Some benefits to a sit close to home

Yesterday I had the pleasure of visiting a home for a possible sit. It was a mere 30-minute drive through beautiful countryside. I had already connected well with the owners, having a few chatty emails, and we’d developed a comfort level. However, they wanted to be sure that one feature of their home wouldn’t be an issue for me, which I thought was both considerate and wise; it’s important that a sit be a good fit for everyone.

As an experienced sitter, why take a sit so close to home? There are so many reasons, but I’ll touch on a few for this particular sit.

I had two appointments in my home town that would have stopped me taking a sit far away. This way, I could return home for a few hours without any issue. My feline housemate would nap and hardly notice my absence.

I would be living like a local in a town that has won awards for being the prettiest town in Canada. Last year it was voted ‘the most charming town in Canada’. Note that it also has 28 wineries. :wine_glass:

Yes, I have visited there many times, but I’ve never lived like a local there. My temporary home is a 5-minute walk from the Lake Ontario waterfront, with its beautiful view of the Toronto skyline across the lake on a clear day, and a walking path along its edge.

In this instance, the homeowners flew home from their winter home just two days ago and will be leaving in a few days for their next trip. The door on their washer has broken. They are concerned about getting it fixed in time. No problem, as I can do laundry at my home, or just switch out clothing/towels etc. each time I return.

I thought I had one quirky question to ask about my new housemate. As a solo sitter, if I travel by car I like to take a jigsaw puzzle. I was concerned that my new friend might eat a piece. What did they think? The owners looked at each other and smiled. They also do puzzles and know that my feline friend will just swipe at some pieces when he wants attention, so I might have to look for a few pieces on the floor. They then brought out the next puzzle they planned to do, for me to use, which would save me trying to finish mine before I left.

They would also like some flexibility with the end date of the sit. No problem as I had 10 days between theirs and my next sit, and if anything unexpected came up I could easily return home to manage it.

A lovely couple, a cat who was a little jet-lagged but was sociable, and I’m now getting ready to pack. Happy days. :smile_cat:

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Love this Francine. Sits near one’s home has so many advantages. Aside from a great way to build your profile with experience and reviews, it builds community right at home. It is also a good mental health break, a stay-cation but still a nice comfortable break from home.
Thank you for that link too. Canada is a place I really have not explored and would like too, in the Summer :laughing:.
Enjoy your pet snuggles and the beauty of your area.
I expect new friends too.

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That’s brilliant, great post. It’s amazing what is right there on your doorstep.

I know most of my adventures have been in SE Asia, but back in 2017 I went home for 3 months and I knew I would get bored so I applied for a sit on the west coast of Scotland, in Troon, before I had even left Singapore.

Troon is only 30 minutes from Glasgow on the train, so I was able to go and meet the owner beforehand and ended up going back 4 times between November and January.

The west coast of Scotland can be a bit wild in November, but that was actually part of the fun - snow on the beach, storms, wild windy days.
The dogs were called Rambo and Silas, guess…


and after a very stormy day, the garden furniture was blown over… :sweat_smile: :rofl:
:joy:

Rambo was the smallest Jack Russel I have ever know. So much fun.

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Great post. I live in a huge city in Texas and have done a couple of house-sits in other suburbs that are a good hour away from my home and loved it. Definitely like a staycation as Amparo said, but also got to explore areas I’d never seen before. Both homes were gorgeous, great pets and super nice (and appreciative) owners. I absolutely love all the opportunities that come my way through THS. It blesses all.

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When I first started my first sit was a 90 minute drive from home. It was an incredible house on the intersection of 5 canals in the intercoastal in Florida. I ended up going there about 9 times in 6 months. Yeah I spent a lot of time there. Two gorgeous fluffball kitties. It was heavenly and a great way to transition to my new life.

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That sounds amazing….and I love lists about places!

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I’m a full time sitter again (as I was before the pandemic) having re-rented my home in January. After this current sit I’m returning to a sit for the 4th time which is a 20 minute drive from my home. Benefits include being able to visit my dentist, visit my dr, visit my hairdresser, visit a trusted garage to get my car serviced and MOT’d, cycle with my cycling companion who’s been keeping my bike in his garage, volunteer in the charity bookshop I’ve volunteered in for 8 years and visit friends. I think the 3 weeks will be over in a flash!

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In that 2nd photo, it looks like Inspector Gadget is off on paw-trol.

