Aah. After more than 1,000 miles on the road in our rusty-but-reliable van, we FINALLY pulled into Candler, North Carolina this afternoon. The site of our first of three housesits in North Carolina over the coming month.

What is housesitting, you might ask? Well, when our girls were younger, we stumbled across a great alternative to hotels, AirBNBs and campgrounds called TrustedHousesitters.com. Homeowners across the planet who are looking for alternatives to placing their pets into kennels while they travel, essentially offering their homes, free of charge, in exchange for looking after their pets, their plants, their yards, and leaving things at least as good as you found them while they are on the road.

My family has enjoyed nine housesits across the United States and British Columbia (Canada) over the past several years, and we have recently agreed to do three housesits in North Carolina in the coming month. One housesit in Candler (just West of Asheville), a second housesit in Raleigh, and a third housesit in Fearrington Village, a bit Southwest of Raleigh-Durham. Four weeks to “live like locals.” Getting to know a total of four dogs and a cat. While having access to 2+ bedrooms, kitchens (usually with pantries that are stocked full of food), laundry accommodations, and fast wifi connections. I tease my wife that I would go on the road full-time if she would let me…selling our house and ONLY housesitting until the day I die. As every housesit we have ever done, except for maybe one, was a far nicer home with far more creature comforts than we could ever afford.

North Carolina Housesit #1 - Tonn's Travels
View from the Hole 1 tee at Walters State Community College in Sevierville, Tennessee.

Before we made it to Candler, I decided I needed to sneak in one more course. So I made my way to the Sevier Campus of Walters State Community College, and enjoyed a quick nine holes while back in the hotel room, not a creature was stirring…not even a mouse. 🙂 Another LONG course, weighing in at 4,190 feet over nine holes, I held my own. Shooting an even-par 32, with an estimated round rating of 952. But time was a-wasting, so I needed to get back, pick up my wife and daughter, and make the final push for Candler.

North Carolina Housesit #1 - Tonn's Travels
Griffy the dog, a little sad that his owners had just left for the week, but being comforted by his hedgehog, the stuffed animal he sleeps with.

When we arrived in Candler, we were met by the owners of the home, along with Griffy the dog. Such a friendly, loving dog! He was sad seeing the suitcases and then seeing his owners leave. But he came around after a little while. Especially after we began to play “hide and seek” with his hedgehog (one of his favorite games to play). So much fun! Having a great dog to keep us company while we settled in as “North Carolinians” for the week!

If anyone else out there thinks you and your family might benefit from experiencing different parts of the country as housesitters, then I have a promotional code you can use to save 25% off your annual fees to be a part of the service: https://tinyurl.com/TONNhousesit My family has saved literally thousands of dollars while crisscrossing North America over the past several years. And instead of reading about lots of places and parks/sites in books? My two daughters have been able to experience those places in person. With each of them having spent lots of time in over thirty US States, as well as three Canadian provinces. If you can swing things with school and/or work? I would highly, HIGHLY recommend trying the service!

Okay, enough of an “ad” for TrustedHousesitters (sorry). 🙂 However, I wouldn’t sing their praises if I didn’t strongly believe in their service. And as a course collector? I’ll bet that their service has allowed me to play at LEAST 300-400 more courses than I could have otherwise afforded to play.

Time for sleep…then seeing what new course(s) I might be able to find nearby in the morning.

Magic Number = 184 (1,816 Courses Played)

How it All Got Started: Tonn’s Travels >>
A main purpose of this blog will be to share information, helpful tips and tricks (everything from health and fitness to methods for saving money while you’re out “bagging courses” of your own), and ideas for better, safer course design. But I am also hoping to inspire others with my passion for the sport, via the stories I can share about all of the interesting experiences I have. All of the interesting people I meet. All of the amazing courses I am blessed to have the opportunity to play. If I can inspire even a handful of individuals to get off the couch, get “out of their bubble” or “security blanket” and explore more of this big, beautiful planet we all call home? Then I will consider this effort a success.

About Derek

North Carolina Housesit #1 - Tonn's Travels

Derek Tonn is a member of the DGA’s Ambassador Team. His company, Mapformation, LLC, has been DGA’s partner in the development of disc golf tee signage since 2012. The longer our two companies have worked together, and the more Derek has gotten to know all the great folks at DGA, the more he has wanted to formally sing the company’s praises. The more he has realized that “Steady” Ed the father of disc golf and the modern-day Frisbee vision for the sport and his company perfectly describes his own interests and priorities related to disc golf, and the more Derek has recently been encouraged to share his story.