Seeing the World, One House Sit at a Time
*Note: This is a guest blog post I wrote for Trusted Housesitters, the site I use to find house sitting jobs around the world. You can house sit too, or find free pet care for while you travel, at their site, www.trustedhousesitters.com. I do not get any commission for mentioning them, but I do highly recommend their company!
What is a most interesting way to see the world, for a fraction of the cost most people spend? How would you like to try on different lifestyles, with a very minimal investment, of, say, a plane ticket? Sound intriguing?
This past year, I’ve spent summertime in a small village in the sunny South of France surrounded by sunflowers…
hiked in the stunning Scottish Highlands in the fall…
hung out in a quaint little Dickensian village in England…
and walked the famous promenade further south in Hove, all with no accommodation cost, in exchange for pet and home care!
Trusted Housesitters has provided an opportunity to extend my travels around the world in a slow and fascinating way, while providing home and pet owners with an invaluable service, to be able to leave on their own travels with peace of mind that everything and everyone on the home front will be well taken care of, and knowing they won’t have a huge kennel bill to come home to. I believe it’s so much better for pets to be able to stay in their own environment. Less stress means happy pets. It’s a win/win in my book!
House sitting usually involves pet sitting, so if you love animals, like me, and you would like to stay put in one place for a while and get to know an area instead of racing around ticking things off a must-see list, house sitting might be for you.
Think about where you want to go, how long you want to be gone (I’ve seen posts for a weekend up to a year), and then browse through the listings. Look for not only places you might like to live for a bit, but also a good fit with the homeowners and their pets. Dogs usually involve quite a bit of walking, so if you’re a walker like I am, it’s great!
There are lively dogs who like to chase balls and climb mountains…
and lazy bones dogs who like to take naps…
and each pet has his or her own unique personality.
Sometimes the sits even come with unusual pets, like Hector the tortoise, and Kevin the teenage peacock!
House sitting, especially with dogs, does tie you down a fair bit, which if you’re a writer or digital nomad, works perfectly, as it gives you time in one place to get some work done.
But it also usually gives you at least some time to see the surrounding area – fancy a peek at nearby historic Bath, or the manor house around the corner in Corsham?
How about the Royal Pavilion a short walk down the promenade from Hove, and nearby Brighton Pier?
Or depending on where you are, and what kind of pets you’re sitting, you can go exploring together!
House sitting also gives you a kitchen, so you’re not eating out all the time (unless you want to). It’s ideal for both couples and solo travelers. I’ve been traveling on my own for a year, and the canine companionship is a nice addition.
There are big castle-like houses, small flats and everything in between.
And some come with perks like a pool or a hot tub, for a cool dip after a hot walk, or a hot dip after a chilly hike. What’s not to like about that?
Some chores are involved, like bringing in mail, taking out trash, watering gardens and mowing the lawn. Most are spelled out on the listing so you know what you’re getting into. Little places may take little effort, while gentleman’s farms with horses and sheep could mean quite a few hours of labor, but if you’ve always thought you might like to be a farmer, here’s your chance to try it out with virtually no investment!
One of the best things, though, is watching the reunion when pet owners get home to a sparkling clean house and happy pets! It’s sometimes hard to say goodbye, but then there’s always that next adventure out there…