Full time sitting - Finding it hard to settle

Hi all! We have been with THS since last year and moved out of our flat in February and are doing it full time (mainly 3 weeks sits) but my partner and I are finding it hard to settle into this new way of living! We’re used to having our own space to go back to.

Don’t get me wrong I love the animals and the owners are always lovely! But does it get easier, do you get used to it? Maybe it’s because we are looking after a small pup that sleeps in the bedroom and we have to take turns with her because we don’t sleep too well like this.

Anyway! Any tips would be greatly appreciated!


Hi @Karfry87 and welcome. I do not sit full time but many on this site do so I am sure they will be in touch with tips and suggestions.
As a general suggestion I would say do your research and ask lots of questions before accepting a sit. Don’t just agree because it fits in with your dates or in an area you want to be.
You need to feel comfortable with the pets and in your environment to feel settled and I am sure it will get easier as you gain experience.


Hello @Karfry87 - we’re full time sitters too and have been since Oct 2021. Pups are hard work (we’ve just finished a sit with one and had rubbish sleep) so will now avoid for a while. As @Twitcher says research is key as is something magical about the sits you take, don’t just fill dates. Most of ours are international so we are choosing travel destinations that appeal and people & animals that we connect with, then otherwise it’s always to look after homes that are more interesting or different or beautiful than our own so we have a new experience. Are you working whilst you sit?(that helps us settle) Do you like early mornings? (Cat sits only if not, we’re early birds so pooches all good) How much luggage are you carting around? (We halved ours to make it simpler) Do you have a couple of home comforts with you? (Ours are a framed photo, an old mini radio, Turkish slippers and a hot water bottle randomly :rofl:) We also try and enjoy the pets and location whilst “on duty” and save the exploring for before or after as that makes it feel less pressured and as if we are locals not just tourists. Hope some of that helps, am sure they’ll be lots of advice on here for you. Ease into it all, best of luck :crossed_fingers:


Be patient and compassionate with yourself.
Take breaks if you need to. Learn to be selective with your sits taking into consideration the location, the pets, the responsibility required as well as your own personal needs.
This is a part of your life that should be immensely rewarding and enjoyable, not a “job” filled with life sucking obligations or rather said, life draining stress and anxiety. It should enhance your life and wellbeing.
Being free of a “permanent base” is challenging as you enter a new state of being and it does have a period of transition as you adapt and find your rhythm of what will work for you.
You may find that this is not for you. That’s ok.
You may need to do a few months on and a few off. That’s ok.
Just keep going, learn and make time to adapt and figure out what feels right and what doesn’t.
All the best


Hello @Karfry87 and welcome to the Community Forum :wave:t2::slightly_smiling_face:

@Amparo has conversed my thoughts to your current situation perfectly and I really couldn’t have put it better myself!

I certainly hope you find a solution and that sitting/travelling full time works out for you both. :blush:


HI @Karfry87 we are all different and while the lives that others lead may sound appealing it doesn’t mean the same life is right for us …

We sit full time and for 6 years without a home base. We sold our Vancouver home because we were never there, sitters enjoyed our home more than we did so why keep it?

We loved our pet and housesitting lifestyle and meeting many sitters who were in perpetual motion, of no fixed abode, who extolled the virtues of their nomadic lifestyle and being free of the ties that bind. Freedom from the financial ties of home ownership, freedom from owning “stuff” etc. etc. we joined the nomads and had an amazing six years, it was not without it’s challenges but then that’s life in general.

COVID stopped us dead in our tracks.

Do you get used to it? Hmm, my husband did, I didn’t. I actually love my “stuff” and really never lost the feeling of wanting to “go home” to my own bed, my own kitchen, close my own front door.

It wasn’t because I’d never traveled, my traveling started when I was in my early 20’s. I immigrated to Canada from the UK and later lived an expat’s life across the world for 25 years. One thing I’ve learned about myself especially as I’ve gotten older, “home” is important to me, whether I spend 6 days or 6 months there matters not, the fact that it’s there is what is important to me.

