House sitting -
Insights from one year full-time house sitting
Realizings and lessons you only get when house and pet sitting full-time
House sitting is perfect for living a nomad life on a budget. Living rent free and travelling the world.
Also, you get to live in so many different homes. From New York city apartments to isolated houses in a forest. From huge fancy homes, to cozy homes, to small and minimalist homes. Often you also get to care for pets. How awesome?!
For me House sitting is all about exploring. Exploring different life styles, cultures and preferences. Exploring what I like. You need to explore to find what you love.
Also, House sitting gives me inspiration for what I want to do in my life.
With house sitting I am leaving my comfort zone every single time and learn new things constantly. Things I never knew they were to learn.
Life is a Struggle for everyone
Sometimes, it can feel like everyone has figured out life except you. Especially when you are not choosing the “normal” life.
I am struggling with getting settled. Finding connection. Being satisfied with where I am (always feeling the wanderlust). Finding a hobby I love. Finding my purpose in life.
House sitting helps to see you are not alone with your struggle.
House sitting allowed me to look a bit closer into others life. My takeaway? Everyone is struggling with life. Earning money, managing day-to-day life, having health problems, feeling stuck, finding connection, etc.
During our house sits some just lost their jobs and needed to figure out another source of income for their family. Others were so busy working, they didn´t have time for anything else. Neither to say even less time for themselves. Some just realized (with 60 years) that they need to work a couple of years more, to have enough money for retirement.
There are so many more struggles I could mention. But the big takeaway is, that everyone is struggling with something. Some are just better in dealing with it or hiding it.
Living a Nomadic life is in our bones
Living a nomad life seems to be a new trend in the Western world. However, once upon a time, most people were nomads. And many cultures still live a nomadic life, just not so much in industrialized countries.
So many older people in the US (“snowbirds”) and Australia spend the winter in sub tropics and the summers in moderate climate zones. Not just for vacation. But as a way of life. Having second homes, mobile homes or a RV. Why not start such a life right away?
I´ve always been a fan of every season. But lately I recognize, I only enjoy a real Fall or winter for a couple of weeks. And even though I don´t like the hot summers in Florida or Andalucia, I love to spend September through April in these regions. Why? Because it helps me with my winter depression.
In addition, in the US people seem to move much more often than for example in Europe. And not just from rental to rental apartment. But from one bought home to another. The right home for the right life situation. I love this concept! Its so different in Europe.
You change, your life situation changes. Everything changes constantly. So why not changing your home as well? I guess this mindset is what drags me to the US.
Cleanliness is a relative concept
Living in so many homes (20 housesits so far) and sitting for so many people let us see a wide variety of interpretations of “clean”. Some good, some bad. And I think with every experience we adapted our definition of clean
Some clean the whole house, but don´t care for the fridge (which is for me very important). Others are cleaning constantly and the house is really spotless (can be tricky when cleaning the house for the owners arrival). Some clean superficial, meaning it´s clean when you arrive. But when you live in a home for longer, you see where people clean and where they don´t. We had beautiful clean houses but also dirty homes, where we started cleaning the moment we arrived.
For many people cleanliness is very important. For some the biggest holiday nightmare is a dirty accommodation. So cleanliness has a high priority. We spoke with many other sitters and home owners about cleanliness and everyone had a different perception. Which is why it can and often is an issue when housesitting.
Different cultures, different values. Different generations, different values. Different backgrounds, different mindsets, different values. You get the picture. There are so many factors influencing values and therefore also the perception of cleanliness. And when housesitting all these come together.
There are many ways how to do things
Thanks to house sitting I learned so many tricks, hacks and different ways to do things. It´s amazing. And it confirms that exploring is necessary to learn and create.
Living in other peoples´ homes. Spending time with people of different cultures, backgrounds and ages. You learn so much you didn´t even know it was to learn. That´s why leaving your comfort zone is so important.
How do you know, you know everything you need to know? How do you know that the way you do things is the best way? As long as you stay in one place you never know, you can only assume.
For example, did you know carrots stay fresh twice as long when kept in a container (preferable glass) with water in the fridge? Well, I didn’t.
I also didn´t know you can regrow celery. Just by putting the root into a glass of water. The same goes for Basil, green onions, roman lettuce and many other veggies.
Another thing we´ve learned is how to dissect a chicken with only one large knife and two cuts.
Also, did you know you can make yogurt with a slow cooker? It´s so easy. You only need one yogurt culture and as much milk (sterilize) as you like.
Some other household tips we learned include keeping an opened baking powder box in the fridge to neutralize the smell.
And making sure dishes are really dry before putting them in the cupboards in Florida. Why? Because cockroaches are not only attracted by food, but also by mist.
We´ve also learned how to plant and harvest pineapples and sweet potatoes. How to water orchards the right way. And that lemon grass as well as Mosquito magnets keep mosquitos out of your garden.
I could go on and on. And of course we also learned a lot about the cultures and day-to-day life. Especially in the US, where we are now sitting full-time since one year. But this I spare you for another blog post. 🙂
"The Struggle is real"
So this might be different insights than you expected. ButI hope this post showed you one more time how special house sitting is and how much you can learn about the world and yourself.
Houses sitting can enrich your travels and your (nomad) life. But it can also be challenging, which is why an open mind is much needed.
If you liked this post, please share it with your friends and family! The more, the merrier! Let´s change the way of travelling together!
If you like to do house sitting, I highly recommend TrustedHousesitters. They are the best platform and biggest house sitting community worldwide.