I know that my blog has only been active for approximately two months, but I’m already noting some changes and additions I would like to make. This is actually not a daunting task for me, 1) because I don’t have much content, 2) I can only fine-tune my message and improve from where I am now. That being said, I wanted to make a quick post about a recent stayput travel experience I had right here in my own city. To me, the concept of stayput travel means creating a new experience within familiar surroundings. I don’t have an enormous travel fund, and I can’t pick up and jet set for months at a time, but I can reflect on past travel adventures and attempt to recreate that excitement with the unfamiliar, right here at home while still making it to work on time.

Fortunately, I live in a pretty damn cool city and there is never a lack of interesting things to see and do. From excellent outdoor activities in the Gorge, drinking your face off at any of the hundreds of great bars, feasting on authentic international cuisine, to walking through beautiful neighborhoods, attending a Blazers or Timbers game, or catching a concert. Portland, Oregon offers a lot. But you already knew that, that’s why you are probably planning on moving here.

In my quest for an at home adventure, I connected with homeowners on MindMyHouse , and got my first house sitting gig. I house sat for one week, starting at the end of December through the first week of January. MindMyHouse features house sits from around the world, and a location/keyword search that sends out email alerts if a house sit becomes available that fits your criteria. For around $20 a year you get access to the site and you can create your own profile with info about yourself including pictures. I have been a member for six months and I have contacted five home owners. Two didn’t work out schedule wise, two never responded, and one resulted in a week long stay in beautiful yoga retreat like accommodations. 20150102_124214_1

This is what I like to call the ‘yoga zen room’, where I spent a majority of my time. I was super productive in this room- I worked out, wrote a blog post, edited photos, and enjoyed the wall to wall window action.image_1

It was incredibly refreshing to have a change of scenery, to feel like I was in a completely different city. I felt refreshed each day, and I even enjoyed my alternate route to work. House sitting mixed things up for me and I needed that. I still went home when I needed clean clothes and when I forgot my toothbrush, but I embraced this new life and did all my living in this home. I even had a sweet old cat to care for and who kept me company. Well, she mostly just sat on her heating pad, ate kitty snacks, and took unholy number 2s. And that’s why I don’t have a cat. But it was nice to play house and pet owner for a week.

maggie

The house had two fire places, three bedrooms, a lovely blooming garden with fruit trees, and a giant projector screen. I may have netflixed everything possible on that big beautiful thing.

tv

Actual foot to screen size ratio. And yes, I’m watching Adventure Time.

I was encouraged to enjoy coffee and tea during my stay,

coffee

and the homeowners also left me a sweet care package as a thank you which included wine, chocolate, cookies, and homemade persimmons chutney. Swoon!

gifts

This house sitting experience rejuvenated my spirits. I feel confident that I am on the right path to creating stayput travel experiences of substance that will help us sustain our wanderlust. Yes, I’m talking about you as well… If you feel stuck or bored or anxious or frustrated because you are not traveling how you imagined you would be at this point in your life, then look around you! There are endless opportunities to experience something new in your very own city- from happy hour at a bar you’ve never been to in a neighborhood you never go to, to house sitting opportunities. Just remember, you gotta give back the keys when the owners return!

Next time on Graveyardshift Travel: I will be sharing the destination of my first trip of 2015, and dishing some details about a new Organizer position I have accepted with an amazing women’s travel network!

“Y NO ME DIGAS POBRE POR IR VIAJANDO ASI. NO VES QUE ESTOY CONTENTA? NO VES QUE VOY FELIZ?”

{featured image: flickr user Johnny Ainsworth}

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