Staying in one place for a few weeks rather than a few days is something we really hoped to do a lot on our trip. The first place we planned to stay for awhile was Baños, Ecuador. We started off WWOOFing at the Tungurahua Tea Room, where the Canadian owner, Carol, introduced us to a few other expats around town. Sticking around for awhile and getting to know people led us to the best opportunity we’ve had yet on this trip: house-sitting!
How we got this gig: In our first few days of WWOOFing we did some work on the property of one of Carol’s tenants, an American expat named Patricia. Patricia was really cool and helped us find all the awesome things to do in Baños! Then, after we had been in town for a couple weeks, Patricia got called away for a last-minute business trip. She needed someone to stay in her house (expats are big targets for robbery) and take care of Oso, the dog. So she asked us! We happily obliged and moved from living in a tent to living in a nice house with a refrigerator, hot water, and Internet (hence the reason we’ve been able to post every day and get caught up recently)! Oso did require a lot of work (long hikes, playing, bathing, feeding, etc.) but other than that our only real job was to keep an eye on things! It was a great, relaxing 10 days!
I think this experience exemplifies the great opportunities you can stumble upon while traveling if you’re flexible! If our schedule and plans had been more rigid, we never would have been able to do this. We had such a great time that now we’re thinking that more house-sitting might be a great option for us as we travel. I’ve heard good reviews about sites such as http://www.MindMyHouse.com, but I’m not sure there are enough listings in South America to make the $20 membership fee worth it. Anyone have any tips on this??? Or other ideas for us to get more house-sitting gigs?