I will be the first to say it and do so often – that I am very fortunate to live a way of life that I totally love. I often comment, ‘there is nothing about my lifestyle that I don’t like’. I am a full time international house sitter, this combined with an online job allows me to travel year round and constantly explore and experience new places, people and of course pets!
At a surface level this really does all sound wonderful, but I am also very quick to say this lifestyle is not for everyone, and probably more accurately very few. For those considering becoming a house sitter this article is intended to provide you with some insight on a few aspects of house sitting that might be deal breakers for you.
Here are the three main things that come to mind for me, and should be considered first before you take any steps to becoming a house sitter.
Living out of a bag, literally
1. If you are a full time house sitter and traveling internationally you will literally be living out of a bag, suitcase, backpack or whatever vessel you choose to carry your possessions around in. You are not going to have everything that you had previously in a home or apartment.
Personally, I am an extremely minimalist traveler which I do simply because it is easier. Since I have been traveling full time I have foregone most of my cosmetics and hair/beauty products, there is no arsonal of styling appliances or selection of jewellery and I only carry the necessary shoes and clothes with no extra accessories, handbags, hats or beachware. You get the picture. Everyone has a different travelling wardrobe and they come in different sizes, but as a full time traveling house sitter you only have your traveling wardrobe.
This is not your home
2. You are not going to be living in your own house. While this is an obvious statement, some of the considerations that come with this might not be. Perhaps you have an aversion to some home decor or architecture styles, for short sits this might not be an issue but if you are on an assignment that extends into months, you will need to wake up to and live in this home for a long time. Homes may not have the same conveniences you are used to. For example an equipped kitchen means different things to different people. Think about the heating and/or air conditioning situation. Do you expect a dish washer or laundry dryer? Is there parking on, or off site?
These are just some examples, but as a house sitter you should expect and plan for some compromise and that not all homes can or will offer all of the conveniences you want.
Show me the money
3. The final point to consider, and the one that seems to surprise most people is you don’t get paid and you take care of all your travel (an associated) costs. To be fair, this is not always the case and there are some people do house sit for a fee however this is a very different arrangement than house sitting and traveling full time, which is what I do.
Yes, it is true, day to day expenses associated with having a place to live are foregone but if you need to pull a wage house sitting is not going to be your ‘job’. You will get to live in some of the most amazing places and meet wonderful and interesting people, and equally adorable pets but you are not going to make a living out of house sitting alone.
For me and many others none of the things I have mentioned are barriers to house sitting. On the contrary, the variety of places to live, minimalist lifestyle and joy of meeting new people and simply helping them are three of the most important reasons I truly love what I do. If you are still reading and think that house sitting is what you have been looking for then you should go for it, and if you are seeking a house sitter feel free to get in touch and let me know what you are looking for, when and where.