House sitting. Last year it popped up on my radar as one more possibility for our living la vida cheapo in retirement while still traveling and having grand adventures retirement plan. I was intrigued but it wasn’t the right time and so the idea got filed in the way-back part of my brain. I had pretty much forgotten about it.
Until a couple of weeks ago.
I need a house sitter/kitty companion when we are in Spain. I have to admit the deadline kind of crept up on me. It seemed so far in the future…and now, oops, it’s right in my face. I’ve only got a few weeks to work this out. I’ve put out distress calls for help but it’s not that easy. People have busy lives and they don’t involve your cat. No matter how cute he is.
Mr. Ricky is hubs best buddy, but apparently it is my job to find the perfect companion while we are gone. It’s been one dead end after another. Crunch time and I am out of brilliant ideas.
Trusted House Sitters popped into my brain and NOW the timing could be just right. Originally, I was thinking it would be cool to be a house sitter and travel on the cheap, but I hadn’t thought about how I would be helping others by providing a constant, mature, honest, reliable presence in their home while they are away. I see it from both sides now. And it looks like a win:win.
Time to jump in and give it a go.
Yesterday I signed us up on Trusted House Sitters as sitters and as homeowners who need a sitter. It cost me $89 for a year for the dual membership. I filled out profiles, uploaded photos and still have to do a police check (recommended but not required) and provide references. Then I spent way too much time cruising the site looking at how others (lots of retired couples) set up their profiles and marketed their skills and experience. You can even add your own video! It was very easy to get started.
Then, just to test the site, I sent off an email inquiry looking for a sitter to a couple in British Columbia who have been house sitting for several years. Reading their profile and references, they looked like folks we could be friends with. Within a couple of hours I had a message back from Jan and John. They love Portland and had just finished a “kitty sit” here, BUT unfortunately they are leaving in early September for a 5 week house/kitty sitting gig in Burgundy and then a few weeks sit in Malta. Not too shabby!
My profile went live this morning and hit the email listing for new sitting opportunities available. Within minutes I heard from Nicole and Sebastian, a cute couple from Germany and Denmark who are currently traveling the world, working in IT, house/dog sitting in Washington, D.C. and looking for house sits on the west coast. Cool! A while later up popped a message from Natalia and Antwan who work for Norwegian Cruises and travel in their off time. They are on a ship coming into Seattle in September and looking to travel on the west coast. It’s been less than 24 hours and I’m not sure how all this even works, but I am very excited by the possibilities.
I’m hopeful we will find a match and leave Mr. Ricky in good hands. Then, when we get back from our adventures in Spain, I’m going to spend a lot more time on Trusted House Sitters looking for opportunities where we can test drive being house sitters ourselves.
I’ll let you know how it works out.
See you on the road!