In interviewing Dalene and Pete of Hecktic Travels, they talked about why house-sitting works best for them during their travels.
1) If you could have a do-over, would you go back and change anything about how you got to where you are today in your travels?
The only thing either of us would change would be to have started earlier! If we had known that this lifestyle was *it* for us, then our only wish would be that we stopped being corporate slaves and started our travels a few years prior.
2) Would you make the same choices that you did in 2007 when the idea to travel became a plan you wanted to put into motion?
Without question. We would have done everything the same.
3) What made you realize house-sitting was the one thing for you that worked exceptionally well to help save you money while traveling?
For example, there are other options out there i.e. staying with locals and helping them out, working at a hostel for room and board, or couch surfing. What drew you to house-sitting over these options?
After one year of traveling, we returned back to Canada for a family wedding, and had a tough decision as to what to do and where to go next! That was when the idea of house-sitting first came to us – we knew that we didn’t want to get back out on the road full-time, yet we also didn’t want to settle down into our old lives. House-sitting gives us the best of both worlds – not only does it save us a lot of money, but it allows us to travel slow and become intimately immersed in new cultures.
House-sitting gives us our independence. We still have the freedom to help out locals (we have volunteered a couple of times while house-sitting), and the time to also do work (besides our blog, we are involved in two other businesses). We have our own place to retreat to, and thus get all the comforts of being *home*, except that we may actually be on the other side of the world. It really is the perfect arrangement for us.
4) What is your favorite story that you love to share with others that you experienced during your travels?
When we were house-sitting in Honduras, we became friends with some locals who lived near us, and in very poor living arrangements. One of the women was pregnant at the time, and we made sure to let her know that we were available to help if she ever needed it. Sure enough, we got a phone call in the late evening to take her to the hospital to have her sweet little baby girl! She was so grateful for that (and the other) assistance we gave, that she made us the godparents of her child. That is one memory that we will never forget.
5) How important do you feel it is to know certain words in another language such as ‘good morning’ and ‘good evening’ when traveling?
Learning a few words in another language when visiting the country is so important, and is simply just about showing respect. Even if you butcher the words, or that is all you know, making the effort to connect with others across the world can make such a huge difference in how you are perceived and treated. Some of our best interactions and stories come from just reaching out in this way. To not do so would mean missing out on some of our most treasured experiences.
6) Do you feel it is important to know these words in more than one language depending on how many countries you plan to visit?
Absolutely. For all the same reasons as above.
7) Any advice you can give to someone who would like to travel long term but they are letting their fear stop them from taking that last step from cubicle life to world traveler?
There are always going to be a million reasons not to do it, and those reasons usually just stem from the fear of the unknown. All I know is that this life we have is a short one, and we don’t get any do-overs. Of all the fellow travelers we’ve met and talked to, NONE say that they regret their decision to do it.