Joyous Solstice! Merry Christmas! Hurrah for Hanukkah! Winter Greetings!
I didn’t send a letter with our holiday card this year, so I am using this forum to do just that. Consider this your winter greeting card from me for whatever holidays you celebrate.
If you have looked at this website at all, you know that we spent most of this year traveling fulltime through Europe. You can see our answers to the most commonly asked questions in this post about our thoughts on a year of full-time travel. There are still a million stories to tell about that adventure, but most people want to know what’s next.
As of October, we are back in Livingston, Montana where the adventure continues. It feels like a strange hybrid of traveling and community. We are moving around and don’t have anywhere permanent to live, but we have friends, family, community, and the mountains and rivers we know.
We started in a vacation rental owned by our friends. In my dream world, we’d buy this condo, rent it out when we travel, and have a home base in downtown Livingston. This condo is lovely and perfectly located – rent it if you come to town!
Then we moved into those same friends’ house while they are traveling for two and half months. This is a great housesitting gig in the Shields Valley. They have a ton of property, horses, cows, chickens, dogs, a cat, fish, a greenhouse, and a lovely farmhouse, which we are taking care of. There are miles of rolling land to wander around on. In the mornings and evenings we listen to an owl hooting outside the window. We eat fresh eggs for breakfast and walk the dogs with views of five mountain ranges. I wouldn’t want to live outside of town forever, but this farm stay is a great way to spend a couple months.
Have a traveler in your life? See my Guide to Best Gifts for Travelers.
The boys and I drove to California for Thanksgiving (the one downside of housesitting is that Henry had to stay and take care of all those animals). We saw my mom and Ed, my brother and his wife, and my perfect, new nephew. We hiked on Anacapa Island in Channel Islands National Park, watched flitting monarch butterflies overwintering in Ventura, played bocce ball, and wandered through the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach.
Now, back in Montana, we are soaking in winter as much as we can with cross-country skiing, sledding, and outdoor play. The boys are involved with our homeschool group. Chemistry class, guitar lessons, book club, and wilderness class have filled out their schedules. Most importantly, we are spending time with friends and family, especially Henry’s parents who live near our housesitting house.
In mid-January, we start another housesitting job. We have friends who have used Trusted Housesitters, but we’ve lucked out and found people by word of mouth.
In April, we will be in Mexico. We rented our friends’ condo near Akumel for a month and look forward to snorkeling with turtles, exploring Mayan ruins, and swimming in cenotes. I hope we can handle the heat and humidity; we are not known for our hot weather fortitude.
We hope to be in Montana for most of the summer and are looking for housing. We are scheming an East Coast trip for September to attend a travel blogging conference and connect with friends and family who live out that way.
We don’t really know what the long-term future looks like. We are craving a permanent home base in Livingston (especially Finn) and sporadic travel adventures. Until we can make that happen, we are just enjoying the adventurous family travel lifestyle we created.