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That’s so true. As a new sitter to this site I’ve only done local or nearby sits this winter. Granted that could change, yet still navigating a new way of living since partially retiring last year I chose to stay closer to my home area for many reasons. It also seems many HO’s like that you can meet the household ahead of time it seems to work out better.

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Great post! We did our first “close to home” sit this past fall when we got tired of not travelling overseas. There are plenty of beautiful places to visit in BC and we enjoyed a looking after a cat on one of the Gulf Islands.

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Thanks for starting a great topic @Snowbird

My first sit was literally a 10 minute drive from my home on Vancouver Island … my second? just an hour away after which I had an amazing three week kitty sit in Victoria which allowed me to see parts of the city and area that I might never otherwise have seen and I only had a two+ hours drive to get there. When possible It’s how we advise new members to start.

Since having my home base in Scotland I have done three sits just 40 mins and an hour away, in Glasgow and Edinburgh giving me the opportunity to really “see and experience” those two cities.

We each have different motives for living this lifestyle. I work remotely, for me it’s about having pet companionship, they help me maintain a better work - life balance … walking the dog BEFORE opening the lap top, time away from devices during the day and the evening is focussed on pet time, I could (and have) spent most of my waking hours on devices pet sitting makes me also take care of me, not to mention that I miss not having pets in my life more than people or places :wink: :dog: :heart_eyes_cat:

For me local is good, it’s convenient, it’s new (places you’ve not seen) it’s flexible, less transportation issues (planes & trains) and isn’t pet love is the same 5 miles or 500 miles away?

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Yes, great post, and great input from everyone. I love to sit locally and started doing it when I was first getting started in order to get reviews. I also did them a lot due to covid and not wanting to travel far distances.
I still like to do them, but usually only for short periods of time. Several days tops, certainly not weeks. I feel bad when I get invitations from local homeowners and I just can’t do it because it’s for such a long period of time. I have a husband and my own pets at home, so I don’t like to leave them for long periods unless it’s for farther afield travels.
Do others like to do local sits for long periods of time?

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AWESOME POST TOPIC @Snowbird !

Our favorite repeat house sitter is a 20-minute drive from her home. It has been a lot of fun for us to get to know each other as she lives where I went to high school and her parents live where my husband’s family is from (and still lives). She is both a sitter and a HO, and finds sitters on THS for her fur babies while she is with ours I pretty awesome, right???).

My husband and I are considering becoming a sitter as it generally aligns with our travel philosophy of staying in one place for a bit and getting to know the community. That works when we are travelling as a couple, but is a bit trickier when we are travelling as a larger family unit or with a friend group. I’d love to hear how folks manage that–perhaps that’s a different topic on this thread, though!

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I just adore local house sitting. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

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omg, these pups in their trench coats are the cutest thing EVER :heart_eyes: :star_struck:

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Not sure where to put this but this may be of interest when thinking about locals & the locals at our house sit destinations/post sit wanders

I found this feed so interesting. I had read that it’s nice if your first sit is a local sit, but I guess I didn’t realize how “local” that advice was!

We live in Branson, MO and it’s such a wonderful place that each year between 8-10 million people visit our little town. I would love for someone local to take our first sit! It makes great sense for someone that wants to come to Branson and do all of the fun things Branson has to offer, even if they only live and hour or two away. Brilliant.

Did you ask local people (by finding their profile) if they would be interested in doing a local sit, or did they find you? We have a trip planned for mid May and though we’ve only had our listing posted for a week, we haven’t had any applicants.

Any other ideas are so welcome! :grimacing:

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@SunshineNCoastlines I applied for this sit by responding to their listing. Unless it’s an owner I have sat for in the past, I only contact owners if I am available and wanting to do a listing they specifically have posted. However, as a homeowner you can contact sitters directly, as part of your search process. You can find other, more relevant post threads that address the topic of ways to find sitters.

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You are welcome to search the site for local sitters and invite the ones you like to apply for your sit!
Even if they’re not available this time, they might be interested in the future. :blue_heart:

My most recent sit was just 20 minutes from my home, and I loved it.
Cuddly animals, a different part of town, interesting people, a new perspective… and I already know exactly where all the best stores and parks are!

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I do some local sits on occasion. Currently, I am on a sit in what was my home town (before I became a nomadic sitter). It’s not normally a place I would choose to do a sit but my mom is in assisted living there so I have had a chance to visit her often, hang out with local friends and get some doctor appointments out of the way! A win-win!

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