House Sitting with Molly in KL

After two weeks in our hotel, we have finally moved on to our house sit in Kuala Lumpur! After such a great sit in Chengdu, I have spent every day working to get us more bookings. So far, I have a good chunk of the year booked up, and more applications still under consideration. As we had hoped, this has been such a fun and convenient way for us to travel.

Our New Friend, Molly

We grabbed an Uber from our hotel on Wednesday and headed off to our house sitting gig just outside of Kuala Lumpur. Our hosts are Australian expats. She is an interior decorator back in Sydney and he works in marketing around the world. We are here looking after their beautiful home and their cheerful dog, Molly.

20180316_123812
Molly and I sitting on the back patio.

Molly has some separation anxiety, so we have been asked to spend the majority of our time at home with her. This has been no problem for us since we have recently seen a big up turn in our workload. Having the time to sit in this lovely home with Molly has really taken some of the pressure off of our “work” lives.



The Home

The house we are sitting is a beautifully designed and skillfully decorated single-family home in an upscale suburb. It is three stories tall with a large living space, private back patio, three bedrooms, and three bathrooms.

20180314_171951
The view from my new “office”.

Our room is wonderful! I nearly died when I first saw it. It is large, beautiful, and oh so very comfortable. We have a private bathroom with an enclosed shower and a balcony with plenty of visiting birds for me to admire.

20180314_145847
Josh is particularly fond of the high-speed internet.

The Neighborhood

Our home is part of Desa Parkcity, a master planned community. Our neighborhood is on a cobblestone street surrounded by a walking trail and dotted with fountains. We have a community gym and infinity pool just a few steps from our front door. We tried out the pool yesterday and enjoyed a moment of absolute bliss.

The planned community has a great collection of shops and restaurants, a large park next to a lake, and a country club that we have access to. Our host even gave us access to her Mercedes Benz(!) to allow us to visit everything Desa Parkcity has to offer. Are we in house sitting heaven or what?!

20180318_154432.jpg
The pool at The Club

Our Lives House Sitting in Kuala Lumpur

Despite we have only been here for a couple of days so far, we have already settled pretty well into our routines. First up was our “first day shopping trip”. This is where we pick up any toiletries we are missing, cereal, milk, sandwich stuff, and spaghetti. It is nice to always have at least one breakfast, lunch, and dinner covered at all times.

Mornings include breakfast and coffee, a jog with Molly (she likes to chase squirrels), and some social media time. Midday includes lunch, a short adventure, and then a sprint back home before the 3PM thunderstorm. Afternoon is our designated “do not talk to me” work times. I like to sit by the window while I work and watch the monsoon pass through. It can be quite frightening, but also very beautiful.

20180317_111435

For dinner, we have a home-cooked meal. There is nothing like home-cooking while we are traveling full time. I like to eat out just as much as the next foodie, but there is something so comforting about eating at home. Evenings are Jen and Josh time. We go out, watch tv, or work out together. The routine has been very nice.

We have a little over a week left here, then we are leaving KL for a ANOTHER HOUSE SIT! So far this has been a great way to really get to see the places we live, and to travel without breaking the budget.



Trusted Housesitters

Since we’ve been here, we estimate that we have saved around $200 on accommodations alone. But there are other perks as well. Not only do we have lovable Lucy to hang out with, but we have a bike to use ($5 savings) and a kitchen to cook in ($50 savings). In two weeks, we have saved over $250 by staying here with Lucy.

As mentioned in my Places We Live – Chengdu post, we are currently staying in an apartment in Chengdu, for free, in exchange for dog sitting. I learned about this type of exchange online and was able to get involved through Trusted Housesitters, a website that connects travelers with free house sitters.

We booked house sit a few months ago after sending messages back and forth with our host and doing a Skype interview. We had a lot in common and hit it off right away. She booked us a little after that, then a few months later, we showed up at her door. She introduced us to her wonderful dog Lucy, hosted us for dinner, and showed us the ins and outs of her apartment. Then she left for two weeks.

