International 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:
International housesitters – by chance rather than design
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 housesitting around the world. We ended up housesitting constantly nearly always with back-to-back dates 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 either as solo travellers or as international housesitters, but haven’t developed multiple income streams yet to support their journey?
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!
Housesitters – can anyone become one?
Q 4. How would you inspire this audience to “think out of the box” and embrace #HouseSitting?
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?
How get started as an international housesitter
If you are thinking of housesitting as a fun thing to try, then you need to think carefully about your next steps. So here are our top tips for getting started as an international housesitter:
Join a small housesitting platform
Join one of the smaller housesitting sites such as HouseSitMatch. Posts on the larger sites can draw 30 or 40 applicants – daunting competition for a newbie! But the smaller sites offer less competition and increased customer service that is often personalized. I can attest to HouseSit Match’s unparalleled hands-on support. Also consider the option to become a house sitter for free.
It means you are volunteering and will exchange your services for free accommodation. The barrier is low to get started.
Other advantages of being with the right platform is they will have guidelines, templates and support documents to help you understand what best practice looks like. Make sure they have a responsive administration so you can ask questions about housesitting and petsitting. A good platform will support you in your endeavours.
Start housesitting locally first – it will help you get started as a housesitter
While you might be asking yourself ‘ are house sitters in demand? ‘ you should start locally first.Looking for local housesitting jobs or house sitting jobs near me to get started. It gives you a chance to meet the homeowners and pets ahead of time. This gives you a “leg up” on sitters traveling from foreign countries. It is worth doing if you possibly can. Local housesitting is definitely a good way to get started as a housesitter.
Especially during these times when airlines are realigning their schedules, your proximity provides extra peace of mind for the homeowners that their sitters won’t get caught up in airline delays and cancellations. Also, since you know your area, language and culture, a local housesit reduces the variety of new things you need to adjust to. It is one of the best ways to get started as a housesitter.
3 Build a good reputation with good reviews
Make a significant effort with all your housesit assignments to ensure you earn good reviews on the housesitting platform. The reviews will soon build with every housesit and you’ll find it easier and easier to secure your preferred assignments and you’ll join the group of international housesitters.
Further reading about housesitting, pet sitting and international housesitters
At Housesitmatch.com we like to share useful blogs and practical advice about housesitters, housesitting and pet sitting. We hope you find this small selection of our blogs on house sitters useful.