We’re moving around the United Kingdom and getting intimate with it. Having spent so many weeks here, in fact about 4 months (in total) this year, we’re really getting to know it.
One of our favorite places to visit was Cardiff, Wales.
Housesitting: the ultimate in the sharing economy model.
We continued our journey of housesitting our way around the world (<– that’s a link to the book we wrote about housesitting). This means we’re living in “free” accommodations in exchange for the caring of someone’s house (and usually animals).
I mentioned in the last post how we met with someone I’d met playing Words with Friends (for years!). That was fun.
For the main part of the Cardiff visit, however, we did a housesit for a lovely family who had a sweet dog to care for.
The home was three stories tall and had plenty of space.
That’s one of the benefits of housesitting while traveling. We’re not cramped in a small apartment rental or hotel room. We find ourselves in lovely, spacious homes complete with great wifi, comfy couches, and clean beds.
And fun appliances for making coffee!
This particular housesit location was convenient so we could walk to town.
It was my first time experiencing the uber frugal Lidl’s, too!
Wow is that a great store to stretch a buck. Canned mackerel for about 50 cents, 80/20 ground beef for about $1.50 a pound – a frugal carnivore dieter’s dream. I’ll definitely be on the lookout for more Lidl’s as we travel the globe.
The housesit was also close to the train station and bus stop. So, even though the lovely homeowners left us their car to use, we had a variety of travel options close by.
The area was also so pretty with huge parks, playgrounds, and walking trails.
For this housesit we were required to walk the young dog twice a day, trying to get a total of 3 hours in each day. I definitely got my steps in during this housesit. Fortunately, we had amazing weather and it greatly enhanced our experience.
As we understand it, the weather was unique and not usually so beautiful.
We had the ocean just a short drive away, too.
Our daughter went to a science (STEM) camp, too.
You know we’re interested in STEM/STEAM things for kids… so much that my husband is writing a STEM / STEAM children’s adventure story series!
Finding classes or camps while we travel is a great way for her to enjoy time with other kids and make friends all over the world. She went to a STEM camp for one of the weeks in Cardiff. This kept her busy, gave her a break from us, and Greg and I were able to get a lot of extra work done.
Looking for things like that where Kamea can meet other kids is enjoyable for her: parks, neighbors, camps, classes.
Here she is playing with the girl next door to the housesit where we stayed.
Our travels this year have connected us with so many new people all over the world. It’s such a unique life and experience.
Cultural immersion in the UK means understanding the history of pubs and their roles in society. And, of course, enjoying them! They’re often pup-friendly and kid-friendly. And, they have great coffee and wifi.
Setting our daughter up for a great future.
I love that our young daughter is experiencing world travel and getting life-skills in the process. She’s learned so much in the just the past 5 months about the way some things work in the United Kingdom and France… from the different climates to the different health care systems (a common discussion) to politics (another common discussion as people are interested in chatting us up about our current American politics). She’s also understanding how to navigate trains and planes in other countries and overall discovering other customs and ways of living.
So far, we’ve barely cracked the surface.