Filling the gaps for nomads that go from sit to sit

Hello it’s Robin again :slight_smile: I am exploring the idea of letting go of my apt lease ( just getting so expensive) and hopefully finding enough sits to fill in the gaps. I did full time RV for 3 years so I am kind of familiar with the lifestyle and absolutely loved it! But I no longer own that Rv. The big hiccup is the gaps. Other than family and friends to stay with Airbnb even monthly reduced rates are so crazy expensive. Just putting the discussion out here to hear others experiences and thoughts. Thank you :blush:

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Yep there are several of us. Usually I have very few gaps if any though I do now enjoy my own travels that are not sits.

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Hi @Robin - We did exactly that in September 2020. We had lived in an apartment in Manchester City centre UK for 15 years and wanted a change. We decided to let our apartment, sell everything we owned and start to travel initially living exclusively in Airbnb accommodation.
In May this year we stumbled upon THS and loved it! From May - today we have happily moved from sit to sit all over the UK and currently we are in Spain. ( So far 180 days house sitting and 20 days Airbnb) - The whole experience has been fantastic, Meeting great pets and their owners and staying in a wide variety of properties in places that were never on our original route map!
I started a blog when we left Manchester so that family and friends to keep up with where we are and what we are up to.

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Hi @Robin … as full timers we see our “gaps” as our main travel and sightseeing time (preferring to explore locally and put pets first on house-sits), and actively look to book this time each year to explore continents, regions or countries. We call them our “between sit adventures” :slight_smile:

We do (or did before Covid) use a mix of visiting friends and family, and Airbnb, hotels, camping and more recently we had a campervan (which was my favorite!). It definitely depends on your budget, and we’ve always set one for the year (building in the cost savings we make through house-sitting) and this is helped because we have sold up and so have savings, and some ongoing income. But we aren’t rich by any means, and we’ve managed to stay nomadic since 2013. Your situation I am assuming would need the weighing up of what you save on your apartment lease (and associated costs) vs travel and other accommodation that might be necessary. Where you base yourself will be a big factor too.

Here’s a link to a house sitting nomadic couple, with personal finance experience who wrote about budgeting and house sitting… you might find this an interesting read:
https://housesittingmagazine.com/house-sitting-travel-costs/
This was written pre-pandemic.

I’m sure you’ll get lots of advice here from our other nomadic members too. If you search “nomad” in the forum you’ll also find some interesting threads. Very excited for you as you research and pursue a new life adventure! Happy New Year!!

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We are full-timers too, started off in July 2020 and sat mainly in France, Spain & Portugal. Despite the pandemic, it is amazing how ‘easy’ it is to find back-to back sits. In these countries anyway, I’m sure it depends where.
In a year and a half we had a total of about 2 months where we had to fill gaps, and 1 full month was because of a complete lockdown in France.
Go for it!

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Hi Robin
This year, 2021, we have stayed in Airbnb’s between sits. A rough estimate

January/February - 1 month Airbnb - holiday in Spain
February/March - 6 weeks at home - renovating apartment
April - 5 days at home - cancelled sit
April to September - 3 days in Airbnb - days between sits
September - 10 days at home - maintenance

The rest of the time has been looking after pets using THS. So throughout the year we would have spent 8 days involuntary in an Airbnb. The cost was probably under £50 a night. Hopefully in 2022, we will only have 2 periods of maintenance at home and the rest travelling in USA and Canada. We have a B1/B2 visa which means we can spend 6 months at a time in the country. We are hoping to buy a RV as our transport and I have this crazy idea about swimming in the artic ocean! But maybe not next year as Alaska is likely to be mega busy because of COVID restrictions the previous years.
Airbnb’s are inexpensive if you do last minute bookings. Also check out booking.com. The properties there are less luxurious therefore cheaper.

In this climate, think very carefully about giving up your home. Seven years ago we sold up and living on a 40 foot yacht. It was fantastic till COVID struck. We were given the option to go live in a Government hotel or leave Cuba. We left. Luckily we managed to get into US but spent a very uncomfortable five weeks at anchor in Key West. The world just shut down in a matter of days which made us feel very vulnerable without a land home. Some of our friends were not so lucky. They took the option of sailing home in, what we shall say, were not perfect sailing conditions - Cuba to Cornwall, non stop is something I wouldn’t want to do. This made us realise we needed a bolt hole so we bought an apartment in Bournemouth which would be very easy to rent out on short term lease. We spent money on renovating it but it has paid for itself this year plus some left over. So, please think carefully before you take that huge step.
Of course, this is our experience. You may be more resourceful and come up with better alternatives. If you do, please keep the community informed. Thinking out the box is one thing we are all good at.
Elsie

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I’m a full time nomad. I’m not a full time sitter, nor would I particularly want to be at this point. I’m very picky about the sits that I take and they have to be at specific times, specific locations, with specific types of pets - which isn’t always easy when you’re focused on filling the gaps when full timing.

