After deciding to get out of the rat race and out of the daily grind in late 2011 and go in search of our ‘perfect abode’. We looked for ways to make our funds stretch further.
When we first plunked our money down and joined a housesitting ‘matchmaking’ service, we had no idea how wildly successful it would be.
We have spent 50 weeks in Tuscan farmhouses, French vineyards, the shores and jungles of Belize, Caribbean villas and stunning Volcano view homes, all because of housesitting.
Because we have spent 42% of the last two years housesitting and had months of rent-free accommodation, we have saved an estimated $40,000 in travel costs. Plus, saved several more thousands by being able to cook for ourselves, instead of eating an expensive and unhealthy restaurant diet.
Of our 13 completed house sits, 12 of them have involved taking care of dogs and cats. One of them also had a live in maid and another had elderly parents to keep an eye on, along with our regular house caring duties. They have also included stunning views, beautiful gardens, pools, warm sunny climates and welcoming people.
Because of housesitting, we have been able to experience different lifestyles, immerse ourselves in a variety of cultures and make new friends in all corners of the globe. These new friends are from a wide array of countries, backgrounds and lifestyles. Yet they are all amazing, wonderful people and we enjoy keeping in touch and sharing their news. This is the biggest reason we love housesitting so much.
Our passion must have shown through when we met with the editor of International Living while in Panama, as he asked Yvonne to write an article for the magazine–this came out in the April 2014 edition and has been very popular.
Our housesitting adventures continue and we are spending the summer on the tiny island of Bequia next to St. Vincent in the Grenadines.
Within days of arrival, we volunteered for the Easter Sailing Regatta. It was a long hectic weekend and a absolute delight. Michael got a chance to crew and experience sailing in a completely new light (especially as they de-masted mid race). Meeting Sir James Mitchell the former President of St. Vincent over coffee on our second day on the island was a highlight, as was the chance to earn a coveted Mount Gay Red Regatta hat (in fact, we have two).
Housesitting, especially long-term sits has to be the best way to slow travel. It is also the best way to try a lifestyle on for size. If like us you are looking for your ‘perfect abode’ it is the easiest way to try out a new lifestyle before pulling up your roots and plonking down your life savings.
With a small outlay and a little work to build a profile you too, can test drive a retirement destination or have a dream vacation. Some of our friends have already given it a test drive and have completed house sits in France, Australia and Grenada.
Are you a homeowner with concerns about using a house sitter?
Have you done housesitting and have funny stories or horror stories to share?
We want to hear from you, who knows maybe one day it will make you famous…………
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