nternational housesitters NatnJodie have been travelling around the world by housesitting and petsitting since 2013. In a recent interview hosted on our weekly @Housesitmatch Twitter #HouseSitChat session, we asked them a series of questions about their love of petsitting, how they started travelling by housesitting, and how they support themselves as digital nomads by generating a roaming income. Read on for their Questions and Answers:
Q 1. Welcome to the chat Nat & Jodie! Please tell us about yourselves
A 1. We’ve been 100% nomadic since Feb 2013. We’re Aussie but no longer residents of Australia. And so now we’re officially residents of nowhere #HouseSitChat
Nat is a former Australian Federal Police Agent and Jodie a former Resort Accommodation Manager. This year Nat celebrated her 50th birthday in Bangkok during Songkran, the Thai New Year celebration ( which has the world’s largest water fight!).
Then in March 2020 Jodie will celebrate her 50th sugar shacking in Quebec. We’ll follow that with her ultimate bucket list birthday gift, a trip to Columbia starting with a housesit in Medellin #Bucketlist #HouseSitChat
Professionals working abroad then travelling housesitters
Q 2. And how did you start housesitting and travelling?
A 2. We left Australia in Oct 2011 when Nat was offered a job in Dubai as a BDM for a Police Training Company. Not recognized as a couple, Jodie could only enter the UAE as a tourist. That meant she had to leave every 30 days to renew her visa… #HouseSitChat“
Nat’s boss suggested starting a Company to ‘buy’ visa’s for his friends and for Jodie. It was a very expensive exercise. The startup was an epic fail, even with Nat leaving her job to help. After 16 months in the Middle East, we were broke & broken…
To leave the UAE we had to sell off everything and offload the biz registration name in order to cancel our visas. This left us with enough money to buy a one-way flight to London and just $300 USD cash. No credit left. All savings gone.
Those first few months of housesitting in London then SW France healed us. The unconditional love from the pets, the space, the time to re-evaluate our lives and of course, zero overheads let us breathe again.
Then we just kept saying yes to opportunities that felt right & there’s nothing in our lives that has more ease & flow than lining up housesits around the world, nearly always back-to-back for 7 years. It’s our universal confirmation we are meant to be doing this.
The Nomadic Lifestyle
Q 3. What #tips can you give to who want a nomadic lifestyle, but haven’t developed multiple income streams?
A 3. Most ‘normal’ people don’t start their nomadic lifestyle with nothing 🙂 It’s not necessary to have multiple income streams at all, but it is far more fun when you don’t ‘have’ to always be trading time for money. #HouseSitChat
Some try it out for a year or two. Others stay on the road for many years and may end up finding the place in the world that feels like home, or at least a new base. That can be done on savings.
Cost of living – Nomadic housesitters vs Homebased
But the cost of living of this lifestyle, as international housesitters, is a helluva lot less than living at home, or just staying in a fixed location, for us 70% less, for others even more!
So our suggestion is to work out your current annual living expenses, cut them in half (or more) and decide how much you need to earn if you don’t have enough saved or enough income from investments or pensions to cover that…
And if you need to keep earning, then look at how you can make money online – because there are gazillions of ways to earn from anywhere. We just prefer to focus on NOT having a remote job, instead being creative.
Housesitters – can anyone become one?
Q 4. How would you inspire this audience to “think out of the box” and embrace #HouseSitting?
A 4. While housesitting is for anyone – singles, couples, families, young, mature, working, retired even people wanting to travel with their own pets… housesitting itself, is not for everyone. #housesitchat
Some people just don’t like the idea of being in another person’s space, or at least they ‘think’ they don’t. We are firm believers that you will never really know something until you have a direct experience of it.
So if one half of a couple is keen to experience housesitting, the other maybe not be. Try helping out a home & pet owner nearby sometime. Take a short sit one weekend, and see how it really ‘feels’ before deciding 100% either way. And always trust your intuition!
International housesitters and digital nomads
Q 5. You have both achieved so much, but what is next? Are there any specific challenges for you as international housesitters?
A 5. We have done a lot for the house sitting community over the years with starting the first ever Facebook group for sitters to connect through to hosting the first virtual summit, the first version of the digital magazine…
The first podcast (just one season), the first video course teaching confidence & competence and every step of the international house sitting journey, published a kindle book.
Created a resource library for those looking for a Roaming Income with interviews and how-to’s from those already living this lifestyle.
The reason for it is Jodie is now helping others create a more leveraged income by offering licenses to sell our products. This is NOT an affiliate program where only a commission cut is earned.
And Nat has started a new project. With her sister she helps people live infinitely. By this they mean not letting anything hold you back from experiencing the life most normally only dream of. This is not just for international housesitters.