Hobocoaster Pet and House Sitting is going mobile at last!
After several years of coveting my friend’s converted schoolbus, it looks like I’m finally going to get possession, at least for the summer. Now I’ll be able to travel where ever the work is, which is great, and live inside this luxuriously-appointed and 80% off the grid moveable home in between gigs.
It’s cheap, it’s eco-sensitive, it’s hobocoaster-sized, and you can drive the thing with a regular old Class 5 license!
Now, what I need from YOU YES YOU DON’T LOOK AWAY I’M TALKING TO YOU is a place to park said bus. It’s 30′ long, not enormous but too big to park on the street, and I would need to plug into a single extension cord for lights and computer and wifi. I don’t need heat, I have my own hot water system, I don’t need a water hookup (although if available that’s really convenient). I need a driveway long enough the bus’s bum doesn’t block the sidewalk or a rural or semi-rural piece of property with electricity.
So far, most of the options that have presented themselves are actually more expensive than renting a 1-bedroom apartment. As you might imagine, that doesn’t quite fit with my reasons for buying the bus. I estimate I will use less than $75 per month in power, possibly even less than $50.
As a professional pet and house sitter with farm and inn experience, I’m more than willing to work in exchange for part or all of the rent. In fact, I’m actively looking to get more physical activity into my life, so active work would be a huge plus as far as I’m concerned. And I can of course do internet marketing for resorts, rv parks, services, shops, wineries, and restaurants. As past president of the Social Media Club of Vancouver, that’s old hat to me.
Anyway, if you have any leads, drop me a line at lorraine.murphy at gmail dot com. Much appreciated! If you’re really nice to me, I’ll even let you drive it!
So it appears I’ll be hitting the road. For months now (literally) the friend for whom I’ve been house-sitting has been saying “I’m coming home in a few weeks.” This has been happening since April. And it’s a very complicated situation where she is, and entirely out of her hands, so she’s been unable to come back when she wants or plans, and while I’ve been very grateful for a lovely place to stay in a good neighborhood for which I do not have to pay anything at all, it’s been a bit awkward for the last few months. I’d been hoping to get to Hollyhock to volunteer for a month in August, but that wasn’t possible; she needed me here to look after the cats. I’d been hoping to spend some time in the wine country in September, but that also wasn’t possible (except for one lightning visit over a weekend). Quite frankly, I’ve been bitching about it, and so imagine my surprise last Friday when I got the message that she’d be coming back “Tuesday or Wednesday.”
On the one hand, YAY, FREEDOM! On the other hand, OH SHIT!
So now I have to clean up the house (I’ve already run out of paper towels and Mr Clean and lightbulbs) AND pack AND find myself a new place to live by Tuesday or Wednesday. Assuming I get the house cleaned, myself all packed (I won’t) and my work done (assuming all my articles haven’t been killed; I’m 10:0 lately) then somehow I hope for money to fall from Heaven so I can afford busfare up to the wine country, where I will be helping my friends pack up and move to Victoria. Sometime in November I’ve got to be in LA to meet another friend and hang out, and then she is off back East (which Americans, it seems, do not say; they say other things than “Back East” when what they really mean is “Back East”) for six months, during which I’ll be looking after her apartment. And although I always thought I would hate it, I actually adore LA. It’s the very best example of that great American moral principle of stabbing you in the FACE instead of the BACK.
I checked the bus schedules and it’s actually more expensive to go to San Francisco than to LA, because one is on the coast and a fiddly drive, and the other is straight down the I-5. What I’d LIKE to do is take the train to Portland, because I’ve heard the train is lovely, then take the bus to San Francisco provided it goes down the coast highway, then take the bus to LA. Overall, it’ll probably be $200 more to do it that way, but at least I can see my friends in each city, and enjoy the view. There’s not much view on the I-5 except Castle Mountain.
Then I’m invited to Bangkok in February, which I can do because the LA house-sit does not involve cats. Then back to BC because you can only be in teh US so long before they say “Aren’t you stealing a job from some hard-working Mexican, ma’am?” Probably to visit Shahee in Tofino, which I haven’t seen in years. Tofino. I see Shahee all the time, if only on Facebook. Then, perhaps, to Portland again to stay with Lorelle for a few months.
I wouldn’t rule out settling in Victoria. I wouldn’t rule out settling in Penticton. I wouldn’t rule out settling on a beach somewhere in Asia. The only thing I can pretty much rule out at this point is settling back in Vancouver. If someone offered me a dream job, with the condition I lived here, I’d probably take it, but then what kind of dream job would have that as a condition? I’m a writer. I’m so, so glad I’m not a marketer, and that means I’m much freer to travel than I would be otherwise.
So, ultimately unless something goes very sideways I’ll be paying for airfare/Greyhound and $130 a month for my storage locker, instead of paying for rent. Which is a damn good thing, because my major client seems to have evaporated, having not paid me since something like June, and my secondary one is in no hurry to give me any work right now.
It’s mid-week. It’s been a hard week. And tonight I am skipping not one but two events with free drinks just to stay home and rest, having been up since the day before yesterday, working and fixing the damn computer. This isn’t like me: sure, one event is just wine and appies, but the other is appies and GIN COCKTAILS made by Jay Jones and if you know anything about me, gin, or Jay, you’ll know that is not an occasion to be missed.
I’m not getting old, but I may be getting sober. Dear god, I’m not sure either I or the world is ready for this. Somebody warn the government!
Oh wait, happy thought! I’ll see Lydia this weekend and we’ll make up for lost time, no doubt.