Since we’ve been house sitting here, we estimate that we have saved around $200 on accommodations alone. But there are other perks as well. Not only do we have lovable Lucy to hang out with, but we have a bike to use ($5 savings) and a kitchen to cook in ($50 savings). In two weeks, we have saved over $250 by house sitting in Chengdu with Lucy.

20180222_161657.jpg

With this is mind, I have been working diligently to get us more bookings. I sent out about a dozen house sitting applications last week and have finally booked three more sits! Next up, we’re heading to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to enjoy the company of an adorable pup named Molly.

Scratch Google Sheets

As you can see, we’re coming back to Chengdu too! I applied for a house sit in Chengdu thinking it would be a good layover on our way to Tibet or something later this summer. I told the woman I was currently in town and was able to meet up for a face-to-face interview if she wanted. Turns out, she is friends with my host and lives just down the block! She invited us over for a chat and also the next day for dinner. Her and her husband had lots of fun stories, a beautiful home, and about the sweetest kitten I have ever met. We can’t wait to come back for the sit.

20180222_191140.jpg

Maybe I am getting ahead of myself (this is only a our first house sit), but I think this is going to be a game changer. It has already shown to be a great way to save money, provide privacy to get our work done, and boost our social stimulation. Look out world, here we come!

Refer A Friend TrustedHousesitters com

 

 

The Places We Live – Chengdu

When I envisioned how this trip would go, I saw us living our normal lives, but with different scenery. It worked out great when we were staying with our parents in Florida and Idaho, but since we’ve been here, we have found ourselves living in hostels and hotels. And, as anyone who travels a lot for work can attest, that is not living. We have been having a great time, but I feel like a vacationer rather than a traveler or a roaming expat.

Thankfully, today is the day! We’ve temporarily moved into an apartment in Chengdu, and woke up today with our own space, breakfast at the table, and computer time on the couch. We could not be happier.

Chengdu is the capital city of Sichuan, China. There are between 7.8 and 14 million people living in this city, depending on who you ask, which makes it the 5th most populated city in China. It is the home of Sichuan spicy food, Giant Pandas, the largest building in the world (by floor area), and so much more. I can not wait to explore this city!

If you get the opportunity, check out Places Unknown with Anthony Bourdain, S8-E3 where he goes to Chengdu. It is a great representation of what we are living through.

We are living on the South end of town in an area popular among expats. How? With house sitting! That’s right. We are staying in someone’s house… for free… for two full weeks! Our host is an American teacher at an international school. She has taken off for the Spring Festival holiday and left us with her lovely home and her adorable dog, Lucy.

Jen with black dog, Lucy on couch. House sitters

Our home is in an area of town called American Village, which is a popular spot for expats. There are several other foreigners in the neighborhood, an American international school, and plenty of western restaurants. The apartment itself is on a mid-level floor in a high-rise building. It has two bedrooms, den, one large bathroom, large living room, small kitchen, and a Chinese-style laundry balcony.

The apartment was provided to our host by her work. She estimates the price to be around ¥400 ($64!) per month. It came lightly furnished in a Chinese style. During her 1.5 years here, she has added some Western flair and comforts of home (hence the coffee maker). It still has the feeling of almost right that many expats feel about the Chinese attempts at westernizing. Although the lighting and accent wall papering is elegant, the painted walls are still unevenly painted and cracked. The sinks have a nice faucet with working hot water, but the seams aren’t properly sealed, so it has a tendency to leak. There are two working elevators for the 20+ story building, but there is constant debate about turning one of them off. It has its quirks, but is overall pretty great.

The little perks of home have been wonderful. We bought some groceries and have been eating home-cooked meals. Lucy is very loving and has been keeping us entertained. We even have Netflix again. After a long day of walking and enjoying Chengdu, it was wonderful to sit and stretch on the couch in front of the TV.

We are already on our last week here in Chengdu and I don’t want to leave. I already put in an application for another house sit here for this summer. Chengdu is a very cool city and I can’t wait to explore some more. What’s on the list today? Maybe a trip to see the pandas, the opera, the wetlands, the giant buddha??? There are way too many options. One thing’s for sure, we definitely won’t be bored here in Chengdu.