So here is the thing about me… I want to do so many things. I love writing this blog & hearing from those who are reading it. I am also, highly distract-able 😬 Since my last post nearly two months ago, we have made seven transitions (2 international). As you might imagine finding a quiet place to collect my thoughts to look back & reminisce has been fleeting. So as I frequently do, I will begin again… Forewarning, this post is a bit random (hence Random Musings) & out of order. It feels disjointed & not quite finished, but like I said, to get back on the horse, I had to start somewhere… sorry if it sucks 😉
Even before our plans went south with our PDC Airbnb, we were finally beginning to gain traction on a new budget friendly accommodation strategy: house & petsitting 🏠🐶
House/pet sitting has been a way of life for many people for a long time. You might consider it to be high end couch surfing. I was in middle school, spending the weekend with a friend & her aunt, who I learned was a professional house-sitter. At 12 my interest was piqued. A person could have a job where they got paid to stay at someone’s house? That sounded like a pretty good gig.
Fast forward 30+ years, we have discovered how to incorporate house/pet sitting into our digital nomad/vagabond life. I had read plenty of articles & blogs about house & pet sitting. Before we sold our house, one of those blogs lead me to a website called trustedhousesitters.com
In hindsight, I wish we had done a little more research & preparation to build up our profile so we could have had access to more & longer sits in the early days of being a member. There are three tiers of membership, basic, standard & premium. All of those come with a background check & unlimited housesits. We originally signed up as basic sitters, but found we got much more traction when we upgraded to Premium.
I would certainly suggest if this is something you might be interested in or would like to explore, start with the basic membership & pick up a few short local sits to get a feel for it first. This is also a great way to garner reviews for future sits.
Whether as a homeowner or pet-sitter, if you use the link above, you get a discount & I get the benefit of added time on my membership 😉
The TrustedHouseSitters platform gives both the homeowner & petsitter ample space to describe themselves, their homes & their experiences. Pet-sitters can easily apply for listed sits & communicate in the TH messenger. As well, homeowners can scroll through all the sitters by location &/or availability. Homeowners can reach out to invite a sitter over posting for applicants. TH also offers a newsletter to help sitters write the best profile & homeowners establish a welcome packet of information.
Our experiences have been pretty good so far & worth the cost of the platform in exchange for free accommodations on the road. We have figured out how to work the system. Initially, I would apply for only one sit & then hope & pray. Now, I apply for multiple sits in a general area, in a general time span & see what hits. We have yet to do multiple interviews for an area over taking whatever comes first.
We have also discovered what we can do & what we’re not willing to do. Two dogs & two cats or any combo of that is our max threshold. I can’t imagine trying to wrangle 3, 4 & 5 dogs. It seems like then it becomes more of a full-time job & less of a trade-off to see a new area & live free. We haven’t had the chance, but we would gladly add in fish, reptiles, chicken & farm animals as those need to be tended to but are generally corralled, not underfoot & high energy like most dogs we have encountered.
Much like our Airbnb experiences, this retired professional organizer can’t help but see better design & organizing opportunities everywhere I go. However, unlike our Airbnb opportunities, where I always jump at the chance to ply my trade in exchange for free/refunded nights, I am certainly not going to dig into these strangers’ cabinets & closets without their permission. My profile does include info on my passion for organizing & an invitation to avail of it, as well as the guarantee that I won’t go snooping around to appease my own OCD.
Our very first house sit was back in Churburná, Yucatán. It was a nice respite after our travails in PDC. An American lawyer, who had lived in Mexico for about five years, had an incredible house right on the beach, with two cats & a little dog. This sit was actually through a different platform called HousesitMexico, same premise but only focused on Mexico 🇲🇽
Our next sit was in Colorado Springs when we were back in the US a minute. This time it was two dogs, one big, one little. The little was clearly the alpha.
As we enter into our second year of life on the road, we have five sits booked over the next four months & have applied to a few more in the new year in the direction we hope to go. As always, there is a learning curve & as always we are leaning in!
If you made it to the end of this one, thanks ☺️ In theory, this has primed the pump to get back to it ✍️ Thanks for coming along for the journey 💜 Until next time….