When you look at the map on THS you can see that there are hundreds of sits in the US, but only a handful south of the border. So far we’ve been nomadic pet sitters in Europe for three years and have done around 50 sits here. We’ve figured out everything on this side of the pond, have lots of good reviews and contacts, so we get more than enough offers for sits and have almost no breaks. Is somebody doing the same in Mexico/Latin America? If so, any advice/resources for newbies? We have been in Ecuador/Peru/Bolivia in the past and have also learned Spanish back then (which we would need to refresh).
My husband and I have done sits in that area a couple of times for about a few months at a stretch and we were able to find jobs that were pretty much back to back–perhaps a day or two in between at most. We were in Panama from early February through the end of July over the course of three sits, the first of which we got on here. The second was from another site where we were directly invited since we showed up as a local sitter in the area and then the third sit was a friend of this person’s who planned their trip so we would go right to their house after their friend’s return.
The first time we did that we got back to back sits in Nicaragua and Costa Rica.
Being American, those areas in particular are always of interest and sits that I tend to notice, and I think it is a region with enough opportunities to do something long term for sure.South America doesn’t have as many opportunities as Central. There are a decent amount of opportunities in Costa Rica and Mexico in particular with all the retirees, people who have houses there part time,etc…, Panama has a decent amount too.
I think regardless of the region, people already there are at an advantage and I think that is even more true with Covid.
Thank you for your insights, it sounds like this might be quite a feasible plan!
At the moment we are on a two month sit in Boca del Toras and loving it. It’s just the end of the rainy season so there are some spectacular storms going through which we are rather glad of as it is an off grid remote home on one of the tiny islands.
What I would say is communication is of the utmost importance on a remote sit. They come up rarely and have lots of applicants. We also have a sit booked in Ecadour in October. We are doing some independent travel while we are in Panama and hoping to get to be line handlers on a friends boat as the traverse the Canal. Both sitter and home owners need to explain their expectations and needs. It’s good to have experience off grid living and be very resourceful. Things break and go wrong and it’s up to us to fix them. That’s the down side.
The positives - the views, the noises, the isolation, the animals……I could go on and on.
Wow! This is exactly the kind of sit that we’d love to do. In Europe real off-the-grid sits are extremely rare, perhaps because of strict regulation (and control), so we definitely need to look into that.
There are off grid sits in Europe but all very rural. We were supposed to do one in Spain but it got cancelled because of COVID.
Have you any experience of living off grid? The home owners definitely want someone with experience of solar power and water and waste management. In the first week here we couldn’t understand why the water tanks (rain filled) were going down so quickly. We are long distance sailors so very used to water conservation. After two days of exploring we found a dump valve had been left open. That is just one of many minor things we have had to deal with. Bottled gas, water and power have to be monitored daily. If anything gets broken or needs maintenance it’s up to you. But as I said before the “jungle” dog is a joy to be around and the free range hens are hours of fun. We are even watching the fruit ripen with huge anticipation. Fresh smoothies for breakfast next week.
Yes, we have seen sits in Portugal and I think also in Spain advertised as being off grid. But I think in Germany etc. there are too many rules in place, so I think it might not even be legal there, although we know a lady with her own compost toilet and own water source in Switzerland, but the county controls her as well quite regularly and they keep insisting that she should get connected to the grid. We’ll need to go somewhere else to learn more about those kind of lifestyles.
Hi @Timmy … we lived in Bocas in Panama for 3 years before setting off on our travel / house sitting adventures, and Ian built an off-grid property on a small island. Our view was a lot like @ElsieDownie
Almost all of the sits we did to start with were off-grid in Central America (Panama, Guatemala and Mexico) as well as in Australia/Fiji, as it felt like something we could specialize in for a while and get some pretty amazing, unusual sits with equally special pets. We found once in place, lots of referrals followed particularly when word got around. So networking in the expat communities is a great way to start… and to spread the word about TrustedHousesitters!!
Here’s an article that my partner wrote about off-grid systems, which might help you prepare for some situations (you’ll see our little off-grid home in the featured image - often wish now we hadn’t sold - it was a good hideaway):
Enjoy your hunt for sits!
Oh, awesome! We saw the episode on Ben Fogle’s show, happy that you’re continuing your alternative lifestyle in this way!
What a fabulous article. Very well done you. I have lived off grid when I was much younger out of necessity and I lived on a boat that was all solar powered. I learned so much and like you say in the article, experience is the best teacher. I have this bookmarked
We love Mexico and have vacationed there annually for many years (like 35 plus years!). I regularly check for housesitting opportunities in Mexico. One of my favorite places is San Miguel de Allende, and there are quite a few sits there. Some are in town, and some of them are “close” to town. It is really easy to take nice motor coaches around Mexico to get from one sit to the next. Have fun!
We are both petsitter and homeowners on this wonderful site. We live in Baja, California - Mexico. Our challenge is that when we post - even tho I specifically say we are one hour south of San Diego - most people think we are in Cabo San Lucas, which is over 900 miles south. The climate is quite different.
There are also considerations such as rental cars across the border, which unfortunately many companies frown upon. It makes it difficult to secure sitters without their own transportation. Sometimes we are able to offer our car, but often times we will need it for travel. Therefore its super important for sitters to be as prepared as possible when replying. We get loads of applications but only a few who understand the border logistics (and we provide details!)
In case you want to ‘save’ our location for the future …here are a few photos to further entice you:)
Very nice pictures!
Your home looks wonderful!! What a beautiful coastline! Lots of people get confused about the Baja Peninsula. It is notable that the Baja Peninsula contains 2 Mexican states: Baja California and Baja California Sur. To say we live in “Baja California” is similar to saying we live in “Michigan.” Then people might ask what town in that state? It is understandable that people get confused with the labels on the Baja Peninsula.