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Couple launch pet- and house-sitting travel adventure

FreeWheelin'

 

October 16, 2019

Newlyweds SharonAnn Hamilton and Dan Fuller are launching new adventures, traveling the world while pet- and house-sitting. Hamilton will share their discoveries in her new column "Freewheelin', which replaces her previous column "Empowering Women" in The Beacon's Prime Living section.

"Home is now wherever we are," they declare as they step off the airplane in Paris, ready to take on their first pet sitting gig. They are off on adventures for at least a year, but Edmonds is still their home base. They'll be back.

SharonAnn Hamilton met Dan Fuller, Edmonds resident, both single for about seven years. SharonAnn was on a cross-country driving trip and stopped in Edmonds for a few months to help out a friend. She completely stopped that trip after she met Dan, and they explored Washington together for the next year (The Couple). Dan was ready to retire. SharonAnn writes and works with private clients from anywhere in the world. 

Decision time. What would they do next? What do they yearn for?

Travel, yes, but the kind of travel that allows one to soak up the atmosphere of a neighborhood or town. The kind of travel that brings lifelong friends. The kind of travel where you live as a native, shop and enjoy local cuisine. The kind of travel that opens doors of a thousand years past. The kind of travel that lets you touch history and art. The kind of travel that nourishes the soul.

They discovered a service to a world of homeowners and travelers – house and pet sitting. Owners get to go away on vacation knowing their pets and homes are in good hands. Sitters get to experience travelling by living in private homes, caring for pets and learning other cultures from the inside.

"Let's go," they agreed. They tried four jobs in the Seattle area to see if they enjoyed living in other people's homes and loving others' pets. The resounding evaluation: fun, adventurous, and replicable.

Freewheelin' becomes their lifestyle because it's incredibly fun. The dictionary defines this term as: willing to experiment and take risks by going beyond the usual rules or accepted ways of doing things. The mutual decision to remain active and curious about the world invited them to step out of the "retirement" box and go for freedom.

It's one thing to have a dream and another thing to make it happen. Planning and preparation is a complicated process, and it required their combined focus to get it done by the date of the first pet sitting commitment in France on Aug. 26.

The many decisions, each attaching some emotions, remembering which past loved one contributed an item, and feeling good about letting go brought the inner planner-writer-warrior out in SharonAnn. She is writing #The RIGHTsizing Playbook#, a handbook for creating great space for your redesigned life. It's about everyday living wherever you are. It's about understanding that our kids don't want our stuff. It's about creating simplicity in our lives that supports us instead of us maintaining a space to house our things. 

During the month of August they got married, took a two-week trip down the coast to San Diego, and said goodbye for now to parents, son, daughters, aunt and many friends. They emptied out Dan's house, sold or donated most things, and stored some in anticipation of eventually re-settling, They made sure of passports, obtained global entry cards, automated banking and bill payment, leased a car for Europe, enrolled in an internet mailbox service, packed up essentials in a carry-on suitcase and backpack each, stepped on the plane at SeaTac at 5:20 a.m. Aug. 24.

The findings on studies of the brain show that learning something new is one of the best ways to stave off old age and memory-related problems. Driving in France may have the reverse effect on their hearts, though. The rules are not the same. The French Finger Salute is a story found at #PetSittingAroundTheWorld.com#, a blog established to chronicle their travels.

Three months in France on three sitting jobs, then a month in Scotland, two months in SE England, back to France for a month, then heading to Italy.

Finding their way to their first French pet-sit, The Couple drove an hour north of Paris into the rolling, green hills of lovely countryside. They left the freeway and wound their way into the village of Santeuil to be warmly greeted by their hosts France and Daniel. They met Marley, the English Springer Spaniel, Cachu, the dwarf rabbit, and LiuLiu the tortoise that they would care-take for the next three weeks.

The village of Santeuil has a population of about 600, some of the homes and the church dating 800-1,200 years ago. A stroll effortlessly brings you back in time. It's the magic The Couple longed for when they decided to travel. It's the magic available to anyone who wishes.

SharonAnn and Dan's adventures can be followed on their PetSittingAroundTheWorld.com blog and Facebook by the same name. SharonAnn's work and column Empowering Women in the Prime Living section of The Beacon is shifting to Freewheelin', although she continues to teach women about financial independence.  SharonAnn & Dan offer 'how-to' coaching services for future global travelers on a private basis. The RIGHTsizing Playbook can be pre-ordered for fourth quarter delivery. Find out more by sending an email to info@PetSittingAroundTheWorld.

 

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