This is my daughter on our first house sitting assignment! An older dog who couldn’t walk far and liked to be pushed in a push chair!
If you’ve been listening to the podcast recently you may have spotted that I have been including a sponsor in the show – they are Trusted Housesitters. I thought it might be a good idea to talk a little but about housesitting as I do think it’s a really great idea and something that can definitely be incorporated in to many dreams!
First of all, what is house sitting? Well, it’s looking after someone’s house for them while they are away on holiday, business or similar. Often the house will come with pets to look after and it helps the home owners by not paying for kennel or cattery fees and it also keeps their house occupied. Result! The house sitters will look after the home and pets, in exchange for accommodation. Some people do charge, but there is a growing trend for it to be a swap whereby it’s an equal exchange. With the internet making the world so small you can imagine where this could take you!
As you know, I like, no love travelling! When we were planning our big trip last year I came across the idea of house sitting and was really intrigued by it. I think I’d read about someone who started their Round The World trip with 3 months somewhere like Ecuador. It sounded amazing – what a way to ease yourself in to a huge lifestyle change. My mind went in to overdrive as I imagined how we could incorporate this idea in to our travel plans. I signed up to Trusted Housesitters and started the process of applying for anything that seemed like it would fit us.
We’re a family and I thought that it would be tricky for us to get sits, and really I wasn’t sure if we’d enjoy it either, so I applied for a couple of local sits too so we could get experience, a feel for how it works and some references from people who weren’t friends and family. We had a great time housesitting for some lovely little West Highland Terriers (a dog we’ve loved the look of and often wished for) and realised that yes, we could see us doing this in future. We eventually managed to get 2 house sits while we travelled, one in France and one in Scotland. I was over the moon – this meant we could settle for a bit and explore really deeply in an area, we could save money and we could enjoy having some pets (we’ve rented houses for a while so pets haven’t been allowed).
All sounds very easy and I’d love to say it was, but being a family made it tricky. Not everyone welcomed the idea of kids! But with determination and persistence we managed to make it work.
Now what has this to do with dreams? What has this to do with Untrapped Life?
Well, quite often I hear that my listeners and readers want to live a freer life. It might not mean travel, but it means freedom to go and do what they want. It can be hard to shake of the chains of our lives though, yes?
Housesitting could be an excellent idea if you want to experience living life with no ties. It can enable you to live for a few months in another country while still being able to work (if you work online) or maybe just for you to explore your own country. It can be tricky to get the courage to leave our normal lives behind, but with a ‘home’ and some pets waiting perhaps it can be make the transition easier. Perhaps it will enable you to start earlier as you have less outgoings to think about,
It could also simply just be another idea to help you take a vacation while you’re saving for your big dream to happen.
For some people it turns in to a life style all on its own! Take a look at Jodie and Nat from International House Sitting and you’ll see what I mean! If you have a dream to travel but you don’t know how to then maybe see if this might work for you!
Alternatively, maybe you have pets of your own. Could house sitters help you? Could it free you up to achieve a dream?
There are many house sitting sites too, but the one I have knowledge of and experience actually getting sits through is Trusted Housesitters. It’s got a wealth of listings for you to choose from and they have recently added a feature where the home owners can specify if they are open to applications from families – amazing for us!
As it happens we’re embarking on the house sitting road again very soon and hope to make it something we do regularly as it really fits our lifestyle, or what I hope our lifestyle will be when we set off travelling again. And if you ever know of any pets that need some love and attention, you can always contact me and see if we’re available to sit for you!
I’d love to hear your stories of house sitting – have you done it before?