I am staying in Napier, the city that calls itself the Art Deco Capital of New Zealand.
While it is not exactly a house sit, it is still free accommodation, free electricity, and even free Internet access.
I am staying on a friend’s yacht.
It is not as glamorous as it sounds. The boat is old and needs work, the mattress is not the same shape as the bed, and the stove does not work. I also cannot use the shower or toilet on board and have to use those at the marina.
It is rough, but it is fun.
Last night I drifted off to sleep to the gentle motion of the ocean waves and the creaking of boats testing their moorings while seagulls called to each other. This morning I woke up to the beautiful harbour that is my back yard. Now I am sitting in the gently rocking cabin, trying to concentrate on my writing so I can go exploring again this afternoon.
I am in Napier, New Zealand. It is a great place to stay. It is very tourist friendly, with parks and gardens and because it is summer, free outdoor events. In the last week I have visited a historic Maori Pa site, climbed small mountains for the view, explored the botanical gardens, found an abandoned road, ate ice cream at the beach with the seagulls, and hunted through a cemetery. I even went to a free Elvis concert in the park.
I came here for a holiday, which is pretty good, since most of the last two years has seemed like a holiday. Being a house sitter is a wonderful way to live and a sharp contrast to the stress of most occupations. It is also cheap and I am living on a small income again.
I thoroughly recommend it and, as you can see, you don’t even have to limit yourself to a house. Sometimes people want someone to look after their farm, or hostel, or maybe even their yacht.
One day I hope to write a book called “Yacht Adventures in Australia” or maybe “Around the World in a Floating Tub.”