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We are currently in: Cuenca, Ecuador

Authentic Stories of Travel, Retirement, Wandering, House Sitting…and Love!

Wanderlust required.  Sidewalks optional.

When we tell people that we sold our home, our cars and everything we own to travel the world as house sitters, we get many reactions. Sometimes we are treated like we are purple-haired, web-footed screwballs, but, more than often, we see the glimmer of envy in the eyes of those who behold our lifestyle.  

Since it often seems that the world has become chaotic and hate-filled, we are determined to present stories that prove that it's not like that everywhere.  We are trying to make a difference here through humor.  We will never preach religion or politics, but rather, our goal is to enlighten, entertain and amuse. If we make you giggle or even chuckle out loud, we have been successful. 

We realize that a life of travel through housesitting is not for everyone, but it sure works for us. Here we share with you why we did it, how we did it, things we got right, things we screwed up, and the madcap, wacky adventures that occur daily as we live our dream.

Oh, and we're married. Photos are by John. Words are by Anel. 

Welcome to our lives…our Barefoot Diary

Hats Off to Ecuador! Hats Off to Ecuador!

Hats Off to Ecuador!

One of the coolest things about being here in Ecuador is the hats, specifically Panama hats! It took us a little digging to find out why a hat created and manufactured in Ecuador was named after a different country,...
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Dem Bones Dem Bones

Dem Bones

We found this quaint, delightful museum while we were seeking indoor adventures, as it rained in Cuenca, Ecuador.
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Regretting Nothing Regretting Nothing

Regretting Nothing

Barefoot Diary is 2 years old! Happy Birthday!

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Walking the Talk Walking the Talk

Walking the Talk

We got over our aversion to being labeled tourists to experience the Historical Walking Tours of San Miguel de Allende, and we loved it!

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Paint the Town Paint the Town

Paint the Town

San Miguel is an artist's mecca. One of the coolest parts is the Guadalupe area where every street is a feast of color, creativity and eye candy.

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Holy Holy Holy Holy Holy Holy

Holy Holy Holy

This year in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, was the best Easter we have ever had! 

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Mexican Mask-erade Mexican Mask-erade

Mexican Mask-erade

Visiting the San Miguel Mask Museum was a blast...and we learned so much!

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Plastic Madness Plastic Madness

Plastic Madness

San Miguel de Allende creative art exhibit made from plastic trash found on beaches.
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How I Became a Polyglot...Lost in Translation How I Became a Polyglot...Lost in Translation

How I Became a Polyglot...Lost in Translation

Learning to communicate in a new language has it's challenges, but we've come up with the Barefoot Diary way to make it FUN!

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The Finer Points of Poinsettias The Finer Points of Poinsettias

The Finer Points of Poinsettias

Poinsettias are the most popular holiday plant throughout the world. Here we take a closer look at this marvelous plant and its deep roots in Mexico.

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Gratitude Gratitude

Gratitude

We wish you a Happy Thanksgiving and a joyous holiday season.
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I Get By With a Little Help From My ... Book Club I Get By With a Little Help From My ... Book Club

I Get By With a Little Help From My ... Book Club

We consider ourselves so blessed to have made close, personal friends here in Belize that will remain in our hearts and part of our lives forever, especially my book club!
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The Mango and Monty Show The Mango and Monty Show

The Mango and Monty Show

This is the tale of the two incredible critters we have lived with here in Belize, Monty and Mango.

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The Hurricane Diet The Hurricane Diet

The Hurricane Diet

This was a story we did last Halloween while we were still on Vieques Island, Puerto Rico. No electricity, no running water, no cell reception and no Internet. Thus, no posting! Halloween came and went and this one...
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Belize is for the Birds Belize is for the Birds

Belize is for the Birds

We got personal, had lunch, hooted and partied with some pretty incredible flying creatures at the Belize Raptor Center (BRC) here in San Ignacio. We love birds, especially the colorful beauties we’ve seen...
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Doctor, Doctor! Doctor, Doctor!

