House Sitting: A New Idea, A New Lifestyle

Our 5 month journey through Central Asia is nearing its end, and as with the end of all of our adventures, there is a new future on our horizon. We have plenty of previous experience with house / pet sitting, but doing it as a career is an idea we first heard of on Nora Dunn’s blog: The Professional Hobo. She has plenty of information on becoming a professional house sitter and the thought of staying in a villa in Spain, or walking a sweet little dog on the beach in Grenada immediately piqued our interest.

House Sitting

Of course, house sitting isn’t a popular lifestyle choice (yet) so the reaction from people is usually the same.

“So, you’re just looking to bum around in other people’s homes?”

“Who would let a complete stranger watch their house?”

“Sounds like a pretty flakey system.”

The reality is that house sitting sites are becoming popular resources for travellers on both ends of the spectrum. Home owners can leave their property, and most importantly their pets, in the hands of reliable house/pet sitters when they go on their own trips, while house sitters can get a better understanding of culture by living in local communities for extended periods of time.

This Is An Actual House Sitting Gig In A Castle In The South Of Spain
This Is An Actual House Sitting Gig In A Castle In The South Of Spain

So How Does It Work?

Well, there are plenty of resources online which put home owners in contact with trusted house/pet sitters, the biggest of which is Basically you pay a small yearly fee and then add a few photos, a video, a police check and a profile. The site allows for you to request references from friends, co-workers and previous home owners whom you have sat for. This builds your credibility on the site and the more references you have, the higher you appear in the site’s search engine.

Screen Shot 2013-11-08 at 9.05.52 PM

For more on how to get started, check out this post on The Professional Hobo, or this post on Suitcase Stories.

Why Did We Decide To Start House Sitting?

We are currently travelling through Central Asia and we are loving every minute of it. We still enjoy every aspect of backpacking, but recently, we’ve realized that our favourite parts of our trips have been when we stop for a few days, a week, or even a month and really get to know a place. So, we’ve been thinking “why not travel like that for a while?” We would like to find a house sitting gig for about 2 months somewhere in Europe, Central America, South America or the Caribbean. It will be nice to have a base from which to work, and hopefully we get to have a dog or a cat for a while, a joy which our travelling lifestyle doesn’t afford us.

Our Profile
Our Profile. So Far We’ve Been Lucky And 5 Home Owners Have Contacted Us!

During our time sitting, we could not only explore a new country, but we could work on getting caught up on older posts for the website, blog about the region we’re in, and also write about this new lifestyle experiment as it is in progress. We’re always researching new ways to live a free lifestyle, both in fun and finance.

Will We Continue To Travel?

Yes! For us, travelling has always been about witnessing different cultures, tasting unique cuisines, trekking wild landscapes and admiring architecture. House sitting will allow us to do all of these things in a new way, without the rush of expiring visas, or the push of getting to “the next place”. For us, this new way of travelling gives us time to really immerse ourselves and properly learn about the places we visit, instead of just passing through. We hope we will be members of the communities we live in, rather than tourists.

friends met overseas
Spending More Time Somewhere Helps To Forge Real Friendships

We’re not just confining ourselves to different houses for the next few years though. Our idea is to house sit for a month or two, and then travel that country for a month before moving on to another job. We are giving preference to the Caribbean, Central & South America because we really want to learn Spanish and what better place than down south?!

We will still be backpacking, but we will just be going at a slower pace, which has actually been our goal since we started travelling.

So after this trip we will be embarking on a new journey. We’ll be testing the waters in a new type of lifestyle. It is a way of life anyone can try. If you’re looking for a change in your life, our you want a break from travelling around with a backpack, maybe house sitting is for you. It’s an idea that can ensure safe, and financially sustainable travel for all ages, 19 – 90!

We’ll be posting more about exactly how you can get involved with house sitting, as well as posts about our personal experiences with the pets, homes and home owners. We’ve already been contacted by a lot of friendly home owners with beautiful properties and adorable animals, so we’re just waiting for that perfect place. Stay tuned and hopefully you’ll see us floating in a pool or walking a cute little dog down the beach near an ocean front villa!

Have you ever heard of or used these house sitting sites? What do you think of them? Leave a comment below.

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House Sitting- A New Idea, A New Lifestyle

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Written by

Dariece Swift

Dariece is a co-founder of Goats On The Road, and an expert in saving money, finance management, building an online business and of course... travel. She loves meeting new people, trying new cuisines, and learning about the unique cultures of our world. She has over 10 years of experience helping others to realize their travel dreams and has worked in numerous jobs all over the world to help pay for travel. Her advice about long-term travel, remote work, and location independence has been featured on the Lonely Planet, CNN Money, Business Insider and Forbes. Learn more about Dariece Swift on the Goats On The Road About Us Page.

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