@Romana it looks like you are set for the perfect Nomadic lifestyle. This also can save you so much money between sits.
Thanks, Romana ~ I appreciate your showing your solutions to a home on wheels. I see the benefits. Nice decor!
@Romana We are thinking about getting a little van to travel across the USA to stop in between sits, thank you for the inspiration
I love doing these sits and I have a few that are so special that I do them a few times a year, ,but love having my home to come back to. Personally I couldn’t do it full time. I chose where to live permanently for a reason.
Thank you very much @Karfry87 for asking this question! I’m so sorry to read about your partner’s diagnosis, big virtual hugs.
I’m in my first-year full-time sitting, alone (but not lonely!) & on my first very challenging for me sit, so I’m feeling a dip too. Similar reasons more a less, I’m currently with a young dog who needs a lot of attention & isn’t fully trained yet. There are many aspects of this sit that are wonderful & I might be a little tired too, but I’ve definitely been struggling this week. The great thing is knowing this situation has an end soon & I don’t have to come back if I don’t want to.
I’ve been full-time sitting since last August & am learning more & more about what suits me, & how to live happily with less (I travel with a car, so it started jam-packed full!) & like learning any new skill, each day, each sit I’m getting better at this new way of living!
I have my stuff in storage & my thoughts are that if after some time it isn’t for me I can stop, go get my stuff & rent somewhere so that definitely helps with the more difficult periods. Also, the fluffy friends never fail to turn around a tiring or down day at some point!
It has been great to read the awesome advice here, like a house-sitting master class! It is easy at first to take sits based on cute pet photos, ideal location & dates & enthusiastic homeowners. It’s a learning curve as to what is really ideal for each of us!! Each sit seems to take elements out of the I don’t know part of the brain into the more black & white yes please or no way, never again!!
We’re learning about the big things, like external environments that work for us personally, our exercise levels & needs & what makes a good working space to the smaller things like, having an extension cable that makes a desk setup easier in an older house with few sockets or how to work yet another type of coffee machine, dishwasher, door intercom, a bundle of tv remotes & how quick can you learn which cupboard has what in it or where the toilet is in the night without feeling like you’re having memory problems!!!
Keep us all up-to-date with how things are going for you! I’m going to see if there are any bring along a wildcard dog MeetUps here!!!
It is so good to hear your experience, thank you, Susan. I am new to TH, but very exp’d in this sacred service, so looking forward to discerning, refining and enjoying every moment. Our first sit is near the airport, LHR, on the day I move to Scotland with my Assistance Dog, a dream-come-true, so I am very happy!
And on which side the toilet paper is! (And to which side the fridge opens!)
This message was fabulous! Gave me very positive vibes thanks Susan!!! Wishing you all the best on your journey ahead.
PS we leased a car and at the moment it is full to the brim! Any tips on how to downsize would be amazing!!! X
Awesome! Congratulations on your dreams coming true!!
oh the temptation some times to change the door of the fridge to open the other way!!
Ha ha ha, my method has been; to ditch what I can not be bothered to lug out from the car again, unpack, clean around or dig out from the bottom of an Ikea bag and/or that is stressing me out because I don’t get round to using it (I’m looking at my guitar as I write this!) If you take a sit that you can’t park your car close to & has no elevator for example it really helps with the decision making!!!
Hello Karfry87, I have done approx the same thing as you. From November 2 till April 17 were/are filled with sits. I have managed this longing for my own bed by: Staying in a hotel in a familiar area between sits. This gives me the necessary down time to let go of pets I have been with and get ready to meet a whole new house of furries.
I do maintain a storage unit and trade out my cothes, books, and hobbie supplies as I traverse the THS work/life changes. Hope some of this is helpful. Although the travel to new places is so fun and expands my life experience, I do miss my own place. Not enuf to stop my exploration and new four legged friends.
i also recently started full time! Last October…I’m actually loving it!
i think it’s a steep learning curve…you are a couple so it’s important you are both happy.
For sure, it’s critical to know what makes you happy and what keeps you healthy.
Ask more questions! Maybe don’t pick gigs where the pet is on your bed, maybe don’t do pups…
best of luck…
@KC1102 That’s a very thoughtful, considered response. I resonate with everything you say. We too have done 60+ sits and are still learning, and refining, as we go! Like you we’ve become way more selective over the years, (except for short gap fills where we are less fussy) and we ask a lot of questions. But even so we still occasionally get caught out with something unexpected. Then you just have to ride the wave and put it down to experience.
My husband and I have been fully nomadic for 11 years, and housesitting for the last 4 of them. Last year we spent over 300 days of the year on a sit somewhere or other. Having nearly finished a 2 month spell of short back to back sits in the UK we’re looking forward to the next 4 longer (2-3 weeks each) sits we’ve booked in France & Spain -starting after Easter- a little more time to settle in and relax. The last 3 all have pools so we’re hoping for great weather & some pool time inbetween duties!
We are retired and have been sitting full-time since last August. Actually, we sold our last home in May of last year and traveled, while staying in hotels and AirBnBs for few months, but found that very cramped, not to mention expensive. House sitting has been much more fun!
We choose longer sits, namely 3 to 8 weeks, unless we are just trying to fill in some dates. We also take time off from sitting for sight-seeing, or traveling to exotic locations where there are no sits (like Morocco), or to spend time with family. We have had house sits in France, UK, Canada and across the US. All our sits have been in gorgeous homes with sweet pets.
