Housesitting

IMG_5621Erik and I have done a lot of travelling and now that we are retired and have more freedom, we are interested in doing some house and/or pet sitting, as well as our regular travelling.  We have joined TrustedHousesitters.com and may join one of the other sites as well.  We thought we’d post our profile information here as well in case anyway had a lead for us.

Right now, we are interested in doing a few house sits in the UK, France, or Italy between Aug 28 – Oct 12 (ish).  We already have one 2 week arrangement for the last two weeks of September.  If we can find one more between Aug 28ish – Sept 15ish, that would be great.

Who are we and why should you let us look after your home?

  • Barb (1960) and Erik (1950)  
  • We are mature, financially independent, retired teachers.
  • We are responsible home owners (Kelowna, BC, Canada) and understand all that is required in looking after a house.
  • Erik is very much a Mr. Fixit guy.  He finished our basement himself (including a bathroom), and he built a deck and trellis in our back yard.
  • We love pets – we have had and cared for dogs, cats, fish, gerbils, and rabbits, as well as chickens, sheep, cows, horses – and we would love to care your pets.
  • Sadly, we lost our two dogs (Angel, a golden retriever, and Gabe, a chocolate lab), and Zoe, our cat, all to old age in the past two years and we can’t get another pet while we are travelling so much.  Therefore, we are aching to have the cuddles and play time with animals.
  • Barb farmed for 3 years, looking after sheep, cows, and chickens, and Erik has had horses in the past.  We’re more interested in caring for house pets, but would consider housesitting for a small farm if the situation and location were right.
  • We enjoy gardening and looking after flowers, lawn, and vegetable gardens. Erik has done landscaping work and is able to install and repair underground sprinkler systems, cut lawns, and trim foliage. Barb has a vegetable garden as well as flowers beds and enjoys puttering around in the garden every morning.
  • We are both very healthy, fit and physically active and we enjoy regular exercise. In the past 5-10 years, Barb has done triathlons and run a marathon and Erik has done duathlons and mountain bike races. In 2016, we both walked 800km on the Camino de Santiago in Spain.  We are fit and able to do physical work around your home.
  • We are non-smokers, social drinkers, and do not do illegal drugs of any kind.
  • When travelling, we enjoy rural areas or small towns and villages, as well as short stays in larger cities. In 2016, we rented an apartment for a month in Orvieto, Italy. We love to meet local people and learn about their culture, try new foods and wine, and visit historical sites. When possible, we prefer to stay in one area for longer periods of time, rather than changing location every day or two.
  • We also enjoy reading, walking, cooking, knitting, music (guitar, piano, a little fiddle and banjo), gardening, and blogging about our travels.
  • We enjoy learning new languages – Barb speaks some French, and we both speak a little Spanish and Italian. Erik was born in Denmark, moved to Canada when he was 6, and speaks a little Danish.
  • We have not yet done house sitting, but we have rented apartments or homes for 2-30 days in Scotland, England, Italy, and Canada when travelling. We have excellent reviews at AirBnb (see below) and can provide reviews from VRBO.
  • We are also members of Couchsurfing.com and Warmshowers.org and have hosted a number of guests in our home. We can provide links to our profiles on both sites if requested. Some reviews can been seen below.

Reviews of Barb and Erik as Travellers (Here is a link to our Airbnb Profile)

  • Great couple excellent to host. I would recommend them. (Nova Scotia)
  • Lovely couple ! Hardly knew they were here, they were so quiet. (Nova Scotia)
  • Barb and Erik were very friendly and respectful guests. We had a lovely breakfast with them before they left and really enjoyed sharing travel stories. They are of course welcome back anytime. (Nova Scotia)
  • très bien je recommande ERICK très discrèt cordialement (Beynac, France)
  • Nous avons eu beaucoup de plaisir à recevoir Barb et Erick, ils sont très sympathiques, bon contact aucun problème. Respectueux de l’appartement qu’ils ont laissé impeccable. Nous les recommandons vivement à tout les hôtes Airbnb. (Avignon, France)
  • Barb and Eric were the perfect guests. Considerate, friendly, sociable. They were neat, tidy and quiet. Barb and Eric were a pleasure to host and we would be delighted to host them again and recommend to others. (Tilbury, England)
  • Erik and Barb were the most perfect guests! I didn’t get the pleasure of meeting them personally as they were able to let themselves in to our apartment but they were extremely easy to communicate with and they sound easy going, gracious and appreciative. And, as every host appreciates, they left our apartment in spic and span condition. We would highly recommend them to other hosts. (Edinburgh, Scotland)
  • Barb and Erik were great guests and a pleasure to host. They looked after the flat really well and kept me posted on check-in and check-out arrangements. Cheers! (Glasgow, Scotland)

Reviews of Barb and Erik as Hosts (from Couchsurfing and Warm Showers)

  • Barb, Erik and their son were my first stop on my trans-canadian adventure and it was a pleasure, I felt really welcome and even kind of at home after a very short time. Visiting the vinyard where Erik works was very special to me, it’s something that only can happen through couchsurfing. Thank you all and I hope I’ll see Jesse in Europe one day.
  • amazingly kind and generous couple. I had a real great time hanging out with them! thanks again for all the help!
  • Erik & Barb were awesome!! I had no idea that within less than a week of arriving in Kelowna, where I now plan to make my home, that I’d be enjoying a wonderful turkey dinner with the whole family! Such a pleasant surprise! Erik & Barb made me feel at home in a new town 🙂 I truly enjoyed they’re wonderful company, delicious food and lovely conversation. Their son Jesse is an upstanding young man, the cat will like you quickly if you feed her treats and the dogs will make you feel like the most important person in the world! They get soooo excited every time you come home! In essence, I couldn’t recommend better hosts and will make my presence known every time I desire good food, good drink & excellent conversation. I’ll be back soon guys!!!!
  • Super people to stay and spend some time with. Eric & Barb are down to earth & interesting conversationalists, up for fun. I was invited to join with meals and Barb is an amazing cook. Lovely people.
  • Two wonderful nights with Erik and Barb. They took us into their home, provided the obligatory warm shower, and even took us on a skookum tour of Kelowna one day. Not only music lovers, this pair love to travel, and sit out on their patio, or in their pool. They helped us map out a route to our next destination which kept us on bike routes most of the way too. What a wonderful time we had!
  • We enjoyed spend time with Barb and Erik, a very friendly couple. Erik come with us to visit beautiful place in the city. A good rest in a quiet area.

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