One year into our adventures and far from being ready to return and go back to the grind, we settled into our longest, housesit to date in popular Boquete Panama (a well-known retirement destination). Being in one spot for so long was a welcome break and a much needed one–carting heavy dive gear around had taken its toll—apart from visiting the local chiropractor we enjoyed tai chi, yoga and Feldenkrais classes, theatre productions and the local market. This welcome break also made us realize that slow travel is the only way to really understand a new place especially if you are contemplating living there.
Volcán Barú the active stratovolcano and tallest mountain in Panama as seen from our Housesit in Boquete
Volcán Barú in a Moody Moment
It was also here that I decided to take a step down a path, that my English teacher had foreseen years ago, I purchased an online travel writers course. Within days of starting the course, I had negotiated my first discount or ‘comp trip’ and I was ecstatic. The exclusive, luxurious Isla Palenque was everything we had imagined it would be and so much more. It appeared that we could easily develop a champagne lifestyle, even on a beer budget.
Experiencing Panama in Style in Isla Palenque
From Panama it was back to Belize to complete more housesits, one in our favorite beachside place, Placencia. We then spent a few weeks in the depths of the Belize jungle, with howler monkeys, giant iguanas and giant cockroaches and scorpions for company. Loved it!
Belize River Howlers at our Housesit near Belmopan Belize
Lobsterfest in Placencia Belize
We finished our Central America adventure with another ‘comp’ trip to St. Georges Caye a perfect place to sample true Belizean hospitality and try our hand at hunting the invasive Lion Fish! From there we headed off to Ambergris Caye and then took an inventive route back home for our second pit stop. Travelling by sea and overland to Cancun, Mexico then flying back to Vancouver, we saved enough for our next flights.
After 18 months on the road, we had no intentions of stopping; instead, we were plotting ways to make our travels sustainable. Which is why we decided to cull our ‘stuff’ once more, including our vehicle that had suffered from sitting unused, the squirrel nest under the hood was the least of the problems.
A wet and cold November in BC was incentive enough to get us packing once again, this time without dive gear. The plan was to head to South America and a relocation cruise to Panama was the perfect opportunity. From there we would make our way south, destiny had other ideas!
Back in Panama – This time in Portobelo
In a dugout canoe with the Embera Tribe in Panama
I have long had a love affair with the Caribbean and an opportunity to spend months housesitting in the Grenadines was too good to miss. Rather than trying to travel over the crazy months of December and January, we did some more exploring in Panama and settled in the coastal resort of Playa Blanca. A experience that proved condo living is not for us.
Sunset in Playa Blanca Panama
Two years of travel and a budget has made us very inventive with travel options, which is why we caught yet another cruise. This traveled from Panama to Cartagena, Columbia, Boniare, Aruba & Curacao. We jumped ship in Curacao and flew to Grenada, for a couple of idyllic weeks and then onto St. Lucia (where had arranged another housesit) three weeks in a villa overlooking Marigot Bay was tough to handle! From there it was a short flight and a longer ferry ride to our current home in Bequia in the Grenadines.
Our first stop ever in South America – Cartagena Columbia
Bonaire – A Divers Paradise
The most photographed tree in Aruba
The Queen Emma pontoon bridge in Willemstad Harbor Curacao
In our two years of travel, we have spent 40 weeks housesitting ( rent-free accommodation) visited 34 countries, learnt new skills (travel writing, photography and Spanish) and earned extra income through them.
Where the next two years will take us, we do not know. We do know we are going to enjoy it to the full and hope you will join us on our travels.
As always we look forward to hearing from you too.
The view from our St Lucia Housesit
Sunset in Marigot Bay, St Lucia