A warm welcome from Angela, your Community Manager

Hi Everyone welcome to our Trusted Community Forum I want to thank all of you for being our Trusted Team Of Testers, this is an incredibly important exercise and one I hope will not only be interesting but fun …

Many of you already know one another and this is the place where we can get to know each other even better and perhaps discover that little surprise something. A place to find support, encouragement, solutions and inspiration, where we all have one purpose to grow a community of like minded individuals who love pets, people and places

Some of you may or may not know that I’m a founding member of TrustedHousesitters, a full time sitter of no fixed abode (COVID story to match many) A proud Canadian … born in the UK but made in Canada and here’s the latest chapter to my story … [https://www.trustedhousesitters.com/blog/stories/every-cloud-has-a-silver-lining/]

Things that may surprise you and which I don’t tell everyone:))

I’m a Classically Trained Dancer (ballet)
Amateur Three Day Eventer and qualified riding instructor
Raced cars … Corvettes and Ferraris - I was very much younger when I did all of :fu::))
Trained in Pet Bereavement Support - Volunteering with https://www.bluecross.org.uk/pet-bereavement-and-pet-loss

Now it’s your turn to surprise … :wink: let’s get started with Introductions …

Happy Forum Testing

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Thank you Angela. I appreciate seeing all the changes and upgrades you’ve all made during your COVID enforced quiet time. Looks great. This looks like the same platform that is used by another group I’m involved with, so thanks for letting my brain not have to learn a whole new system.

Sunny and warm here so time to go outside. More later,

Barb Wood
Portland, OR

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Hi Angela and good to see the forum up and running. Excited to be part of the testing team and to meet and connect with other TrustedHousesitters.

Ian and I have been house sitting full-time for 5 years now internationally, and part-time even longer. We sold up, lock, stock and barrel, not long after we met 7 years ago, and set out to travel the world, house sitting along the way. What an adventure it has been and just last week we completed our 100th house sit!

Despite a large and growing readership, some may not know that we publish the online House Sitting Magazine for the community, a passion project that keeps us connected with so many people on the house sitting circuit.

Despite the pandemic, we’ve managed to continue house sitting in the UK. However, we’ve kept October free to test out our newly converted campervan. A project Ian has been working on for the past 2 months.

This is something we’ve decided to invest in to help us remain flexible for our homeowners, and give us the opportunity to have small safe staycation breaks here in the UK and hopefully Europe too.

Interested to hear of creative ways others have found to keep their nomadic, house sitting lifestyles alive!

Stay safe all, Vanessa and Ian

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Hi Angela,

We are thrilled and grateful to be part of the ‘trusted tester team’ for the Community Forum!

As with many people worldwide, COVID forced us to change our house sitting and travel plans for 2020 (Israel, Europe, the UK and beyond) and saw us return to Australia (2 years early) from the UK, in early June, after 3 months of the UK lock down.

On our return, we completed our two weeks of mandatory hotel quarantine in Melbourne, and then made our way up the east coast of Australia, to our retirement home state of Queensland.

Internal state border closures have limited our travels to within Queensland, which by the way is a huge and varied state, and so we have been able to continue our house sitting adventures. Next week we head off to Far North Queensland to begin our 100th sit!

2020 has been an interesting year to say the least, and it certainly will be one for the ages. We think that living as nomadic house sitters for the past 8 years has actually prepared us well. We all know that the quicker we adapt to our new surroundings, the quicker we settle and the quicker we settle, the quicker the animals in our care settle.

Here’s to the success of our Community Forum!

Robi and Stu

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Welcome to the Forum @barbara.wood777 … great to have you in the team!

Welcome to the Forum @vanessaanderson, thank you for being on Team Testers.

Vanessa you bring such amazing travel experiences and pet and housesitting knowledge to the Forum. As a long term THS member and the co founder of https://housesittingmagazine.com/ which is such a valuable resource for all thing house sitting, we so appreciate you taking the time to be part of this test. Knowing how you always inspire great conversations, we’re looking forward to a great two weeks worth of connecting.

Thank you again

Angela

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Welcome to the Forum @The_Sollys so great to have you as part of out Team Testers!

You have such inspirational stories from your TrustedHousesitters pet and housesitting journey and so many experiences to share … we are all looking forward to your Forum “chatter” and sharing those amazing and such creative pet pics., everyone is in for a pawfect treat!

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Hi Angela,

Thanks so much for inviting us to help you test this new forum. It looks like it will be a fabulously useful tool for all home owners and housesitters that use the website.

We’ve been members for around 4 years now and been lucky enough to do a whole host of sits all over England and Ireland. Unfortunately this year has been seriously impacted by the pandemic but we have still managed to sort a few stays out.

Hopefully this forum will enable us to connect with loads of other sitters and form a lot of new friendships. It’s always fascinating to learn how other sitters manage their travels and how they live.

Looking forward to being a part of this potentially huge community.

Jon (JWalking with my obviously better half, Joanna)

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One Hundred Sits? You should be presented with some sort of award for that, or a medal at least :medal_sports:

Excellent. Here’s to the next hundred.

