Writer Wednesday – Meet Laura Cody
Laura Cody is one half of the travel bloggers behind Travelling Weasels and could be called House Sitting experts! Discover more about Laura, her travels, House Sitting, and how you can be a house-sitter too!
Writer Wednesday would like to introduce Laura Cody.
Please tell us a little about yourself.
I have a mathematics degree and a black belt in kickboxing. I’m scared of heights, driving, crowds, moths, monkeys, loud noises… And I only fell in love with travel by accident. My name is Laura Cody, I am a travel blogger and YouTuber and I travel the world with my fiancé, Tanbay.
Have you ever travelled solo?
I haven’t really ever travelled solo, Tanbay and I have been together for the past ten years and we love travelling together.
How many countries have you visited?
Thirty, which doesn’t seem like a lot considering we’ve been travelling pretty much constantly for the past three years, but because of house sitting we’ve done a lot of slow travel and we’ve spent at least a month in: Australia, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece and Thailand.
After travelling around Australia for 9 months, what tip do you have for first time travellers?
My tip is to never do work abroad that you wouldn’t want to do at home. So many people travel to Australia/a dream country of theirs and end up picking pumpkins/working in a bar. I would recommend cutting costs as much as you can and live a simpler life that doesn’t involve doing something you hate most of the time.
If you’re lucky enough to have a hobby that you love, do that as much as possible, until you become a master at it and you can charge as much as you like for it, I’m paraphrasing Alan Watts here, but I really believe that life’s too short to do jobs you hate.
What is your favourite place you’ve travelled and why?
Vietnam is probably my favourite because of the food and beauty, but Australia, Italy and Hungary are close seconds.
If you could describe your method of travel in one word, what would it be?
What is your must have travel accessory?
Probably something like an iPad, it sounds superficial but it’s the most useful travel accessory we own.
What is your most memorable travel moment?
Seeing wild kangaroos for the first time sticks out as pretty good. They were so massive!
What is your dream destination?
Do you have any upcoming trips?
In the next couple of months we’re headed to Croatia, Venice, the UK, Iceland, Germany and hopefully Ireland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark.
How has travel changed you?
I really hope it’s made me a better person: sleeping in the occasional airport gave me a tiny insight into the world of homeless people and broke my heart and finally made me empathise with them. Seeing real poverty in Cambodia and the Philippines gave me a lot of perspective and made me realise problems like not having enough money for a new iPhone are not problems at all.
How long did it take for your book to come to fruition?
About two months, I’m a quick writer, but a slow editor.
Do you think House Sitting is for everyone?
House Sitting is what you make of it, if you’re looking for a quiet place in the country to settle down for a few months and finish a project, like a book, there’s a House Sit for that. If you’re just looking for a short get-away to a well known city, there’s a House Sit for that too. If you’re looking to explore a country in depth and from a new perspective, it’s perfect. If you’re a ‘party animal’ who doesn’t like animals though, it won’t be your thing.
House Sitting can be a bit restrictive too, you’re tied to a place for a set amount of time and often you can’t wander too far from that place for that time, so if you get restless and bored easily, it’s probably not for you. Each House Sit is different though, so if you think it’s suitable for you, it probably is.
What’s your top tip for first-time House Sitters?
Practice your House Sitting on (willing) friends and relatives, this means that a) you will get your first references and b) you can see if House Sitting is really for you.
Where was your first House Sitting experience, and how did it go?
It was near Melbourne, Australia, looking after two Tom-cats for six weeks. It went really well, the cats loved their food so my number one fear, that they’d run away, didn’t happen.
What do you hope your readers will take away from your book?
I hope that they can gain a real insight into what House Sitting’s really like. I’ve given all the tips I can think of, from how to get your first House Sits, to what to do if things go wrong. I’ve also told the story of our first nine months of Sitting, so hopefully readers can see how different each sit can be.
Do you have any new books on the horizon?
I would definitely like to write new books in the future, and I have a few ideas, but nothing concrete yet!
Where is your favourite place to write?
When I’m writing something creative, somewhere that’s super comfy (generally a bed), but if I’m editing or planning, I like to do it at a desk!
What is your favourite travel book?
Into the wild, cliché but so good. Or the Beach! Also cliché… Sorry!
What is your favourite travel quote?
There is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.
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