It all started in the 70’s

Stolmaker-Markoff familyWe met in the 1970s and have been married since 1981. Our first journey together as a married couple was to the island of Bermuda where we discovered our mutual passion for snorkeling that has yet to be quenched. With jobs, independent businesses and raising two boys we still managed to see a lot of California and the western US, camping, skiing, hiking and rafting with the family.

With the boys grown into men, the house/mortgage grown into an upside down burden, and businesses suffering in the economy we decided it was time to try something different. We overhauled our lives, step by step, finding creative ways to simplify and unburden ourselves of just about everything.

Toyota-JJ-on-the-roadToday, we have a small car, that we use when in the US and Canada, a small savings account, that we use as little as possible, a small apartment in Neil’s sister’s home, that we use now and then, and a huge desire to enjoy the wonders of living large through travel and exploration.

From homeowners to nomads

When our first house sitting assignment was confirmed, we had found a way to live in a beautiful house in Canada for two months and were also close enough to family to care for Neil’s dad exactly when we were most needed. It worked out really well and we soon secured a second house sit all the way around the world in Western Australia. It became clear that house sitting was a perfect fit for us.

We live as international nomads, taking house sitting assignments all over the world and, in between, finding inexpensive countries to explore that fit into our budget. We have experienced and learned so much on our journey and this travel blog is our way of sharing what we have discovered with others. We now know that it is possible to travel extensively, and have a life full of fun and new experiences on a very small budget.

More about Laurie


As of 2016 Laurie is celebrating turning 60.Laurie-with-tiger
She is our travel visionary and tireless researcher, creating beauty in every place we settle.

She has been a waitress, special education teacher, parent educator, family therapist and a stress management coach. Laurie is also a talented artist with a flair for design.

Laurie loves to find new places for our travels, new adventures with animals and in nature and new folks to make friends with. Once she learns to say delicious and good, she will talk to just about anyone she meets, ask for help, and shop in the market.

Laurie is the one on the back of the ATV or bike. She loves letting Neil drive.

Thanks to Laurie we learned about and got started house sitting, have found housesits in great places and made friends all over the world.

She also loves reading about our destinations, taking pictures, making art, tasting exotic fruits and veggies and finding massages and spas, art museums, and interesting destinations along our travel routes.

More about Neil


Neil-with-drinkAs of 2016 Neil will be 65 years young.
Neil is our resident computer geek and keeper of all things technical. He is organized, detail oriented and patient.

Neil has been president of his own company, managed a few retail stores, worked as an X Ray tech, been a portrait photographer, worked in the film industry and been a chef in a restaurant.

He is the guy everyone calls when they need help with their website, can’t work their TV or don’t understand what is wrong with their plumbing or electrical in their house. If Neil doesn’t know about something, he loves doing the work to find out.

We have yet to go on an adventure, house sit or bus ride that he didn’t think was great fun.
He can be found hauling home 20 liter bottles of drinking water, driving us around on a motorbike or figuring out how to make our wifi work in a new country.

And when Laurie comes up with the next crazy thing to do, Neil always surprises her with a “yes.”

Laurie and Neil gave away or sold 99.9% of their possessions for a new life as international travelers. They share the secrets of how they turn limited resources into a life of unlimited fun and adventure. Read more

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