Since December 2009 I have been house sitting my way around New Zealand and enjoying a rather different way of life. I have looked after a farm with 100 free range chickens, an amazing house with a lake and a fantastic kayaking dog and many homes near the sea.

Today is the last day of the longest house sit I’ve had which was 7 weeks long. It was the first time since December that my clothes had actually been hung up in a wardrobe. Hard to imagine? I’ve been amazed at how quickly I have adapted to my new life style.

There has been only two moments of real stress at being homeless in the last 6 months. One of which was over the last couple of weeks. So where does a house sitter without a housesit go? Is it the same place that butterflies go when it rains?

During the summer the answer for me is easy – camping and tramping.

During the winter I need to get more inventive as it gets a bit cold to camp and the weather isn’t always so good for tramping. I try to limit staying with friends as it’s nice to keep them up my sleeve for real emergencies!

I keep my eyes open for volunteering and Wwoofing (Willing Workers On Organic Farms) opportunities. Today I am getting on a ferry to go to D’Urville Island for a week to volunteer my time and plant trees for the Department of Conservation. After that I am staying with friends for a few days and then I will explore a Wwoofing option at a yoga centre on the coast.

The important lesson I’ve learnt through the stress is that stress itself really isn’t much use as it closes down my mind to the many options that might be available. Once I started to relax and realise that there is always a way around a problem more and more options came my way.

It’s a case of remembering that my lifestyle has worked very well for the last 6 months so there’s no reason why it can’t work for another 6 months. Now where did I put my gardening gloves?

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