So....guys. Real talk here. This traveling/nomadic lifestyle of ours? It's not all it's cracked up to be. Yes, there are amazing upsides that I highlighted last week. And yes, there are the downsides which I also highlighted last week. But this week? This week threw us for a loop that we did not see coming. On Monday I wrote a post about how we were settling into our new housesit that we accidentally found at the thrift store. On Wednesday, we got kicked out.
Nope, you didn't misread that. We got kicked out of our housesit. This was a weird situation to start with for two reasons 1. We didn't find her through normal channels so there was less understanding about what the owner/housesitter relationship should be, and 2. The homeowner was not leaving until November 12 so we had about 5 weeks of living under her roof while she was still there. When she first asked us to housesit for her we said no for this reason - we figured we would need a housesit in between, that housesit was likely to be on the other side of Australia, therefore we would not come back to Perth for one starting in November.
When she heard that she insisted that we stay with her. We clarified that it would be for almost 5 weeks and she acted like it would be no big deal, she would love to host us! For about a week, that worked well. Then, things went awry. I don't want to go into all the drama/details here as I don't like to dwell on negativity, but ask me about it in person sometime and I'm sure I'll talk your ear off. For now, this summary that Joel sent to his best friend Brian sums up our experience perfectly:
Her: I love you two! Stay forever!
Her: You're doing this wrong, rage!
Us: Sorry! We'll fix it!
Her: Oh, I don't care that much, you're fixing it wrong, but I love you so it's all good.
Us: Umm, ok, we just want you to be happy.
Her: I just want you to treat this like your house!
Us: Oh ok, well, here is how we treat our house.
Her: No! That's wrong! You treat me like crap! I'm going to have to rethink this!
Us: Umm, we'll literally do whatever you want us to do, just tell us!
Her: No, I love you guys. I just want you to love being here and treat it like your house.
Us: Ok, well we can figure this out.
Her: I can't trust you at all! Get out!
Again, I won't share all of the details (there are a lot) but here are some highlights. The last week leading up to her telling us to leave was incredibly tense as we walked on eggshells trying to do anything we could to make her happy and not piss her off. Nothing worked. If we spent too much time in the living room, we got yelled at. If we spent too much time in our room (trying to stay out of her way) we got yelled at. But then she bought us an anniversary present (a trip to go whale watching in Fremantle) and things seemed okay again. She took us grocery shopping on Tuesday and let us buy food like we were going to live there for 3 months.
On Wednesday morning we were walking to the library when she was driving home from work (she works nights) and spotted us. She insisted on driving us the rest of the way to the library. Two hours later she sent an email telling us to leave. That's right, an email. I was livid. I immediately went outside to go for a walk and let out a string of curse words (and if you know me, you know I curse very rarely.) Then I went back in and we set about finding a solution to the whole "we are suddenly homeless in Australia" problem.
Luckily, we had two people come to our rescue.
We had plans that afternoon to meet up with our previous host, Emma. They had borrowed our luggage locks for their trip to England (since we wouldn't need them while we were at their house) so she was meeting us at the library to return them. When she showed up, we told her what just happened and she immediately jumped in to help us. Emma drove us to the house, waited in the driveway for 20 minutes while we packed up all of our earthly belongings (and several months worth of food), and took us to her house to figure out the next step.
That next step was to contact Elaine. We had met Elaine only once before (we went to see Downton Abbey with her) and she is a friend of my mom's friend so we have a loose connection. We had previously discussed staying with her if we ended up needing a place between housesits but we weren't sure she would be ready for us at this time since it was incredibly last minute and she had literally just returned from her trip to the States. Thankfully, Elaine is basically a saint. She didn't see my Facebook message because she was at work all day, but when I finally decided to try the call function over messenger she picked up immediately. I was barely finished telling her our whole sob story when she hopped in her car at 7:00 at night and was on the way to get us.
We have now been at Elaine's house for about 24 hours. Her home is incredibly lovely and she is one of the warmest and welcoming people I have ever met. Her guest room is beautifully decorated with a very comfortable bed and the guest bathroom is fancier than the one at the last hotel we stayed in. She understands that we are feeling jumpy as houseguests due to what happened and is doing everything she can to make us feel at home. We, in turn, are doing everything we can to be the best guests we can be (which we did at our previous place, too, to no avail.) The anxiety that plagued me for the last week (I was barely eating and sleeping and time seemed to crawl by) has lifted and I slept better last night than I have in months.
Our current plan is to stay with Elaine until our trip to Bali which is November 4-8. During this time we will be searching for our next housesit (through the proper channels this time, thankyouverymuch.) Hopefully, we will find something that starts mid-November-ish and we are hoping for something on the other side of Australia (Sydney? Melbourne?) so we can experience more of this beautiful country. Upon our return from Bali, we'll have another 90 days we can spend in the country until we have to leave again per our visa rules.
Getting kicked out sucked, but in the end, this is for the best. After her initial blow-up at us, things were never comfortable and it became very clear there was nothing we could do to make her happy. It was incredibly uncomfortable being there and well, now we don't have to be! Yay! I thank God that we had plans to meet Emma at the right time and that Elaine could take us in; without them I truly don't know what we would have done.
So, we'll take this left turn and see where we end up. Pray for us will you? Life on the road is not for the faint of heart.