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)