Doctor, Doctor!

Roughly 25% of the world’s medicines are derived from exotic plants that are found right here in Belize. Here, it’s referred to as “bush medicine” and many or the remedies have Mayan...
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Butcher, Baker, Chocolate Maker Butcher, Baker, Chocolate Maker

Butcher, Baker, Chocolate Maker

One of our favorite things about traveling to new places can be summed up in one word:  FOOD! 
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Bringing Home the Bacon Bringing Home the Bacon

Bringing Home the Bacon

I’ve had a love affair with bacon all my life. In fact, it’s the main reason I’m not a vegetarian. But folks, Ed and Peg’s bacon is no ordinary bacon. It’s more like meat candy.
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Cooking Belizean with Chef Rick Cooking Belizean with Chef Rick

Cooking Belizean with Chef Rick

If you really enjoy eating, it's great to have good friends that are professional chefs. We lucked out with Chef Rick, here in Belize!

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Ajaw - The Chocolate Maker Ajaw - The Chocolate Maker

Ajaw - The Chocolate Maker

I love chocolate. Always have, always will. But, to be honest with you, I've never given much thought as to where it comes from. I’ve always been aware that there was such a thing as a cacao bean, but frankly,...
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Care Packages Care Packages

Care Packages

September is definitely hurricane month for this part of the planet.  They happen.  They are serious business and should be taken seriously when they occur.
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Where Everyone Knows Your Name Where Everyone Knows Your Name

Where Everyone Knows Your Name

How does this sound to you? The coldest Belikin beer in Belize with a side flask of Caribbean Rum…with your name taped on it.  Or throwing darts with a group of locals and expats that make you feel like...
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Sneak Peek Inside Our Bags Sneak Peek Inside Our Bags

Sneak Peek Inside Our Bags

We travel with 4 suitcases and 4 carry-on bags. Everything we own is fitted into these 8 receptacles.  Because of our pared down minimalist lifestyle, we’ve learned to be smart about what is important for...
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Estate Sale Estate Sale

Estate Sale

In November 2016, John and I made the decision to join the ranks of traveling, housesitting nomads, which was, for us, monumental. We had a business and a lot of STUFF we had to get rid of to make our dream life...
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Holy Cow! Holy Cow!

Holy Cow!

Before coming here I thought that Belize was basically one big jungle. I thought we’d see exotic jungle animals everywhere, like monkeys, toucans, and maybe even crocodiles. But we’ve never...
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Beware the Tata Duende Beware the Tata Duende

Beware the Tata Duende

One of the most popular tales told, to even tiny children, is one about a troll-like characters called Tata Duende.  He is creepy, tricky and downright scary, so be afraid, very afraid.
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Where to Find the Perfect Housesit Where to Find the Perfect Housesit

Where to Find the Perfect Housesit

If you are seriously considering a life as a housesitter, we're is here to rescue you from hours of frustrating searching and combing the Internet looking for the next sit. Check out our comprehensive list of...
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Home, Sweet, Housesit Home, Sweet, Housesit

Home, Sweet, Housesit

If you are anything like us you’ve dreamed about your adulthood goals for a long time. And, as you get older, like us, perhaps you’ve realized that now is the time to do something about making your dreams...
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Stairway to Heaven Stairway to Heaven

Stairway to Heaven

Imagine yourself being dropped right smack dab in the middle of an Indiana Jones adventure.  That’s what visiting a Mayan ruin is like, sans the bad guys.  Exploring, climbing, and squeezing through...
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The Magnificent Maya The Magnificent Maya

The Magnificent Maya

Deep within the jungles of the Yucatan Peninsula (Mexico, Belize and Guatemala) lie the legendary temples and palaces of the Maya. I’m not sure whether it's just because we’re old and have a deep...
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Food, Glorious Food Food, Glorious Food

Food, Glorious Food

Imagine a beautiful beach.  The waves are steadily rippling onto the bright white sand of the shore.  The sky is blue and no artist (alive or dead) can replicate how beautiful the clouds are, as they gently...
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Fish Monitor Fish Monitor