My advice to anyone unsure would be to keep a base, rent it out and test drive the lifestyle for at least a year. Also I found longer sits suited us, we did an 8 month sit in Spain which was amazing … the constant moving can get tiring, having the means to decamp to an Airbnb or similar to recharge the batteries is always a plus.

You will find your personal comfort zone and happy place. Take your time … relax into it and don’t be too hard on yourself if you have doubts, they are your doubts and you are entitled to them.

You will find your way, as @Amparo says.


I have the opposite problem - we’ve been sitting full time for 5 years and while I like having a “base” to keep my extra pair of shoes and a few other odds and sods that I don’t plan to bring in my carry on, I actually get quite twitchy if I’m in one place for more than a couple of weeks. A month, tops. We have rented a small flat for residency requirements but are rarely there. It’s basically a storage locker that we can live in if needed.
I’m not sure how this issue will resolve but suspect aging will take care of it. At least, I hope so. I don’t want to be 85 and still needing to switch countries every 5 minutes…


This is an interesting topic. We are fully nomadic and full-time housesitters too. We started in 2019. Covid then stopped us. We then bought a home, stayed 18 months and realised we’re not done traveling, so rented it out and started traveling again. Others have touched upon it:

  • We both work, so as long as we can set up our ‘offices’ (laptops on a dining table or desk space), we’re good to go, and it gives us something solid to focus on.

  • Take breaks in the form of non-housesits for a few weeks in-between. It’s hard to always be ‘switched on’ and in carer mode.

  • We get more picky with sits/pets. Some sits are just too involved for us. We adore animals, but we need boundaries too. It doesn’t make us worse sitters. Look after yourselves.

  • Like @Myhnabird, I get antsy when we stay in one place too long (6+ weeks). Hubby likes to settle. We do travel with a car and a whole lot of comfort items, because I like having my comfort items with me. That’s my ‘home feel’, e.g. own pillow, comforter, hot water bottle, favourite pan, knife and a whole host of other little things that signals comfort to me. Hubby just needs his laptop!

  • There are times when we miss our home a bit, but it usually just lasts a day. That’s when we contact our neighbours to hear how it’s going and catch up with their news. It really hits us, when there is some medical, dental, car or other issue that was so easy to fix at home, but being abroad is so difficult to deal with!

  • Try to enjoy it while you have it, it likely won’t last forever. I’m pretty sure you’ll miss it when you don’t have it, and you’ll think of all the cool things you did. For me, it’s hiking/walking - I love walking in different natural areas. Being in nature grounds me, and then I’m happy to return to my ‘borrow-home’ and some excited pets.

  • Lastly, most housesits go really well. Don’t let a bad one get you down. The memory will fade in a few weeks.

PS. Try to meet up with other sitters if you can. It’s really nice to meet face-to-face with other like-minded people that share this weird way of living!


Thank you so much for your advice everyone! We actually started doing this to try and save some money as my partner has had cancer for the last 4 years so I’ve been supporting us both financially and we’ve only been renting in London so have saved very little!

It’s an exciting challenge and it helps that I adore animals and have always :blush: they are non-judgmental and can light up a bad day very quickly.

I think the big thing will be if my partners treatment fails, but only time will tell! I’d love to do overseas sits but unfortunately my partners lack of travel insurance stops this from happening, hopefully we will be able to in the future.

But you’re right though, having work does give you some routine and we also leased a car, so I sort of feel like that’s ours :blush: I too took a hot water bottle :joy::joy::joy::joy: and even my favourite mug to make me feel grounded.

Thanks again and I think this forum so so brilliant!



Good luck with absolutely everything @Karfry87 being part of a community is so important, knowing you are not alone.

As @botvot says if you get the opportunity try and connect with other members, great friendships can happen and you will always find someone who can help and support, even if in the smallest way.

You can post on the forum when you have a time and place and we can help you do that.

Our thoughts and hopes for a bright and healthy future are with you both and remember you can always come to the forum for support, help and advice.

