10 + 1 GREAT Reasons to Become a HOUSE SITTER

Looking to travel? On a budget? No home to exchange? Consider work as a house sitter… looking after someone else’s home in exchange for free accommodation. I like to call it gentle travel. Here’s my list (in no particular order)

  • It’s a Win-Win. You save money and homeowners enjoy their time away knowing their home, pets, and garden are being taken care of.
  • It provides you a home base while seeing another part of the world. For experienced travelers this is a huge PLUS. Living out of a suitcase and traveling every day can be exhausting. As one gets older and wiser housesitting holds increasing appeal, AND you get to cook at home saving on the high cost of eating out.
  • You have time to get involved in community events. Spending a few weeks or months in one place allows you to visit weekly markets, attend classes and workshops, and find your favourite shops and eateries, all the while connecting with locals. 
  • Homeowners frequently inform their friends about your pending arrival and provide you with many contact names and numbers. This is an exclusive advantage of house sitting. You can establish and nurture friendships or enjoy the solitude of your own company. Either way the choice is yours. 
  • It moves you out of your comfort zone – ALWAYS a good thing. 
  • Many homeowners allow you to use their vehicle, especially if you’re in a remote location. This saves you the cost of car rentals and leaves you with money in your pocket for another visit to your favourite bakery! 
  • It can be a wonderful way to share your love of animals without the permanent responsibility of pet ownership. (You’re often required to care for homeowner’s pets and gardens.) For solo travelers it has the added benefit of companionship and security. In taking care of a veggie garden you reap the benefits of super fresh produce and yes, more savings!
  • It provides a living situation that you would never have known had you stayed at home. You get a peek into how others live and may even get some ideas about how you might change things upon your return.
  • As a house sitter, you have a place to invite family or friends to visit, providing you have approval from the homeowners. 
  • Through Skype and email you’re able to ‘meet’ before the housesit begins. This is a huge comfort for everyone. Tip #1 The more you know about each other before the house sit begins, the better.

So there’s my top 10. If this piques your interest, subscribe to my blog (on the right side of the screen).

And here’s the new BONUS benefit:

  • Being a house sitter is good for your mental health! Engrossed in the book, The Brain That Changes Itself, the need to keep neurons firing and creating new connections is paramount to brain health. House sitting is a great stimulator. Navigating the layout of another’s house, their neighbourhood and especially their kitchen, requires focussed attention: another key factor essential to long-term plastic growth. 


Image: DepositPhotos

In the Absence of Eggs

It’s been three weeks now and the chooks aren’t putting out. Well not as far as I can tell. If they’re laying, they’re not letting on.
“Look out for eggs in strange places,” the homeowners cry joyfully, Quantas bound. Thing is, I have been looking: under boulders, piles of grass, roosting spots, but no eggs. Nada. Nothing. 

What’s worse is one’s losing all her feathers. A coating of downy soft plumage lines the carport, like the aftermath of a pillow fight. More each day.  
Dear God,
If you’re around this Easter
Please take care of the chooks,
Please don’t let there be any animal fatalities under my watch. 
I don’t care about the eggs anymore. 
Thank you, 
While God’s working on that l head out in search of the chocolate kind, Cadbury’s Mini Eggs, my primary source of sustenance for years spent writing March report cards. 
Wincing at the increasingly exposed blue neck of the barren chook nestled deep within the carport I drive off in a cloud of feathers, eager to accumulate an Easter stash of something edible.

Aussies love their chocolate. Cadbury’s is HUGE. Easter egg displays are spectacular with eggs of every size, colour, and filling that launch pensioners into fits of giddy delight. But alas, I search the aisles of Coles, Woolworths, and IGA in vain. Under great duress I’m forced to entertain the notion of an Easter devoid of my favourite crunchy morsels. 
With no luck on the egg front of either variety it’s clearly time for a change – again! The licence plates remind me:
Tasmania – Explore the Possibilities

So instead, each morning I hunt for the hugest, plumpest figs ready to pluck and rest atop my counter and ponder the deliciously divine ways in which to consume.

I scan the vista of meandering river amidst fields of barley, cut a blooming red rose and admire its majesty of folds and fragrance. The rooster crows, a kookaburra laughs, and a robin models his tangerine chest to appreciative onlookers. Bountiful beauties of another kind offer themselves to me in abundance.
Who needs eggs? Not me it seems. 

Well, at least not till the next full moon. (See Mars Bar Meditation) Hmmm, think that’s tonight. Suddenly, a werewolf urgency propels me into a frenzied panic….

hey…look what I found at the corner store!