Nomad who likes to nest on a pandemic pause

Hi, all –

After receiving the invitation from Angela what seems like ages ago, I’m finally popping in to say hello. Prior to the pandemic, I was a full-time house & pet sitter, traveling the world with no home base. My experiences on that front were wonderful, and I’ve kept photos and references on my website at (which I still need to update to say I’m on pause!).

In Jan 2020, I landed in Sydney. I planned to be here for 6 months while I took a certificate course in animal care at Taronga Zoo, and I had house sits all lined up to cover me for that time. I completed the first of those sits, and then we all know what happened next.

[As I went to publish this, the system said I wrote too much. I do tend to go on!! Anyway, story continues in the comments. :slight_smile:]


[continuation, part 2]

One by one, the sits had to cancel, as homeowners were unable to travel. I stayed in a couple of Airbnbs for a while, continuing my course, and thinking about whether to wait until sits started to come back or to go ahead and get a place of my own for the first time in years. My work (bookkeeper & business consultant) plus the course I was taking added up to a very heavy workload, and I found myself craving a bit of stability & calm, so I decided to get an apartment, which I found in late May.

As the pandemic unfolded into something much longer term, I applied for the next-level certificate course in captive animal care at Taronga Zoo. I am in the middle of that course now, and it is fascinating. I am learning so much about so many different species (much of which can certainly be applied to domestic animals on sits!). As part of the course, aside from the classroom portion, we also have 3 practical rotations at the zoo where we are assigned to different sections and work with current zookeepers.


[continuation, part 3]

My first rotation was in a separate sanctuary area of the zoo that is connected to the wildlife retreat (a hotel experience). I helped care for native Australian fauna of a variety of species – platypus (my favorite!), echidnas, koalas, tammar wallabies, pademelons, rufous bettongs, potoroos, murray river turtles, & a variety of fish.

I’m in the middle of my 2nd rotation now, which is on the division of primates that cares for gorillas, ring-tailed lemurs, françois’ langurs, & white-cheeked gibbons. Again, learning so much, but I find I have a bit of a soft spot for the langurs.

I’m particularly looking forward to my 3rd rotation, which starts in mid-January, when I will be working with keepers, vet nurses, & vets in the Taronga Wildlife Hospital. I had my fingers & toes crossed for getting that assignment, and I’m so, so pleased it came through (just found out a few days ago).


[continuation, part 4 – last one!!]

I’m not sure of the shape of my future with sitting. It may be that I return to it part-time while keeping a home base after the course finishes. Or I may decide to pick up and go completely nomadic again. Or I may stay still for a minute, helping with local animal rescues and doing a bit of listening for what’s next. For now, I’m living in the question, and I’m happy with that.

No matter the future shape, I am still grateful to be part of this community.

I hope you are all healthy & safe wherever you are.



Hello Naomi, you do live fantastic adventures. Working with gorillas may help you in the future with tough HO ?
Do you train for fun or to get qualifications for later on? Not much link with bookkeeping
I will read your blog today, you must give the link as well on the thread social media (you’ll find in topic “general and fun”. )
More members will read it
Welcome to the club. I love your long introduction… some members on this forum prefer short posts, i love long ones


Hi @nlpeters Welcome, we are so happy you’ve joined our community forum, thank you for your good wishes and great introduction and for sharing your current studies at Taronga Zoo, my daughter’s a vet and secured a placement at Singapore Zoo when we were living there and found the work and exposure fascinating … also apologies for the word count restriction but it was wonderful reading each chapter.

Thank you for being part of our TrustedHousesitters story, we cannot wait to get to know you better and sharing in your more of your Taronga studies and future pet and housesitting stays, I’m sure there will be many more and local ones make for great experiences … it’s about the connections we make with pets and people.

Enjoy the conversation and connecting with other members of the forum.

Angela & The Team


I’m Cheering for you!


@Provence I started the training just to learn about things I was interested in. I admit to having developed questions about whether I want to pursue it further than that along the way. We shall see.


I send you a personal message

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