How We Were Able to Realize Our Dream

My husband Stan and I have been house sitters for many years. We retired early with too little money and a burning desire to travel the world. We decided that the way to do this was to housesit and do volunteer work.

Our housesitting career really had started a few years before while we were still working. It was in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, where we visited regularly and had many friends with houses and pets. This year, we will have had 5 housesits here since May.

Our experience includes care of houses, apartments and gardens of all sizes. We have taken care of many pets and in one housesit we tended to chickens. We also managed a B&B, including staff, for a couple who needed a vacation. We have house sat in New York, Israel and a solar farm in Spain, which was where we had our greatest challenge.

As ecologically concerned persons we thought it would be great fun and good service to care for a solar farm. It was instead a place to be reckoned with in terms of lack of heat, hot water and light. Luckily, from our own homes, Stan knew how to operate a generator and I dove right into feeding chickens and collecting and selling their eggs. In the end we coped with all of it, and rather enjoyed and even felt proud of handling a very new challenge.

On the other side hand, we more often care for more luxurious homes that have maids and gardeners for the majority of the work needed. However, I’m a worrier and usually check on things like the gardens myself.

We have had one wonderful piece of luck here in San Miguel. For 12 years we have had a housesit for 6 months of each year, in a casita in a lovely garden. This allowed us the freedom of travel for the remaining 6 months, during which we did volunteer work in third world countries.

Our life style is not for everyone, but has certainly been happy and satisfying for us, and I might add for the people we worked for.

Our one negative experience, which did end on a positive note, was when a homeowner accused us of drinking a bottle of her costly champagne, liquor that gives me a terrible headache. Within the hour her maid found it, way in the back of her liquor cabinet where she had hidden it from us before she left. Many apologies were forthcoming…

We continue our adventures in travel, housesitting and volunteering. Working with HouseSitMexico, we hope to find many more wonderful housesits in Mexico!