Digital nomads as housesitters – Masters of evolution

22 May, 2019

Digital nomads as housesitters – Masters of evolution

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The housesitting community offers great examples of digital nomads work while they travel, their portable professions enabling travel further afield. Digital nomads are masters of evolution – a grand statement perhaps but consider the facts.

Digital nomads as housesitters are a good combination

While some people work online occasionally as a way to take their work with them, full-time digital nomads have no fixed desk, they move between locations with WiFi taking their profession with them. Digital nomads as housesitters make a good combination as a rule, because they stay at home to work online, they keep the property safe and care for the pets in their own home.

Working while pet minding

Working as digital nomads and housesitters can be a great liberation, read on to hear about how Ian Usher and Vanessa Anderson started out as traveling working housesitters.

Digital nomad
Digital nomad working wherever they can

The internet and house-sitting can liberate digital professionals

Some digital professionals find they are liberated by the internet and ‘house-sitting’. They cast off the usual chains and trappings of domestic life and travel the world full time. But how do they afford it you might ask..? They eliminate the costs associated with maintaining a property or fixed home base and commuting to a regular job by housesitting for free, in exchange for free accommodation.

Seeking paid work online

Some of the best jobs for digital nomads are of course online. To sustain themselves they tap into the internet and seek paid work online and this can take many forms. Some of our members teach English as a foreign language online, others are travel writers and journalists, and some run web businesses.

Moreover many find they discover the world by moving from housesit to housesit wherever they may be located across the world. They use housesitting platforms like

The housesitting platform is a House & Pet sitting website that invites homeowners and housesitters to register and share housesitting opportunities and assignments and meet to find a suitable match between homeowner and housesitter.

The start of computer facilitated housesitting

This idea was first formalised online by Australian entrepreneur Ian White of Housecarers. Later it was expanded by other online housesitting websites all over the world. The trend for housesitting is growing.

The population of digital nomads is expanding the world over, made up of professionals independent of the physical structures imposed on the rest of us by our jobs at offices in towns and cities, commuter time-tables and the monthly fix of the payslip. They earn their living online wherever there is WiFi and live in other people’s homes caring for property, gardens and pets.

Some digital nomads and housesitters call it the most liberating experience.

Dog-sitting and Cat-sitting while Sandra and David are away
Dog-sitting and Cat-sitting while the owners are away

Speaking to the digital nomads in our network on a regular basis I hear the most remarkable stories. These are often tales of wanderlust, collaboration, of people living in homes all over the world. As housesitters care for all kinds of pets while the owners are away. They are live in pet and house sitters.

Increasingly, I hear tales and read stories about digital nomads who have evolved to a state of almost total self reliance and independence travelling the world carrying all their worldly goods in two cases, their laptop bag and a passport needing only to confirm their next housesit assignment.

Ian and Vanessa housesitters – nomadic life evolving

In the time we have been building and promoting the HouseSitMatch network we have had the great fortune to meet a wide range of excellent housesitters personally from all over the world. Most recently, we met Ian Usher and Vanessa Anderson. They are long term housesitters who have had a remarkable journey together as digital nomads.

At the time of writing this article they have been living as full time house-sitters over the last three years.

Ian Usher and Vanessa Anderson - Long term housesitters
Ian Usher and Vanessa Anderson – Long term house-sitters

How this housesitting couple met and started as digital nomads

Before they even met both had independently decided to change their lives dramatically after divorce. Ian originally from the North East of England found himself in Perth Western Australia alone with a house, mortgage, car and all the possessions and accessories of a suburban life. He decided the one way to change everything quickly was to sell his life on eBay! And so he did.

With the proceeds he set himself a 100 week challenge with one bucket list item per week as a goal. After indulging all his dreams by leaping from one action packed item to the next he wrote his story. The local TV stations in Perth Australia had picked up his story and televised what he was doing. Disney had picked up the story and bought the film rights to his book ‘A life for sale’.

With the proceeds he rather extravagantly bought a Caribbean island off the coast of Panama and built his own home on his island paradise. Two years into living on his paradise island he came home to visit family and friends in the UK. That’s when he met Vanessa. After knowing each other for a very short time he made a casual suggestion.

He said she might want to visit him on the island. That way she could experience his little island in paradise. Within a short space of time she went to visit and stayed!

Sustaining their lifestyle as digital nomads

Having sold a house and business in Wales, Vanessa had moved to London to take up an exciting new job. And after meeting Ian through a mutual friend she decided to leave her fabulous London based job and go to Panama for a visit. Something must have happened because a short visit turned into a whole year living on the island paradise.

Finding house sitters

After one year they decided to find housesitters themselves. This meant they could leave their island home and travel a little. Needless to say they caught the travel bug. Consequently, they decided to sell the island and travel full time. Three years later they are long term professional housesitters. They travel the world and work as digital nomads.

The way they earn a living is through the internet, for instance, by teaching English online as a foreign language.

We heard all about their story just recently when we were all interviewed by Carla Delaney on Marlow FM – follow the link to LISTEN TO THE RADIO (Select BizBuzz Fri 20 May 2016)  INTERVIEW

House-sitters and digital nomads
Ian, Vanessa, Lamia, Karen and Carla Delaney on RADIO Marlow FM

Today Ian and Vanessa are full time long term housesitters and are registered on  They teach English as a foreign language online and run their own web businesses which include publishing the only free subscription online House Sitting Magazine where you will find regular contributions from HouseSitMatch

To start your housesitting adventure or to find your housesitting solution register with HouseSitMatch:

Register as a House-Sitter: for housesitting and pet sitting follow this link HOUSE-SITTER REGISTRATION

To Register as a Homeowner: follow this link HOMEOWNER REGISTRATION


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Founder and Director of HouseSitMatch - I'm a hands-on Admin on the site. Please ask any questions and as soon as I can I'll happily answer and assist where I can.

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