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I'm on mission as a collector of GIANT experiences in faith based world travel, remote working, and self-supporting volunteering with my business Drawer Full of Giants - also a professional housesitter
2011 I sold, gave away, donated everything I owned and condensed my life into a couple of bags - 35Lt and carry-on. An amazing feat for someone in their early 40's after nearly 20 years of having a family home and all that comes with it.
I wanted to have a lifestyle change. My goal is to see the world while I work for myself on the road - so easy with the nature of what I do - but I also enjoy 'giving back' and I offer my professional services to ministries as a volunteer. I know they can not often afford me, so I stay with them and do all the designing they need for a period of time half a working week, and I work for my paying clients the other half so I can travel and live. This also makes it more frugal to travel and I get to meet many different people. In-between those times as my work dictates I house-sit.
You would of found me in 2012 working, volunteering and traveling round Thailand experiencing some fun things from making Thai TV programs, illustrating a colouing book for Thai children, sleeping on concrete floors, sleeping on the beach, riding, washing and sleeping with elephants and rubbing a tigers belly!
While I spent 2013 closer to home, in Australia till April house-sitting up and down the country while I worked for my clients and settled my daughter into her (then) new job as a vocalist in a music group touring the country. April through to December that year I traveled around the United States couchsurfing, house-siting and volunteering (HS/CS/V/T) my way through - Colorado, Idaho, Florida, Washington State, BC-Canada and back down to California.
2014 finds me HS/CS/V/T through Australia again with a couple of jaunts back to NZ for a book launch (my 1st!) and a country length road trip :)as well as a month in the USA booked in for the end of the year.
I'm a very happy person, optimistically geared. I love life, I wish that once I reach the end of mine, I'll be able to look back and have no regrets. I'm also a Christian by faith.
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
HOW I PARTICIPATE IN COUCHSURFING
I'm very friendly and can regale my hosts with tales of my fun adventures, I'm big of collecting experiences while I love to share.
I love to sightsee when I have guests with me, showing folks round is loads of fun, and as I'm traveling much of the places I'm at is new to me also, so might as well enjoy it together.
As I in fact travel full time I'm rarely able to open my home to host, but check back as I house sit professionally also, and at times have a bedroom available.
I've been enjoying couchsurfing in Australia with several people through 2103/2014. I've enjoyed the couches and beds of folks who've put me up for 3 or 4 nights a piece. My favourite was a couch under the decking roof when it rained all night - heaven and also stayed in a rustic 'hippy' community and enjoyed the outdoor bathroom and composting toilet.
Where I call home for a few months in a house-sitting gig, and where I have permission, I welcome surfers to stay with me while I host.
I've surfed in the United States and made some great friends doing so.
Thailand: was given a space on a concrete slab floor with an inch thick mattress, some cushions and a blanket. Slept 5 nights with our hosts in a small village with large lizards waking us up through the night. Slept well.
I arrived in England to be meet by my pen-pal's older boyfriend. Couldn't believe it then a chap in his 50's appeared (very late) with classic black bowler hat, briefcase, suit, and umbrella (all black also!) to collect me. But he gave me his own bed - a single with a hollow with thick heavy blankets. His small flat was very masculine and filled (horded) books and newspapers and the colour brown. He treated me to English fish and chips that were heavenly, I'd just flown in from 9 months in Japan, this meal reminded me of home, but with a cooler accent. The next day he put me on the correct bus out of town.
While in Japan (one of a few experiences) a family took my 2 friends and I in for a few days. Although we all weren't savvy in communication with one another, we had a great time trying to figure it out with pictures and basic words we all knew. Our hosts were really generous and not only took us sight seeing but took pity on us and gave each of us time to call our Mum's back home. Never forgotten that.
I needed a place to stay in Auckland and an acquaintance helped me out. I was shown to my 'room' and had to contain myself until my host left me to unpack. Once I picked up my jaw from the ground I was able to explore my surroundings - My bedroom was enormous (!), larger than my own lounge, with my own king bed and en-suit bathroom that was as big as my bathroom/laundry at home. The lap of luxury was defiantly a blessing and a highlight.
I spent a night in Sydney recently with a friends parents - the best part of the evening was talking with the wife about my lifestyle choice, it helped me to hear it again and excited me also. They were such a lovely couple and dropped me off to my appointment the next morning, instead of catching a bus.
Each and every host have been so generous and kind
In turn - I've hosted many a traveller over the years from Japanese students to international friends needing a bed for a night to a month.
One couple stand out - I 'found' them camping behind my church through the week. They were from Europe. I took round some breakfast cereal and introduced myself. Then I offered them my lounge (they were sleeping my their car) and shower and internet connection. They stayed a couple of nights and were great fun to hear their stories from. My dad was a tram driver in Christchurch and I usually had spare tickets on me to give out to people (shhh - don't tell) so they enjoyed a tourist view of the city.
Graphic design, illustrating, talking, encouraging, networking, business, lifestyle design, travel, faith, anything involving water, house sitting, exotic animals as well as domestic, nature in general.
Music, Movies, and Books
My daughters voice - I love her music both songs she writes and sings.
Classical music for when I work.
Bit of fan of the 70's music era. And while traveling I love country music - in particular John Denver - don't shoot me for those who aren't keen on country - I've headphones:)
Practical how-to books on living a Christian lifestyle
Biography's on people who've inspired me e.g George Muller
Testimonies and mission stories
Business, traveling/lifestyle - whatever I'm currently researching.
BBC Period Dramas
Si-Fi (big fan! - though not the scary ones)
BBC comedy - the clean funny stuff, not the smutty vulgar choices of today
Christian inspirational movies
Romantic movies - if the other above choices aren't there
A good drama
The odd thriller.... but not as much
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
Had a baby
Overwhelmed and cried when I was up close to an elephant
Rubbed a tigers tummy and held his huge head in my lap
completed a BA (near top of class) as an adult, after dropping out of high school at 16.
Visited a male prison in central Thailand as part of a small video crew, then was surprised to be asked to come forward and speak to the men! I made them all laugh - which was such a hoot - considering it was also translated.
I've created a sustainable lifestyle doing what I love
Was invited to go to a Thai prison as a guest (fly on the wall photographer) and when they meet me invited me to speak and encourage the men up front! Floored by such a prospect I thought why not (!) and spent 20min talking with them through a translator - had them knee-slapping laughing from the ice breaker of my arrest as a teen for shoplifting.
Teach, Learn, Share
Idea generation - I've been aptitude tested at 95%
Started a business
De-cluttering your home and life
Budgeting and dept elimination (small scale - no large corporation need apply)
Single parent living
Graphic design advice/consultation
I know - I'm a package ;)
Countries I’ve Visited
Australia, Cambodia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, New Zealand, Thailand, United Kingdom, United States
Countries I’ve Lived In
Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Thailand, United Kingdom