Best wishes


I was immediately used to it, my wife took a long while. This is why we choose longer sits because it gives my wife time to settle. The other thing we did was after letting the car sit for a year (because my wife didn’t want to sell it just in case), we started driving to sits and that allows us to bring far more comfort items and we rarely need for anything now.

Me, I can likely live out of a carry-on and checked bag indefinitely but my wife needs her home feeling.

Hope you find some comfort soon.



Thank you for asking. Excellent question, and I do hope you follow up with your evolution in this experience for you.

Sleep is crucial, and lack thereof can really color my world, unhelpfully, so see how things are sans puppy, once you have moved on.
(“sans” is “without” in French, in case anyone is wondering.)

The responses here are very helpful to me, as I am caught between a gung ho enthusiasm for all the beauty of longer stays in areas I may want to explore, as I am newly moving to the UK permanently and seeking where to settle,
the “barnacle-ripping-off-rock-feeling” inside as I let go of my current, stable, calm, peaceful, beautiful home that I am in now, and have been basking in, in peace for 3 years.

I am brand new to Trusted Housesitters, and looking forward to my first sit in The UK in May.

I imagine the adventure will win, and carry me onward employing my flexibility and adaptability, cherishing every moment of Sitting, but your question is so meaningful to me. I do consider that I can rent a place of my own at any moment I feel it is time, and still do Sits with a more personal base. This is a comfort.

Thank you.


This is a perfect description of what great change can feel like. It’s a disturbance, a self made chaos that is created in our normal pattern that we have to prepare for and endure through to. Keeping steadfast with the desired outcome always at the forefront, sees us through and we do find that we can.
I sincerely wish you both the very best.


Hi @Karfry87

My husband and I housesit full time and we love it…have been doing it since 2014. But it is a very different type of life that isn’t for everyone, so if you find over time it doesn’t work for you, that’s okay.

I am sorry to hear about your partner’s illness and I hope that turns out okay. The idea of saving money can be a big draw for housesitting, especially full time. But I imagine if that is the main motivator–especially with a stressful situation like yours–rather than pure love of travel and being very drawn to this lifestyle, then certain aspects of it may seem very challenging.

This is not at all to suggest you are lacking the ‘proper’ motivations as I don’t know the whole picture of what led to your decision. But the space from which we make a decision–for example, trying to avoid a negative situation rather than move into a positive one-- can certainly affect how we experience the thing we decided to do.

If you are having a hard time adjusting, I think that’s normal and just give yourself some time to see how it goes. You may come to love it and can’t imagine living any other way or you may decide it’s not for you rather early on in the game. You may find you really enjoy it for a few years but your wants and needs change and it really doesn’t work for you any longer. The key is not projecting too far into the future and just take each day as it comes.

My husband and I started traveling pretty much full time in 2011 and started housesitting in 2014. We technically had a home base until 2020 as we would go stay at my mother’s house but she passed away in May 2020. But that never really felt like our ‘home’ in that sense–even though I grew up in that house-- and we still felt ‘nomadic’ even when we were there.

While it’s important for any sitter regardless of how frequently they sit, I think it is especially important for full time sitters to really honor their preferences–many of we don’t figure out right away, and shape up over time as we begin to see what works for us and what doesn’t, what enhances our experience and what diminishes it.

Having done so many sits–almost 60 reviews here alone–my husband and I have developed a pretty solid idea of our preferences and what works for us. Over time I have come to realize certain elements of a sit can really diminish the experience, and other more desirable elements do not compensate for that.

For example, after a number of more challenging dog sits in the last year especially, we have become much more selective about which ones we apply to.

Based on past experiences, we would no longer consider a sit where the animal has separation anxiety, is a high energy dog breed and doesn’t have a yard to run freely, needs very early feeding and/or walking, lives in an environment that may be dangerous to them ( e.g cats that roam free in areas with poisonous snakes or a dog walked on a route full of aggressive street dogs) and a few other no’no’s for us personally.

At this point in our ‘career’ I know for certain that a luxury apartment in a world class city, an ocean front villa in a tropical paradise or a really exotic location that doesn’t see a lot of listings will not even come close to compensating for a really neurotic dog who needs constant attention or will wake me up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom when I have a very hard time falling back asleep after being woken up.