Jon

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Welcome to our Forum J&J thank you for being on the “team” we can’t wait to share in your amazing pet and housesitting story and adventures … @Jon-JWalking

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Hi Angela,

Lovely to read your story, and I do hope I can also make a worthwhile contribution to this Community forum. I did enjoy reading your introduction. I wasn’t at all surprised to read you are a classically trained Ballet dancer. I always thought you were elegant and graceful. And as for driving sports cars, that doesn’t surprise me either. That’s the very ‘classy’ side of you showing.
I do hope you are continuing to delight in your ‘silver lining’. I hope there might be more photos of her in the not too distant future. I’m sure she’s growing fast.

Ali

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Thank-you, but not all on THS though, we get some referrals too :smile:
We were hoping to slow down a bit with some longer term sits again, but I think that’s going to be less likely in the current climate. Still loving the lifestyle though!

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Thank you Angela :blush:; for the welcome, for including me in this brilliant beta test and for your tireless friendliness & communication even though I’m essentially a stranger. You are clearly the most people person ever.

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Hi Ali,

Welcome and thank you so much for your lovely, kind words, I know you will be a wonderful contributor just as you always are. Hope the family are all well. See you in the Forum

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Hi Laura and Welcome it’s great to have you in our community we have a wonderful team of testers, thank you for being part of our pre-launch test.

That’s an Amazing journey you’ve had Vanessa and congrats on 100 Sits! Good luck with your van conversion, exciting, something we have considered.

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Hi Angela,

Thank you so much for inviting us to be part of the testing team for your new Community Forum trial. It’s going to be a brilliant new helpful addition to the wonderful THS Community, and a great place for all us like minded people to connect, share and support. Exciting! Already we are loving reading the posts and ‘getting to know’ more of you all. (sorry we are late in participating, we are on a road trip at the moment with unreliable wifi at times).

We are Julie and Jonathan and have been THS Members for 3 years and completed 46 Sits and loving our journey as full time international house/pet sitters. We both come from the hospitality sector so we are people pleasers as well as passionate animal lovers and with a desire to travel. Finding out about house and pet sitting was a dream come true and we’ve fully embraced our new life.

Last November our house sitting journey enabled us to have 3 months exploring California with house sits as we went, it was such an amazing fun experience, something of course we couldn’t have done on our small travel budget without belonging to THS.

In March we were coming to the end of a 6 week Sit in Javea and after that we were due to be house sitting 5 weeks in Cape Town we were so excited and had a safari and road trip all booked too, sadly all were cancelled due to the pandemic.
We just managed to return back to the UK on 17th March before the lockdown in Spain, the owners who returned early for us actually said we could stay on for as long as we needed, we’ve met so much kindness with all the wonderful owners we have sat for and formed lasting bonds with many of them.

Our lockdown location was a loaned caravan in Norfolk, we were grateful for family help with the caravan and also a loaned car, we missed our furry companions.

Our income was slashed due to the pandemic. Our funds as we travel is from holiday rentals in Spain, it funds our travel/food etc. so with covid this of course completely dried up at what normally is our busiest time for bookings. We managed to find work in a local supermarket as Key Workers and delivering to the elderly and vulnerable, it was so very rewarding and we definitely learned a lot from the whole experience.

At our lockdown caravan we had our daily pet fix, from adorable Cassie, the farm dog at the neighbouring dairy farm, we became friends with the family and helped out with the milking and with calves being born. How lucky was that! We will be friends for life with the farmers, we feel very blessed to have met them and had those experiences.

Our house sitting began again this August Yay! when previous owners contacted us - boy were we glad to leave the caravan - 137 days! Then with some new Sits confirmed that was us booked up until mid January. Unfortunately some have cancelled due to travel bans. Those sits should have taken us around Scotland, but determined not to let Covid dictate to us, we’re still going ahead with our exploring - we are having our road trip anyway, as I type, around the Scottish highlands albeit on a budget, mostly camping, We are having an amazing trip. Keeping positive is key and Jonathan always has a Plan B, C and probably D.

Good luck from us with the new Forum, its going to be a great success. We’re looking forward to connecting and making friendships and hearing all about the journeys and experiences of other Sitters.

Julie and Jonathan (ps. Love that gorgeous photo of you Angela and your doggo - its just adorable)

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Hi Julie, Welcome and it’s great to have you here, so looking forward to hearing more from you, we connect regularly via Twitter https://twitter.com/Housesitting so I know everyone will enjoy your posts, being part of your pet sitting adventures and benefit from you sharing your wide and varied housesitting experiences … 137 days in a caravan, I can see why your August housesitting stay received a loud YAY!! Thank you for being part of the testing team.

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Greetings All. We’re fortunate to be living in Guernsey where life returned to normal some weeks ago. Richard and I have been sitting for four years now and have had fun looking after dogs, cats, pigs and fish! As a writer I couldn’t resist making use of our experiences and so earlier this year published a fictional account of retirees Chris and Rob and their house-sitting adventures. For other sitters you’ll empathise with some of the ‘happenings’! It’s called ‘Barking Mad: Confessions of a Dog-Sitter’.

Hopefully we’ll have some more adventures before long to write a sequel!

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Welcome Jane so happy to have you in our Forum testing team …

Lucky you, Guernsey is one of the world’s safe havens from the madness that is the P word.

We love the photos and stories you share on Twitter and if you all want a treat go to Amazon and buy a copy of Barking Mad … it’s the pawfect companion and I guarantee you will find “yourself” somewhere in the pages.