (a bit disappointing in Oakland, by the way). That being said, for long-term opportunities in attractive locations (Houston counts), we are often happy to cover the distance. Stay tuned for our summer and fall plans!

  2. Dear Liesbet, I have nominated you for The Entertainer Blogger Award. Please check it out when you have a moment. https://cookandenjoyrecipes.wordpress.com/2018/02/10/the-entertainer-blogger-award/ Thanks in advance

  3. Great site and love your About page! As we said, we have many similarities. 🙂

  4. I’m looking forward to reading more about your adventures on here, Liesbet. I also wish you great luck in writing your memoir (I’m also working on mine, plus have written an (unpublished) novel, and would like to start another one soon!) and other writing projects. I love your adventurous lifestyle. 🙂

    • Thanks, Cathy! For your visit, you encouragement and your comments. I’m always happy to “meet” other nomads and wanderers, and can’t wait to peruse your blog one of these days! And, I’m curious to learn more about your memoir as well. What is it about? How far have you gotten? How does the writing process feel?

  5. You’re welcome, Liesbet. As for my memoir, it covers my whole life up until I left Korea and India in 2011. It’s getting a bit overwhelming. I don’t know why I didn’t break it down into smaller projects! Then I have a follow up book to write after that. Sadly, when I have to rely on memory, it’s very splotchy, and when I have journals, there are too many details. Like a kaleidoscope! Zooming in and out. I keep skipping around and writing parts I can remember or have journals for and then going back and forth – not linear at all. It will probably take me another year or more! How about you?

    • Fascinating! Your struggles sound very familiar, though. I’m trying to cover a ten-year period of my partner and I living on our sailboat in the Caribbean and Pacific and the RV trip leading up to that. Too much stuff, indeed! I started from memory (and I should have stopped there) and then, read all the blogs I wrote during our eight year sailing journey, incorporating bits and pieces I deemed important. The first draft ended up being over 160K words, twice as many as “needed”.

      So now, in the second draft, I’m trying to cut a lot out and attempting to make the chapters flow. Not easy at all. So far, all I cut out were those blog posts. 🙂 And, I never even touched at my diaries, since they are in Belgium, in my parents’ house. If you haven’t gotten too far yet, I would suggest cutting the whole project in three parts – basically cutting the part you’re working on in half, if possible. What you’re doing sounds more like an autobiography than memoir. Memoir is about a particular “slice” of your life, following a particular theme. Have fun!

      • Very interesting, Liesbet. That 10-year period you’re covering of living on the sailboat and the RV trip sound great. I’d love to know what took you to that place to begin with. I find it fascinating why people do the things they do.

        You sound a bit like me as far as word count. I wrote a novel at one time that was originally 480 pages, and I cut it eventually to 359. I’m sure I could still cut more. I always err on the side of too many words rather than too little.

        Your idea is a good one; maybe I will consider that. It’s just that the reasons I went to Korea in the first place and left my marriage, only to return to it after a 7 year hiatus, are all tied up in my childhood. They are certainly interconnected. I have been thinking about dividing the book up into different “slices of my life” but am just trying to get it all down first in rough form then I’ll determine how to organize the story. Thanks so much for your feedback. 🙂

        • That was exactly my thinking! It sounds like you have even more intriguing stories to share than me. The cutting will be hard… If you’re at a point where you’d like to exchange a chapter or so for feedback, let me know. I could use another pair of eyes one of these weeks! 🙂

          • I would be happy to do that as I progress further, Liesbet. At this moment, I’m trying to get certain things done on my blog before I take off for a 25-day road trip around Four Corners, so I’ll be swamped until June. But touch base with me then and we can discuss doing just that. I’d enjoy that. 🙂

            • Your road trip sounds amazing, Cathy! We’ll be following in your tracks the end of May. Blogs and books; they are hard to combine when one has so many ideas to write about. I’ll be in touch at some point in June (when I’ll be swamped with travel). Enjoy your explorations and blog planning!

  6. I’m really excited to be on my way, although I’m not ready yet! You’ll be leaving just as I’m returning home. I should be around June, July and August. On September 1, I’m taking off for northern Spain to walk the Camino. So whatever works for you is fine. 🙂

    • Great! Enjoy the Four Corners. I’ve never been there, but hope to see some of the national parks and monuments (Aztec Ruins, Mesa Verde, …) around there in June.

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