Fish Monitor

When I’m writing or cartooning, I get really absorbed in what I’m doing. If you write, or have ever lived with a writer or artist, you know what I’m talking about.
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Shell Shock Shell Shock

Shell Shock

So, here we are at a wonderful housesit on the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico, also known as the Mexican Riviera.  It’s gorgeous, however getting here was arduous, at best.
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To Market, To Market To Market, To Market

To Market, To Market

John and I have always loved going to estate sales, yard sales and farmer's markets.  There’s something about buying from local community members that is special and we have always made it an adventurous...
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Meet the Menagerie Meet the Menagerie

Meet the Menagerie

Prepare to be wowed by some of the cleverest, cuddliest and cutest animals south of the “wall.”  Meet the menagerie of Rancho San Francisco.
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Rancho San Francisco Rancho San Francisco

Rancho San Francisco

Once upon a time in a fun land called Mexico, there lived a multi-talented lady named Doña Stephanie.  Doña Stephanie loved animals. 
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Maybe Mañana Maybe Mañana

Maybe Mañana

Reflections on 2017, looking to mañana, 2018.

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The Fun Side of the Wall The Fun Side of the Wall

The Fun Side of the Wall

Just south of Guadalajara, sister cities, Chapala and Ajijic sit on Mexico’s largest freshwater lake, Lake Chapala.  Both cities have unique charm, temperate climates and amenities galore, which have made...
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Acclimation Acclimation

Acclimation

Our next house sit is in Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico.  Before jumping into a new culture and country, we decided that it would be best to go to the U.S. for a week to wash our salvageable clothes, take hot showers,...
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Bittersweet Farewell Bittersweet Farewell

Bittersweet Farewell

We said farewell to Vieques, Puerto Rico, on November 2nd. For us, goodbye is bittersweet, especially when it means we are walking away from memories, special friends, a weeping community and an island limping...
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Bug of the Day Bug of the Day

Bug of the Day

John grew up in New Orleans. He’s been through a lot of hurricanes and tropical storms.  He understands hurricane preparation, as well as hurricane recovery.  One of the things he tried to get me...
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What's My Line? What's My Line?

What's My Line?

We've learned so much about what it takes to be disaster/hurricane survivors.  Our friend Bill describes Viequense survival with the three R's:  resilience, resourcefulness and respect.  The people on...
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Telephone Hill Telephone Hill

Telephone Hill

We are three weeks past Hurricane Maria now. We’ve been told that full cell reception will be restored any day. Right!
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The Bare Necessities The Bare Necessities

The Bare Necessities

Last year when we downsized (sold our cars, home, furniture, business and personal belongings) to travel the world as house sitters, we thought we were trimming our lives down to the bare bones.  We kept only...
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Iguana Refuge Iguana Refuge

Iguana Refuge

Before we came to Vieques we had done our research about all the critters here on the island.  We knew that there were supposed to be a lot of iguanas here.  Either we weren't paying attention at the...
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They Call This Wind Maria They Call This Wind Maria

They Call This Wind Maria

Nothing that we went through during Irma prepared us for what Hurricane Maria did to us and the beautiful island of Vieque, Puerto Rico. We had followed the hurricane experts' predictions about Maria's path and we...
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20 Things I Learned from Hurricane Irma 20 Things I Learned from Hurricane Irma

20 Things I Learned from Hurricane Irma

Yesterday was the 7th day we had no power, Internet, or water.  We have limited cell reception if you stand in a certain place on our upper porch and hold your head a certain way.  So all of our family and...
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Hurricane Irma Hurricane Irma

Hurricane Irma

John is a hurricane pro. I’m a hurricane rookie. As we sit here this evening and wait for Irma, I can’t help but think that this past week’s hustle and bustle and preparations here on...
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Chanticleer Alarm Clocks Chanticleer Alarm Clocks

