How This Couple Travels The World For Free By Housesitting

January 22, 2018
Travel for free with housesitting

How This Couple Travels The World For Free By Housesitting

I’m happy to introduce Faith, of XYU and Beyond. Her and her husband sold everything they owned and hit the road. Now, they travel, housesit, and blog about their adventures. 

Find out how they went from a stable life to traveling around the world for very little cost.

Our kids wouldn’t run away from home so we did.

It’s true! We have told our kids for years they should up and travel the world while they are young. But, as usual, they didn’t listen. So we decided when the opportunity came up to retire early we would run away ourselves.

In 2014, after hoping and planning for an early retirement for two decades, we decided to move to Mexico. We figured that with our tiny little pension we could easily afford to move there and live for a while. And then, when our government pensions kicked in, we figured we could go out and travel the world – well some of it anyways.

Travel for free with housesitting

Alan and Pooka in Ireland

After 30 years of working at the post office, my husband Alan, had taken early retirement in 2014. I had a job in the not-for-profit world but it was exhausting as I worked for up to 60 hours a week.

So, late in 2014 we began to divest ourselves of all the stuff we had accumulated over the years. We fixed up our house and put it on the market, gave the old photos to the kids and donated everything that didn’t sell. When the house sold, we packed up everything we wanted to move with us and promptly booked our flights for Merida, Mexico.

Upon arriving in Mexico, we headed to Chelem and got ourselves sorted with a rental property right on the gulf front. It was heaven, we had a lovely 3-bedroom house with a small pool gulf side from where we could float, watch the dolphins play, and see the flamingos flying into the Ria. We got all of this for less than $1000 Canadian a month.

Travel for free with housesitting

Faith in Spain

We loved living in Mexico but we had this dream of living in Europe, wandering medieval streets, drinking espressos in the cafes, eating tapas in Spain, and taking advantage of all Europe has to offer. Unfortunately, our income just wouldn’t stretch to that kind of exploring, or so we thought.

We began thinking more and more about the opportunities presented by housesitting and working online. So we began to investigate the possibilities and we set up an online social media marketing business to help generate income.

One day while hanging out on Facebook, we came across a call for help in Progreso. There was a young Canadian couple who were on a housesit and needed to fly home to Toronto. They had no one to take over the sit, so we volunteered. We dropped by to meet them and see if the owner would allow us to take over for them. We passed their screening and we began housesitting there almost immediately.

Travel for free with housesitting

My office in Cyrpus

After that sit we looked after friends’ dogs and cats when they made journeys home or over to Europe. We found we really enjoyed the lifestyle. So, we joined a couple of housesitting platforms and began searching for a housesit that we could take on.

One day we got a message from the young folks who we had jumped in to cover for. They asked if we were going to be in Toronto in July (this was 2015). As it happened, we were planning on going home for a visit to see our friends and family so the timing was perfect. We were invited to come to Toronto and look after a gorgeous home in High Park and a beauty of a German shepherd for six weeks while the homeowners got married in Hawaii.

At that point, all the housesits we had applied for from Mexico began to come to fruition. We were invited to spend eight weeks in Tipperary, Ireland looking after seven dogs and one cat.

Then, we got an invite to come and stay in Berkshire for nine weeks in the picturesque English countryside. After that, we housesat in Dublin with three tiny little dogs. From there we headed to Donegal, Ireland and then onto Yorkshire in England. From Yorkshire we went to Spain and from Spain, we headed to Cyprus.

Right now we are in Northern Ireland for a 6-month sit in Game of Thrones territory.  Housesitting isn’t for everyone as it is not a vacation, when looking after someone’s pets and home there is always something to be done.

Travel for free with housesitting

Glen of Aherlow in Tipperary – our housesitting view

Walking the animals, feeding them, caring for them if they need medications, taking care of the house and garden, and ensuring the security of the home is paramount. With most housesits, you can’t get away for more than four hours at a time.

You may have to get up a 6 am to walk the dog or feed the chickens. Some homeowners can be somewhat difficult to deal with and others become lifelong friends.  If this is something you might be interested in, bookmark this article and head over to my website where you can check out Housesitting for Newbies as well as read our Homeowner from Hell article and learn when not to take on a housesit.

For more from Faith, check her out on Facebook and Twitter

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