One of the many things I'm doing to make this trip sustainable over several months is house sitting. I'm a member of a great international service, Trusted Housesitters, through which I can apply for jobs along my route. I've had an almost entirely positive experience, with just a couple of bumps along the way, and love to settle into a new place and get to know the area on a more personal level.
While sitting on my childhood friend Kristi's couch in California, I applied for a 10-day job in Seattle. It turns out that the homeowner, Jill, grew up in the same small NH town as Kristi and me, though we had never met. Even more small-worldy, Kristi's dad built the house that Jill grew up in.
I took care of Jill's dog Finnegan, a Labradoodle with an out-sized personality and off the charts levels of cuteness and sass, and 2 sweet cats, Pinto Bean and Pacha. Jill's tiny treasure chest of a house reflects her love of travel and indigenous craft. Perched right on the edge of Puget Sound, the murmur of rocks tumbling over and over lulled me to sleep every night. Located on a dead end street at the bottom of a twisty, steep street, the pace was a haven from the bustle of the city, a little bit of calm in a sea of people and constant traffic.
I ventured out on a few field trips of my own over the 10 days I spent in west Seattle, which I'll add as separate posts. There are a ton of things to see and do, and I didn't get anywhere near close to halfway done with my list.
Finn and I went out for a walk every morning and every afternoon, exploring the neighborhood or finding a local park. We hit a nearby dog park several times and Finn practiced swimming in the Sound, particularly useful on days when he found the dead rat that kept washing back onto shore [insert full body shudder here].
By the time Jill returned from her trip, we were well on the way to a solid friendship, something I never expected to come out of a house sit. I've realized more and more over these past few months that my wealth lies in the number of deep friendships I have with people all over the world. It's my very best collection and I'm lucky to have it.