Housesitting has been in my periphery for a long time. My feisty mother-in-law (hello Hazel!) is employed to house-sit in Cape Town, South Africa to deter squatters taking over people’s second homes. This was the extent of my knowledge. It was something retired peogle did.
Then towards the end of 2014 our son declared his desire to join the Royal Air Force. Or RAF as he casually put it. GULP. This is a mom, who cried actual (many and large) drops of tears into her cereal the day he went for a college taster session (because my baby was growing up). I was crying happy-sad tears. Knowing ‘this day’ would eventually come we gave him our blessing, saying there were two things we wanted for him; to be happy and follow God. After a couple of false-starts I was acutely aware that empty-nest syndrome would hit me hard.
Time and energy that you directed toward your child can now be spent on different areas of your life. This might be an opportune time to explore or return to hobbies, leisure activities or career pursuits.
After a couple of weeks of moping about and deep philosophical discussion around what we would do ‘if money were no object’ we decided on two main things.
- Self-build and live sustainably
- Travel and see more of this amazing world we live in
So what was stopping us?
In short my career. I had painstakingly built up a career as a Chartered Financial Planner over the last decade, after relocating to the UK. It is something I am good at and can help people in a very personal and unique way. The income is
quite handy pretty essential too. Plots and housing don’t come cheap on this small island.
George, then casually asked me, one Saturday morning, if I thought we could house sit. Being the researcher that I am I googled the gaggle out of housesitting. Scouring for tips and stories online I saw quite a few in our nearby vicinity, including a particularly appealing house sit for 3 months, which would coincide with our son’s leaving dates.
We joined Trustedhousesitters for a tentative 6 month trial. I created our profile, adding photos, requesting references from friends, acquaintances and even my boss (who is a lovely chap). We were all ready to rock and roll, except I was too scared to apply for the dream sit. What if I applied and we didn’t get it? It would be another disappointment to deal with, our hopes and dreams dashed once more.
Successful we were, and I can hardly believe two months of housesitting have gone and in exactly a month from today we will have finished our first house sit we applied for. It is more than we imagined. We live in the most gorgeous village, complete with village shop that bakes croissants on a Sunday morning. The two dogs we look after have crept right into our hearts. And we have had the most amazing time exploring the South Hams and Dartmoors over winter.
Someone asked me if I was some kind of Nomad? No, not yet. We are following our dreams with the resources we have at our disposal.