We also have some preferences regarding the types of locations and houses we visit. As someone who really values quiet, if someone notes their area is noisy for whatever reason. I know I will not enjoy the experience as much no matter how great the home or how interesting the location.

Now of course, there are no guarantees, like anything in life. A dog may behave very differently than he does with an owner and display some of the ‘problem’ traits I try to avoid. A dog may have a ‘problem’ behavior that the owner doesn’t see as such so doesn’t mention it when you ask. There may be some element of the location I wouldn’t like but it wasn’t something that would have even occurred to me to ask about.

But then that experience just adds to that shaping of preferences, and possible questions to ask the owner. So again, while there are no guarantees, so long as people honor those preferences and ask questions about things that are important to them, it definitely ups the chances of having more enjoyable sits substantially.

Trust your intuition when taking sits. If something feels off, or is clearly out of line with what would work for you, don’t be tempted to accept a sit anyway due to attachment to a particular location, trying to save as much money as possible, because it works for your schedule, the house or location is really interesting,etc… Trust the right opportunities will come along. House sitting full time especially gives a lot of flexibility on locations, dates and the length of the sit so you will have lots of sits to pick from compared to someone who is looking at very specific dates and time frames.


Super interesting how it works so differently for so many THS. I still have a small studio flat in London that I like returning to inbetween sits. Since I joined THS 10 months ago and 11 sits later I’m realising what works for me and that’s mixing my sits between a spell at home with my familiar things and people. I realised that a month’s sit is my max unless it’s a second sit then I may consider longer sits.
So work out what works for you.


True, so true. Moving into full-time sitting is a wild transition from my recent 39-month, blessed barnacle seasons; every day, being present, still, walking in the forest, in snow and sunshine, (having 5 seasons*, which I never had in my life before, all my 56 years prior), and being grateful.

And, every kind word fans my flames, and allows me the peace and acceptance to grieve each step, every little loss, every precious memory here taking to fire like kindling. I know this process. I like a lighter load, so this is all good.

I appreciate your kindness, and kindred understanding. We would surely get along well, Amparo!

This Forum is so supportive, it is helping me to breathe through each honest truly momentous inch of progress. Today, the green tea, chai, cacao, nettles, mint, coconut sugar, raw honey, dandelion shelf is being cleared out to be used up, and tomorrow, God knows! …I can do this. I know. Thank you, Amparo.

The beauty of this move is The Mystery. The packing, clearing and letting go is my current storm of Spiritual Growth. I accept.

  • 5 Seasons, because Taos has a distinct season between winter and spring, and it is the “mud season.” Everywhere we walk is thick, sticky, messy mud, that eventually turns to dust, blowing in the wind. I’m happy to move!

Photo: Housesitting chickens, dogs and cat in Arroyo Seco/El Salto, NM


Thank you for your thorough, and nuanced well-earned clarity.
All very helpful to me, a newby-Sitter on TH.
Very experienced otherwise.

Aloha, Claire

@Karfry87 I am really sorry to read about your partner’s illness. I can honestly say, housesitting is at its hardest when I’m feeling under the weather. Not being able to get comfortable in someone else’s home when you’re sick, is really hard.

I also just want to say: we housesat to save for our first home too and it worked! Together with rental savings, some other savings and windfalls, we managed to scrape a deposit together, so yes, it is entirely possible.

Excellent advice. I also love the nomad lifestyle and my THS experience, but I maintain my “home” and find a need to recharge there.

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I have been sitting full-time since last August and I love it. My solution is to travel with a little motorhome or minivan, where you have all your personal stuff always with you. I even have my complete kitchen equipment, as some homes don’t have necessities such as corkscrews or thongs, I have all my favourite clothes for all occasions, my family photos, food and beverages, but most of all - a place which I can call “my home” even if it is very small. And the greatest benefit is that I can sleep in it during free days between sits and that I always have a toilet at hand (a bucket with a lid) when I am on the road. This way you can have the best of both worlds.