To Drive or Not to Drive in Central America?


Is it safe for me to drive in Central America?


I have recently been confronted with the above dilemma and you may well be too.



Let me share with you what I experienced when I mustered up my nerve and got behind the wheel of a car in Nicaragua.

Chaos like you cannot anticipate meets you as you pull out onto the road. All of your senses come to full attention, adrenalin rushes in.  I don’t remember this being on my driver’s test – ever!!

Be prepared for a myriad of massive trucks, barreling buses, taxis, horse carts, tuc-tucs, scooters, bicycles and pedestrians all vying for the same narrow ribbon of concrete that is misnamed  a highway. To me there is no rhyme or reason, but somehow it all seems to have a flow.













The road way itself is littered with the pesky pot holes and heavily camouflaged speed bumps. Don’t be looking for signage or directional arrows for guidance as they are most often forgotten or misplaced. Sometimes what you think is actually a road headed back to town will instantly morph into a goat trail or alley into someone’s yard.


Oh and that one way that I headed down in the wrong direction? The locals were generally amused and forgiving.



I have yet to mention the living moving obstacles which will include; dogs, chickens, horses, cows, lots of cows, and the old guy pushing an ice cream cart.


Little kids laugh and play unsupervised along the sides of the road and the buses load and unload at will.


The other day I found myself in the driver’s seat staring down a very large bull that had little interest in giving way to little old me. In good time he and his buddies shuffled along down the road.



Of course this is what you see in the light of day;   don’t even consider venturing out after night fall, lighting is optional.


So did I answer the question?

Not really but maybe you get the picture.

the joyful travellers

Johanne y Doug


House and Pet Sitters Extraordinaire



    A Christmas Day Toast, Tepoztlan, MX.


      *Reliable          *Resourceful

       *Flexible          *Experienced

  *Caring            *Energetic

hsa-graduates-badge We are committed to providing the best house/ pet sitting experience possible.


Doug is from Niagara Falls, Ontario and Johanne from Montréal, Quebec. After many diverse adventures and experiences we found each other in 2011 and  continued to live out our dreams in beautiful British Columbia, Canada.

On February 6th, 2016 we sealed our love in marriage, and set upon our new path together.


Crescent Beach Pier


Our Dreams

We are very excited about this new phase of our lives and are eager to find house and pet sitting situations where we can be helpful and apply the skills that we share. We find it very fulfilling to assist  home owners by providing them with the assurance that their home, pets and property will be well cared for while they are away.

We both have explored the globe widely and our acquired experience ensures that we are able to easily adjust to  a variety of situations. We are well aware and accepting of the fact that local comfort levels vary widely.

We strongly believe in community and we have a sincere desire to contribute in a positive manner to the areas we visit. Hopefully we will leave places we visit just a little better off than before we arrived.

We travel light and are able to work around your dates and needs. We prefer to over lap our stay a few days ahead of your departure to become familiar with your home and pets.

We are very pleased to offer pet care tailored to your animals needs such as medications, special diets, exercise etc.

Our Services

Staying healthy is extremely important to us both, we are non smokers and have no bad habits. ( Johanne does savior an occasional glass of wine with dinner and Doug really likes peanut butter gelato). We take enjoy every opportunity to hike, swim and be out in nature.

House sitting assignments in remote locations are always considered.


Our Past Lives

We have spent many long and glorious hours cruising the B.C. coast on our 36 ft Islander sailboat: Swan. Being on the water has taught us to adapt and to calmly handle critical situations as they sometimes arise. Doug is also a Canadian Yachting Association Sailing Instructor, and has had major offshore experience.



Johanne devoted her career to child care working in and managing Childcare Centers in California and Vancouver. Her calm and ever cheerful personality served her very well in this field. 

Doug  built a very successful career a real estate consultant and in management. He has also built sail boats, houses and was the Lead Surveyor on  Vancouver’s rapid transit system.

Skill Sets

Johanne, being totally bilingual (French and English) is also functional in Spanish; Doug is determined! We study every day, building our vocabulary and practice whenever the opportunity arises. “Poco a poco”.

AJoJohanne is very good with all animals and has lovingly cared for many different pets over the years. Doug loves taking the dogs for long walks.

We both enjoy landscaping, gardening, and Doug has experience in wood framing, concrete work,  simple finishing and basic electrical and plumbing.



Doug is a long time dedicated Rotarian and has had the pleasure of serving as President of two very successful Rotary Clubs. ” Being a Rotarian provides me with the opportunity of contributing to others in a small way, even as we live aboard”.

He was formerly a  Board Member of Big Brothers and Big Sisters in Langley and as a youth mentor was a positive role model to kids.


Our Introduction Video


Drop us a note and to determine if we are the best fit for your house and pet sitting needs.

Skype is also a great way to become acquainted.

References and Criminal Record Reports are available.

Cheers and Cheese!


Contact Us:

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)


Your Message