Since we have been traveling internationally, we don’t have our own car. Unless the sit is within a city with good public transportation, we only accept sits where we are given permission to use the owners’ car.
We always insist on a video chat prior to confirming a sit - it is important to get a sense of comfort with the pets, their parents and their homes. We have had a couple of sit cancellations, but fortunately, they came with enough notice that we were able to find replacement sits quite easily.
Although I have adapted faster than my wife to not having our own space, we are both enjoying it for now. It is certainly a much better way to travel than staying in hotels or AirBnBs. Of course, we don’t expect to lead this nomadic life-style forever!
@Lokstar Thank you. Like you said, there is always something unexpected that can happen and you just chalk it up being part of the game. And there are just things we can’t know until we know them.
I think most people who have been sitting longer term, especially full time, are more discerning about which sits to take because all that experience gives you a lot of clarity. Like I said in my original post, I am not as easily seduced by seemingly very desirable sits that have challenging elements, as I may have been earlier on.
Given our experience ,and a profile that we have received a lot of positive feedback on, we are pretty confident in our ability to easily land sits, so I don’t feel that pressure that newer sitters–or maybe some not so new sitters-- may feel to secure places to stay. We only apply to sits to which we feel really drawn, trusting the right ones will come along eventually, and that always seems to be the case. We may be less discerning for shorter sits to fill gaps.
Since we started traveling abroad extensively again in mid-January, we have booked some really awesome jobs–Crete, Turkish Riviera, Prague, central London and South Korea.
I prefer longer sits as well of at least a few weeks. We started traveling again ‘normally’ in January and most of the sits we have done, or will be doing, are close to a month in length, except two shorter London sits, but since they are in the same city and just have one day in between, it will feel like it is one longer sit.
This is a big topic, thank you for opening it up! Loved reading other people’s responses and solutions. I thought I would put in my experience and pointers and hopefully it helps.
I dogsit with my own dog, so I have a different experience and perspective. I’m so lucky he also loves new pals and places, but I do have to be mindful when he’s had enough and needs us to have our own space for a bit. We used to be able to look after cats, but he got attacked by 2 cats and we can’t look after them. He’s fine with horses, chickens, bird anything else, but it limits us to mostly dogsits.
We did a year FT without a house a few years ago, and then started again in 2021, on and off as I had to travel to Australia. We’ve now spent 4 months on the trot between places and I have found that there has been a huge change in the types of people asking for dog sits, and their dogs, since before and after the lockdown.
For younger, newer dogs, there is alot more stricter rules and requirements and routines to manage. Older dogs and more experienced owner are often not to precious or precise about routines etc, and also have a more emotional understanding of their dogs to give you. Newer dog humans tend to be more anxious and almost fearful of doing the wrong things with their dogs.
I have a fairly intuitive relationship with my dog, and he’ll tell me when he needs walks/food/cuddles/alone time/play time/an extra portion at dinner… I respect routines but sometimes I struggle when I recognise the dogs aren’t being listened to, their needs aren’t being met and are expected to just slot into their human lives.
These are the things that make a difference to us:
- Sleep is absolutely crucial to your patience with pets that aren’t your own. Pups are in their category of effort and energy.
- Stay a few nights inbetween sits at friends/ hostel/hotel/airbnb/camping to give yourself some space. It’s not necessarily the not having a place to go home to that is a mindbend, but needing the headspace to re-set yourself for another round of rules and new routines to remember. Also I find it has to do with having zero control over your environment, so bringing small items to make you feel homey is crucial.
- Only accept sits after you’ve arranged a facetime beforehand; phone calls sure, but you get a better sense of the house/set up/dogs/ etc over a zoom or facetime. You’ve interviewing them just as much as they are you!
- Dogs in bedrooms is a controversial one. I have it doubly challenging as my dog sleeps with me. He’ll share me everywhere else but not the bed! The other dogs have to sleep on the floor or elsewhere. Most dogs will respect a stranger asking them not to sleep with them; I’ve found even if dogs who normally sleep with their humans, with me they don’t always want to. Boundaries are helpful for your own patience too.
Good luck with continuing on, and remember to give yourself the breaks and boundaries you need!
Mel and Mackenzie
I really appreciate your sharing your personal experiences, and preferences. I also have a dog by my side 24/7, since Nov. 2021, so I like hearing of you and your pup’s adventure.
Hi @Karfry87 - The nomadic lifestyle can be challenging at times so you are definitely not alone with your feelings.
We gave up having a permanent address in September 2020.
On the whole, it has been great. For us, the moving days are stressful so we try to keep these to a minimum by aiming for longer sits ( 4 weeks is our ideal ).
As others have said good sleep is essential. We only do sits where two bedrooms are available which means at least one of us is getting a good night’s sleep at all times.
Also, we are careful not to take on too many pets. For us, generally, one dog at a time is enough.
Keep an eye out for house sits with no pets that occasionally appear. For a full-time sitter, these are a very welcome opportunity for a well-earned rest!
Treating yourself every now and then is also a great way to switch off. If finances allow, an occasional night or two in a decent hotel in between sits is a perfect pick-me-up.
Try to find some sits in areas where you have family and friends for some extra support that brings.
If, in the end, you decide this lifestyle is not for you at least you can say that you gave it a go
Wishing your partner all the best with their treatment x
Thanks so much Colin! Really great advice and so nice to hear about others experiences doing this too! We find it quite hard getting new sits atm, the platform has really grown in popularity! X