As we're preparing to travel across Europe, we have many friends reaching out to us saying that we should stop by and visit, which is really awesome! It's so helpful for us to have a place we can stop if we need to, but we always want to ask, "What do you REALLY mean that we can stay with you?" So I've decided to write up a post about the Levels of Visitation.
And this isn't the same as 'Levels of Friendship'. Complete strangers are having us in their house to watch it. And some people just don't have room for us. That's both in their homes and in their day-to-day lives. We're obviously quite a disruption, so this isn't a measurement of trust or friendship, but rather, can you handle a disruption in your life of these levels? For instance, we are trying to get our house ready to sell right now. We would struggle even with a Level 1. If you just needed a place to crash, sure, but we don't have time to entertain. So no hard feelings at all on any of these. We know how life can get in the way sometimes. We fully expect most of you to be a Level 1 or 2.
It's also important to note that each level is helpful to us, so you should be honest with us on how much you're willing to put up with people in your home. Since we're housesitting on our journey, we could also stay while you go on vacation and we'll make sure no one steals your stuff and that your plants don't die. Or you could stay and we could hang out! Whatever works for you works for us! But first, we need to figure out what Level of Visitation you can handle. Usually, if you can handle, for instance, Level 3, that also means you're up for Level 1 or 2 as well. If not, let us know! Of course, this mostly applies to our friends and family, but if you're looking for a house/pet sitter, you can always reach out to us!
Levels of Visitation
Level 1 - A quick visit
You meet up with us for food or a quick trip around town. We don't spend the night, just hang out for a while. This is great for when we're on a longer trip and want a nice break.
Level 2 - An overnight (or two)
We might come in late in the day and leave the next morning or maybe spend the day and another night to leave in the next morning. There's some quality time, of course, but it's more of a quick transitional stay than anything. We really appreciate any nights we don't have to spend money for a hotel.
Level 3 - A real visit
You are willing to let us stay for more than just a night or two. You can show us the neighborhood, but we're also able to be independent. You don't need to take off of work or anything. We'll be ready to fend for ourselves or hang out whenever you have time! We're flexible! These visits are probably the most important for us. Sometimes we'll have some gaps in our housesitting and we need a place to stay for a few nights. We might need to stay up to a week, even, if that works for you.
Level 4 - Come stay for a while!
Our goal for housesitting is to be able to immerse ourselves in the local culture. In order to do this, we need to be in the area at least a week, but usually longer. If you're willing to let us stay for a week or two, we can really get to know the neighborhood. Again, you don't need to wait on us and we're willing to help around the house as well. This is a bit more than just filling in the gaps in our schedule. We understand that this level can be a bit daunting for some, so no pressure! But we would make the stay as painless as possible, helping with errands or chores, etc.
Level 5 - Make yourself at home!
Are you willing to let us stay for three weeks up to three months? We'd do chores, run errands, do the gardening, etc. We would be able to truly immerse ourselves in the local culture, which is the whole point of our travels. Be warned, though, we'd be documenting our experience on this blog. We're not invasive, though. If you don't want pictures of you on our site, we can figure it out. This isn't for the faint of heart, so we totally understand if you're not willing to go to this level.
Above Level 5 would be more like 'moving in' instead of visiting. As I said before, each level is helpful to us. If you're willing to have us stay over, reach out to us! We'll figure out some dates that work for everyone. And let us know what Level of Visitation you're comfortable with, cuz we definitely don't want to overstay our welcome.