So excited to add our first guest post to Grow In Grace Life! Meet Nicole and Michael and read on about how this couple from Australia set off into the world and found a way to affordable travel by watching other people’s homes and pets. I hope you are as encouraged as I am about this means of achieving your adventure dreams!
House Sitting – The New Way To Travel
When we decided to pack up our old ‘white picket fence’ life to travel the world long term, we knew we would have to find a way to make it an affordable lifestyle. There were several options we looked at including couchsurfing (staying on someone’s couch or spare bed for a few days for free), woofing (working for your accommodation usually on a farm or such) and hosteling (cheap dorm style accommodation).
I’ll be quite honest with you – We were not at all enthusiastic about any of these options. We didn’t want to have to be on the move every few days; while happy to work in exchange for a bed, we didn’t want to be stuck in remote areas; and we are way to old for hostels (which is quite sad to say because we are only mid – late 30s).
There was one other option I thought of, one that sounded very appealing indeed! House sitting.
We had actually house sat 13 years prior, while we were building our first home together. It was a great way to save money while paying a mortgage on a house we could not yet live in. So instead of paying rent, we house sat.
So house sitting was not a foreign concept to us. But what we needed to find out was the availability of house sits worldwide. Needless to say, after a little research I discovered that international house sitting was actually very popular with hundreds of sitting assignments being offered every week.
Well, to say we were excited about the prospect is an understatement! We now had a way to not only save money but to travel in a way that suited us perfectly!
We have now been traveling full time for 13 months and in that time have completed 8 house sits around the world!
Many people ask us what types of homes do we get to look after when we house sit. Are we stuck in the middle of nowhere? Are the houses nice or run down? So I wanted to shed some light on what kind of house sitting assignments with some examples of real house sits we have had around the world.
This was the first house sit we had outside of our home country Australia. We were unsure what to expect because we saw only 1 photo of the house prior to arrival. But we were keen to spend time near London so we weren’t really that concerned what the house looked like.
What we found was an adorable cottage style home with a lovely sundeck outside – you know, for all those sunny London days. And the most gorgeous Tibetan Terrier named Sophie.
We didn’t have a car to get around (something we normally make sure is included in the sit) but it was only a 20 minute walk into town and 10 minutes to the local grocery store.
The homeowner, Alison, was such a lovely person and while she was spending a month in Australia, we were taking care of her home and Sophie.
Atlantic Beach, Florida
We have had 5 house sits in Florida (yes, we love that state!) but this was our first. And let me tell you, not a bad way to start our US house sitting leg!
This beautiful home was just a short 2 minute walk to the beach! We would start our day by walking her babies, Alfie and Pumpkin, along the beach for an hour as the sun was rising over it.
After our walk, because it was summer, we would take a dip in her pool, which was surrounded by a beautiful tropical garden.
We would stay inside the air conditioned home most days, hanging out with the dogs, taking dips in the pool and doing what we like to do best – Relaxing!
We had been to California a few times before and always loved San Fran so when this sit became available just 30 minutes from downtown SF we jumped at the chance to become a ‘local’ here.
This 3 level house has been recently renovated. My favorite things about this house: The heated floor tiles in the bathroom, the huge most comfortable bed I’ve ever slept on and the large hot tub under the stars!
We took care of Charlie and Terry, a very aged dog and cat, that we had a very hard time saying goodbye to! Charlie loved his daily walks as much as we did; It was fall so the leaves started changing colors then falling which was really quite beautiful to watch over the month we were there.
We have two house sits coming up in a lovely French Canadian village in Costa Rica. And then, because we can, we will be living in a lovely home in Barbados for 2 months.
Not a bad life for a couple who are ‘homeless and unemployed’ right?
House sitting allows us to afford the lifestyle of our dreams – We get to travel the world, live in beautiful homes, save loads of money and meet amazing people as we go. I couldn’t imagine a better way to travel!
So when people ask, “Why do you house sit while you travel?” the answer is “Why wouldn’t we?”
Nicole and Michael are an Australian couple in who gave up their careers, sold their possessions and left their ‘conventional’ life behind for a life of travel. They have been living a nomadic life for 13 months and see no end in sight.
They recently launched Suitcase Stories, a website where they share their stories, travel tips and destination guides. Their main goal for this website is to inspire others to travel and to show people how long term travel is not only possible but affordable.
For more info on house sitting tips, please read: http://1dad1kid.com/2013/02/27/my-housesitting-guide/ http://1dad1kid.com/
Talon and Tigger have had multiple experiences with house sitting across the globe!