A ‘new adventure looming’ was my caption today on an Instagram post. Since we have moved to Europe, we have welcomed many new adventures that crossed our path. Sometimes it can lead to a surprisingly different lifestyle as it has done for us now.
If you would have told me a year ago that we would be in this position, I would have never believed it. It has never crossed my mind we would commit to something like this.
How a housesit became a new adventure
We love doing the odd house sit, probably 2-3 per year. It is a lifestyle we can embrace because I work online and only need a stable internet. My virtual job has allowed me to work in 5 countries so far. To clarify, my job is based in the UK but I live in France.
During 2021 we have done three house sits – one in Spain and two in France. The housesit in Denia, Spain turned out to be much longer than we anticipated. The reason was that the homeowners could not return from the UK due to covid restrictions. In fact, they needed to find replacement sitters to let us go. It ended up being a 9-week house sit instead of 5 weeks.
After returning we decided we should concentrate on France as it would be more accessible as we live in France. The Spanish housesit cost us close to 600 euro due to covid tests for us and our daughter who came to visit for Christmas.
During the summer of 2021 we did two house sits and both were in a different part of France. New territory for us and it gave us the opportunity to explore new areas. On the first house sit we replaced the couple that worked as caretakers of a rather big estate. The house was for sale and the people who came to view it bought it.
From house sitters to becoming caretakers
To cut the chase, they asked us if we would like to become the new caretakers of this estate. After a weekend debating with the help of visiting friends, we decided to prepare a proposal. We based the proposal on what we reckoned it would take to maintain this 16 HA property.
We proposed what we thought was fair but if it did not happen, it would be fine. Guess what, the new owners approved the proposal without a single objection. In fact, they even congratulated my husband on the quality of his proposal. I suppose as a seasoned IT project manager, writing big budget proposals is not new to him.
So, to finalise the story, the house will exchange in the beginning of December. We are moving there the same day to become officially the caretakers of this gorgeous property La Bourdette. I will keep my current job and assist in the gardening while my husband will be riding a tractor lawn mower, maintain a huge pool and tackle what else comes his way.
We will be living in an annexe of the main house and have our own outdoor area and views. I can potter in the gardens, grow vegetables and have an outdoor area – an exciting prospect to say the least.
Suddenly whether you are positive about it or not, you find yourself in your fifties or sixties!
They say that ’60 is the new 40′ or ’50 is the new 30′! I don’t know what you make of such claims, but they sound attractive to me. I personally have never made an issue out of ageing and accept it as a natural and positive thing that happens to us in life.
It may be the practical Dutch woman in me, but let’s be honest there is not much you can do about ageing. We all grow older in years and honestly, we should be happy that we get the chance!
It is all in the mind!
You can’t stop time, but you can be in charge of HOW you grow older! After all you are the director of your ageing process and you can tweak your perception of it in any way. If you do happen to have ‘hang-ups’ about it consider WHY. I believe it is all in the mind and in the eye of the beholder.
So put your angst regarding ‘Life after 50’ to a stop, throw your negative thoughts aside and be open-minded for what could be waiting for you. Start believing that you can do anything at any age. Admittedly there are a number of health problems that may be restrictive. Yet one Google search will show you that many people with severe health issues manage to do the most amazing and inspiring things.
Dream or reality?
Making the most out of your later years is a wonderful positive thing we all should aim for. Whether you want to stay where you are, seek more adventure, move abroad, start a business – it is all possible!
You may have to assess your health, your finances and social connections before you start crushing such changes. However, if you dream of becoming a grey nomad, travel or buying a beach hut in Thailand, it is all within reach!
These things may seem like dreams, but they can become reality. It requires belief, patience, guts and courage but they can be a course of action! It ultimately depends on your mindset and your willingness to change and adapt. See it as an adventure and make the most of it! That attitude will eventually dictate whether it becomes a success or a failure.
On a positive note!
If you like to venture into such dreams, my advice is to start with some soul searching. Do this before you throw yourself into adventures that may or may not resonate with you. If you, after some self-scrutiny feel that you have an adventurous streak in you, say YES to it! Because if you don’t, you may regret it at a possibly ‘too late stage’!
Imagine yourself as a 100-year-old looking back at your 50+ year old and saying……If only!
If you still have your doubts, here is how we can assist!
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