Paul and I have been in NE Portland a little over a year now. Initially, we came here on a three month sit. Next thing you know, we are renting a sweet little Craftsman smack dab in the heart of the Alberta Arts District and close to just about everything we love about Portland. We have had a great time furnishing it and making it homey. The garden has been a highlight of our summer and I often wonder how we ever got on without a front porch.
From 2009 to 2011 Caretaking Couple was simply the two of us, traveling around the States and taking care of people’s properties and pets. Each sit has been a bit different than the one before and we have learned so much along the way. As I have said before, we aren’t going anywhere until the fall, as summer in Portland is absolutely divine (and well-earned after a long, wet winter)…but now that fall is just around the corner we find ourselves at a crossroads.
Do we stay here in Portland, because we are happy here, or do we continue on our adventures, because we love adventures?
Of course, I have given some thought to the pros and cons of staying put…
We have a comfortable place to stay. Our neighbors are nice. The landlords are great. We have room for guests. We have privacy. We don’t have to worry about other people’s things. We are able to enjoy our things. I have built up a decent little pet sitting business here in the neighborhood. We can walk or bus to our favorite places. Our garden is awesome. We are in an urban area with lots to do. This community suits the both of us.
The rent is high for two people, especially when we can be long-term sitting for $0. The landlords would like to sell. We are in one place (I like to travel more, but most of our sits here are on weekends ~ the only time Paul is able to get away). Work is hard to come by…twice I have been offered jobs, spent my own time and money preparing for them only to find out that they weren’t really jobs after all (super frustrating). There are urban issues like gentrification and crime. And with this beautiful home comes maintenance (time that could be spent wandering). And it is true what they say about the rain…
So, what would you do if you were in our situation? We are curious!
Well, I am a litle more of a home-body so that is easy for me to answer. You two have made that craftsman house so adorable, and the garden is amazing. I gotta say, walking to Alberta District is simply splendid. I would definetly stay. Now if the new sit was somewhere I dreamed of living I would go,(ex. N. Calif or Key West). Maybe a really cool sit will come up soon. Just my .02 cents.
Thanks, Sadie. I took out the third option as it has not yet been offered to us : ) If it is, I will add it to the mix for sure! Yes, Key West and Northern California are two of our favorite spots as well…it will be interesting to see where we end up!
You probably know that I am like Sadie. But you don’t really have home maintenance since you are renting, right? Maybe you can take that off the list of cons? And as for Portland crime – is that things like yarn-bombing the street lamps and stealing other people’s recyclables?
Our landlords are in Bend so we take care of anything that comes up. The house is in excellent condition for being almost 100, but there are issues that arise with any home (last week it was the boiler). As for crime, five of our neighbors cars were recently stolen off the street so it is on my mind at present (we are lucky to have a garage). Shootings are not unheard of in this part of town (it was a lot rougher a few years ago, though). So, I am sticking to my original list. None of these things are deal breakers – just stuff to consider.
I would stay put. But this isn’t really “what would I do?” as much as it is “What should YOU do?” And that, alas, I cannot say. Jeremy and I couldn’t be happier now that we’ve put down roots after our housesitting experience. But that’s us. Also, the big difference between San Miguel de Allende and Portland is that our expenses are so low that when the travel bug bites again (and he will), we can afford to leave our house empty for a month or more and just go.
My advice? Follow your gut. And on a more practical note–is your lease going month to month? If so–or if you could negotiate that–then the decision to stay would not be etched in stone.
And oh yeah–one more thing. Based on your FB posts, you REALLY like Portland. just sayin’.
I just threw this out there as it is always interesting to get another perspective or two. For example, your cost of living is much smaller now that you are living in Mexico and it sounds like you have the best of both worlds (a place to call home and the opportunity to travel when the bug bites). That wasn’t really on my short-term radar and now it is. Thank you for your feedback, Maureen.
Well, there’s a comfy guest room in my yurt if you want to come and check it out!
Hi Valynne, I figure that when it’s time to go again, you’ll have the irresistable urge to go. It doesn’t sound like you do now. You will get that bug before long, so enjoy everything in Portland now, and when it bites you’ll be ready and not ambivalent. Love you, Laura
Long term sits are typically lined up a couple of months in advance…so, I have decided to put feelers out in a few select locations (think sun and sand) with Paul’s blessing. If nothing comes of it, then we are already someplace that we both enjoy…win, win! Happy that you are back in the States and can’t wait to catch up with you for real, Laura! XOX Love you, too.
Maureen, WP isn’t allowing me to reply to you directly this morning for whatever reason. I LOVE yurts and believe it or not, neither of us has been to Mexico. Weird, especially for a woman who spent half her life as a West Coaster. Would love to check it out one of these days, which reminds me to check out your blog just in case there new are pictures posted. Cheers to happy new digs!
I think you should go. Your questions contain the answers you are seeking (oh wise one!). You have the soul of a wanderer and Paul seems to enjoy it too. You have plenty of time to make a permanent home, somewhere, so take this time to travel. When you are ready to plant roots, there will be no questions or doubts. You can always plant a garden again in the future and you can always redecorate a home again in the future. The place is Portland is sweet and nice, but there’s something missing for you there; so keep movin’ on. Besides, I need more places to visit you and Paul !!!
: ) I bet I wouldn’t have to twist your arm for a visit if we ended up in Big Sur…