Chanticleer Alarm Clocks

Today's solar eclipse got me to thinking about how marvelously tuned in with the universe the feathered friends that share our yard actually are. They knew something cosmically weird was going on and they shut...
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Creepy Crawlies Creepy Crawlies

Creepy Crawlies

Yesterday my younger sister Della snapped and sent us these two incredible photos of local beasties that inhabit the wily northern kingdom called Yellowstone, which is close to where she lives.
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The Legend of Mango Dump Road The Legend of Mango Dump Road

The Legend of Mango Dump Road

The house we are sitting, here on Vieques, Puerto Rico, is in a barrio called Monte Santo, which is right smack dab in the middle of the island. To get to either of the two towns on the island, we normally take the...
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Mosquito Pier Mosquito Pier

Mosquito Pier

Where else could you walk a mile over clear, turquoise water?  Where else could you swim with the turtles, and enjoy postcard perfect coastline views that will take your breath away with no crowds, no tourist...
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Monster Mango Buffet Monster Mango Buffet

Monster Mango Buffet

Today I learned a valuable lesson in proper mango management and what size vessels are needed when collecting mangos. Here's what happened.
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Mama Mama

Mama

Today we buried my sweet Mama.  I came home for a few weeks to help make arrangements and help my dad.  John stayed at our house sit on Vieques to "hold down the fort."
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El Perro Negro and the Flip Flop El Perro Negro and the Flip Flop

El Perro Negro and the Flip Flop

One of our favorite places here on Vieques Island is the National Wildlife Refuge.  It used to be a US Naval Base.  It has the best, most even stretch of paved road on the island.  At the end of the...
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Mango Munch Festival - Horses Welcome Mango Munch Festival - Horses Welcome

Mango Munch Festival - Horses Welcome

We’d heard that the horse to human ratio here on Vieques was about 1:3. One horse to every three people.  According to the latest census, the island’s population is right around 8000.  So...
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Doing the Mango Tango Doing the Mango Tango

Doing the Mango Tango

Growing up in Dallas, I can’t remember eating mangos or even seeing them in the grocery stores.  Mangos were just not on my radar. That completely changed when we arrived here on Vieques.  
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The Zapper The Zapper

The Zapper

John is a mosquito magnet.  He’s been this way since I’ve known him.  No matter how much toxic bug repellent he slathers on, they still seem to love taking a bite out of him.  Chiggers are...
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Adios Pinkie! Hola Stripe! Adios Pinkie! Hola Stripe!

Adios Pinkie! Hola Stripe!

We figured we'd take a leisurely stroll through San Juan, get an incredible deal on a new piece of luggage and then stroll back to the hotel.  A perfect way to spend a lazy Sunday morning in a beautiful city,...
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Luggage Lampoon Luggage Lampoon

Luggage Lampoon

Our plans have been to wander, as tourists, around San Juan before traveling to Fajardo then catch the ferry to Vieques. John booked us two nights in the Courtyard by Marriott  - San Juan Miramar and...
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Old San Juan Old San Juan

Old San Juan

This was John’s second trip to Old San Juan, my first.  I was amazed at how beautiful and clean it was.  Full of statues, history, friendly people and old world charm.  There was something really...
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Goodbye Dallas, Hello San Juan Goodbye Dallas, Hello San Juan

Goodbye Dallas, Hello San Juan

When you know that you have to be at a certain place, at a certain time early in the morning, it’s hard to sleep the night before. Such was our case when June 1st finally arrived.  
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Final Goodbyes – Hug. Cry. Drive Off. Repeat. Final Goodbyes – Hug. Cry. Drive Off. Repeat.

Final Goodbyes – Hug. Cry. Drive Off. Repeat.

We had known for months that the day we had to say our final goodbyes to my family was going to be tough.  Because our plane was scheduled to take off at 7am the next morning we decided to get a hotel room close...
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Pinkie & Big Blue Pinkie & Big Blue

Pinkie & Big Blue

I’m not a froo-froo girly girl.  Really I’m not.  But there are some things a girl just can’t do without…like a good pair of scissors…and a widescreen monitor to plug into a...
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