I’ve been nomading for 13 years. Mostly in apartment rentals/airbnbs. Now I have a micro camper that I’m living in full time and hope to sit occasionally as a chance to stretch my legs and get some creature time. And have access to an oven. :smiley:

You said you got rid of the RV, but maybe you can get a smaller camper to live out of between sits so it’s kind of the best of both worlds?

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Awe thank you for your reply. That is exactly what I am doing pursuing my new life adventures. Weighing all my options especially the cost vs savings. Thank you for the link too. That looks very helpful. Happy New Year!!

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Thank you for your reply. I will be following your blog now too :slight_smile: I did sell most of everything 10 years ago when I started full time Rv now all my “stuff” fits in a small storage unit that I keep taking out and and back in ha ha. For family reasons I keep going from apt to apt lease now I am ready to get back to nomadic lifestyle once again.

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What a wonderful thread of discussion. I have sold up more times than I can count. I have been a full time solo traveler for 43 years both for personal and business. Once retired I literally hit the road in my truck and “vagabonded” for a while. There is actually a very good book about the nomadic lifestyle called Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to The Art of Long Term Traveling.

I was a full time pet sitter for about 2 1/2 years in the UK, Europe and the US. I sold my truck and minimized my possessions to a few boxes left with family members. When Covid hit, I came back to the US and rented a massive house for a year and did a few repeat sits with friends. I took off and hit the skies (no vehicle) again this past July and have been sitting full time with only a few airbnb stays.
I am now of the mind to never “settle down” in one place long term. I intend to sit and airbnb.
I am too much of an adventurer. I want to see and feel different things. To meet new people, to laugh and dance. To learn. As much as possible. Languages, cultures. Taste different foods. To do things I never thought of and things I never dreamed I could. And in those quiet times, I want to feel the serenity and joy that only animals can bring.
So long story, got lost in the zone there :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes: I am learning to reallocate my funds to doing the things that really matter to me.
Keeping a house or apartment don’t fit that version of me.

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WOW love your story!! That is amazing. Vagabond has been on my TBR list definitely will move that up higher now to read. In the movie Nomadland there was a scene with Francis McDormand and she was offered to live in a house with a beautiful room and they way she looked around man that scene completely resonated with me. Because she couldn’t do it. She had to be on the road. I have not owned a home for 11 years now and just like you said a sense of adventure is stronger than being in one place. If anything I would live on land to rescue animals that would keep me in one place but until then my next adventure awaits. Here is to safe and happy travels for 2022!!

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Some people are born explorers. It is what leads to discovery and creation. Where would we be if no one dared to be different?
Th book is actually Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term-World Travel.
Highly recommend.
Keep us posted on your adventures.

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TBH, if I were to be a digital nomad again, I’d maintain a home base, even if it’s a room in a shared home*. Not having a “permanent” address proved far trickier than I had anticipated, and I would have liked to go “home” and chill at times.

*Not during pre-vaccine covid times though.

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Definitely a kindred spirit. I am very picky too. Or as I like to think I’m being very purposeful now with my time. Yes I was thinking of a camper van but man the supply right now is crazy since everybody is living their best life in a van :slight_smile:

I hear you. I think so too. That would be the best of both worlds indeed!! I met an 80 year old couple on the road and they kept their home and would go home for winter and then back out for all of spring and summer. Now that is a great life lived.

Thank you for such a thoughtful reply. And also for the links. I gave up my home 10 years ago to go full time Rv- I hear you though. I would suggest to others I met on the road if you can afford to just downsize or keep your home that is the best of both worlds. But I could not afford to do that. Caretaker gazette is another resource I use. CoolWorks in another site I like. Working couples. Omega Institute in NY you can work or volunteer…there are application requirements. I even thought of spending 2 weeks at Gampo Abbey in Nova Scotia, Canada. Happy New Year!!

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Yeah, it’s why I’m in a micro camper. I was van shopping when covid hit and now the supply is nuts both in quantity and price. So I’m doing the wee one until prices and inventory stabilize. I suspect there will be a ton of vans up for sale once things normalize

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Hi Colin. Just took a quick look of your blog. Can you tell me is it via Wordpress?

You got me super curious now on your Micro camper. How difficult is it to hook and unhook as a solo traveler? That is the main reason why I avoided that option thinking it would be so hard on my back.

Yes it is via wordpress @Smiley - I am a technophobe so when I started my nephew set me up on blogger but I soon found the system very limited so had help again to transfer everything to wordpress which is much better.
I know that mine is still very basic and keep promising myself that I will sit down and try to fathom out how to improve it but , to be honest I never got the hang of the microwave oven so the chances are slim!

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