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Your Escape Blueprint

Housesitting – Following our Bliss

“Follow your Bliss” Joseph Campbell used to say – but I never really understood what he meant until now. I guess “You have to live to know it”.

Today Yvonne and I travel the globe full time – often in luxury –  for less than it used to cost us to stay at home and work for a living.

In 2011 we felt overworked, stressed and were often not very happy.

We knew we wanted to travel the world, but didn’t know how to escape. Neither of us were fortunate enough to be born with a silver spoon in hand and our budget wasn’t going to get us very far (or afford many creature comforts).

When Yvonne discovered Housesitting, we  knew we had found a way. Perhaps we could pull it off after all? We soon realized that we now had a plan that would allow us to retire early and travel full time in a financially sustainable manner (without having to eat 2 minutes noodles and live in Backpacker Hostels).


What I didn’t know when we crafted our Escape Blueprint, was how much this journey would change our lives.

I worked as a mechanical engineer  for almost 20 years. A lot of time and effort went into building this “Identity” of being an “Engineer”. First there was five years of university training, followed by 20 years of equally hard work. Giving up this identity proved very difficult to do.

Yvonne and I experienced many of the trappings of success and yes, I often did feel trapped. Despite the success, I did not always find my work particularly satisfying.

I felt restless and anxious.

Something was missing.

I felt as if I was meant to do something different. However for many years I simply bottled up my discontent, until the cork popped! I had to do something different.

“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”

Mark Twain

For me the journey to the “day” I discovered why I was born was long and twisty, in fact the journey may never end. Everybody’s path is different. However I believe the journey is often an inward one, at least it was for me.

The process of finding “my purpose”, first involved discovering and acknowledging my natural talents and abilities. Those talents and abilities that come naturally. The ones where time stands still because of the shear enjoyment of using them.

It would appear to me that the key living to a fulfilling life, is to find a way of enriching the lives of others by using our natural talents. Or in other words finding the most appropriate venue in which to apply them. Think of it this way…….. even if you are driving the correct vehicle you may be driving down the wrong road.

I think the reason Yvonne and I find housesitting so rewarding is that it allows us to share our natural abilities with our housesitting clients – a venue that suits us to a ‘T’.

Both Yvonne and I have the same love of travel and experiencing new cultures. We both love animals. We both love being of service.  I can use my problem solving skills and Yvonne her coordination and hospitality talents.

Wet Kisses

For the past four years Yvonne I have been on a fantastic adventure. We have house sat in Europe, Central America, and the Caribbean. We have met many wonderful people, wonderful pets and lived in fantastic locations.

I feel blessed that I’m able to share my abilities with others. This arrangement gives homeowners peace of mind while they’re away and allows Yvonne and I to travel the world in a fashion we would otherwise not be able to afford. It allows us to “Follow our Bliss”.

These days we fill our time doing the things we truly enjoy. We are not working long hours to maintain an expensive materialistic lifestyle. Our time and agenda is our own.

We were able to mobilize and break free of the trappings of success, in spite of our fear of the unknown and the “need” to acquire more and more stuff. We were able to step out of the mold, live sustainably and make a positive difference in others lives by doing what we love.

“People are not really afraid of dying; they’re afraid of not ever having lived, not ever having deeply considered their life’s higher purpose, and not ever having stepped into that purpose and at least tried to make a difference in this world.”  ~Joe Jaworski

Imagine yourself in this picture!

Bequia-4Imagine yourself just months from now living in a 15th century farmhouse in Tuscany, a French Chateau, or a luxury villa overlooking the azure Caribbean  – without having to win the lottery to do it.

Imagine being able to retire early, have the freedom to travel full time and having the time to really experience the food and the culture. Plus knowing what it is like to live like a local, not a tourist – not just for a few weeks but for as long as you wish.

If this sounds unlikely, or even impossible then it is time to introduce you to …Housesitting.

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About the author: Michael was born under a wanderin’ star. He is an Engineer who became an explorer, a photography bug, and hack traveller writer with the propensity to be snarky. “Retired” in 2012 at the age of 44, he and his wife Yvonne travel and house sit around the globe on a full time basis. Michael’s goal is to share the process of escaping the rat race, exploring the globe, and some of the experiences along the way.

4 comments… add one
  • Renee Laba

    Now that I’m a RETIRED Teacher & a carefree Divorcee who LOVES to travel… (JUST got back from a month in Portugal)..have traveled since childhood..have even spent 13 years GUIDING Highschool adventures abroad…!! – What do I have to do to become one of your best ‘House-sitters’ ever..? Do I need a ‘Partner’? (Pls. DON’T say I have to get married again!-Lol I have a number of close friends who would do this WITH me..I’m sure.)

    • Yvonne Bauche

      Hi Renee
      No you don’t have to get married, single ladies make good sitters too. We suggest that the best way to get into house sitting is to first download our free Housesitting Report right here on our blog. The second recommendation is to get access to The House Sitters Ultimate Program which we produced in conjunction with International Living. Its on sale right now, with a 33% discount here’s the link http://pro.internationalliving.com/HSWEB/E120S3J1?email=%7Bemailaddress%7D&h=true

  • Hello Michael and Yvonne,
    I appreciate what you said in your recent newsletter how blogging and social media had become a “job”. I’ve seen that happen to other bloggers, mostly the young ones who are digital nomads and need to earn money. They are writing books, making videos, working on branding themselves. I have blogged to share our story, but I don’t want another job! The need to prove oneself – bragging rights – is deep inside each one. I’m glad you realized it for what it is and overcame the temptation! I sure would like to snag some long term housesits like you’ve done! I just joined your Facebook page. Thanks!

    • Yvonne Bauche

      Hi Merrill
      We realized very quickly that we are not willing to put in those long hours and to do it consistently. We changed our lives to get away from all those commitments so why were we recreating them? As you say, inside all of us is the urge to prove ourselves, reality is we already have proven ourselves. We have been able to set ourselves up and live a lucrative lifestyle for a lot less than we expected.
      As for snagging long term housesits it is possible, have you done any yet? We do offer a profile writing service called ‘The Housesitters Edge’ which our clients find extremely useful. And thanks for joining Nomadic Retirement Living, its a great group of like minded people.

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