House Sitting Adventures

 

When I was in college, a friend told me how she had stayed all summer for free in a glamorous New York City apartment. All she had to do was feed two cats. It was a friend of a friend of a friend kind of connection.

I soon discovered that what my friend had experienced is called house sitting, and just like with babysitting, the house sitter’s job is to take care of the house and keep it safe during the owner’s absence.

I’ve traveled a lot and have always found low cost places to spend a few nights or a few months. I have also done volunteer work in exchange for room and board. But a free house? Not yet. My friend’s story was always in my mind. Then I met a woman who had a couple house sitting experiences and really enjoyed them.

Following this woman’s advice, I signed up for a profile on a house sitting website. I then had to work on the house sitter inquiry letter. It was almost like a job application cover letter, but I soon realized the letter needed to be different. Home owners don’t care about your people skills – they care about your animal skills, your gardening and DIY skills. They want to know if you can remote rural area, driving a 4×4 vehicle down the narrow dirt track that leads to their mountain home. They want to know that they can trust you.

The author’s ‘home’ during her house sitting adventure. Photo by Suchi Rudra

I sent off letters to Portugal, Spain, France, Greece and Italy. I waited for a response, and finally, the rejections started coming in. But I kept trying. I rechecked my profile and cover letters. In the end, I got an unforgettable house sitting assignment that started during the winter holidays, but lasted almost six months. It was a great way to discover the ups and downs of being a house sitter and gave me a wonderful experience in a destination I probably would not have visited.

Many home owners need a house sitter because they will be leaving their home during the holidays – anywhere from one week to two months. You will quickly learn what you like and don’t like about this type of travel adventure.

It’s not just about enjoying yourself in a free house. House sitting requires that you are prepared to take on the living situation in a new culture, usually in a rural location.

House sitting is possible in many parts of the world, although a majority of assignments are found in western Europe, US and Canada. If there is a particular place in the world that attracts you, do some research online. You will quickly find out if there are any house sitting opportunities that might be good for you.

Original article by Suchi Rudra – Corpus Christi, Texas. Text edited by The Word’s methodology team

House Sitting Adventures Quiz: Medium

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When I was in college, a friend told me about her summer in New York. She was staying for free in a very expensive apartment. cover letter. I thought I could use my job cover letter but it should be different. Home owners don’t care about your social and communication skills. They want to hear about your gardening and DIY skills.

I sent letters to homeowners in Portugal, Spain, France, Greece and Italy. I waited and waited for an answer, and finally, I got the rejections. So, I tried not to lose hope and looked for new houses. At the time, the largest number of houses was in France, Portugal and Spain. I refined my profile and cover letter. And this time, I was successful. I got an unforgettable house sitting experience. It started during the winter holidays and lasted for six months.

Many home owners need a house sitter because they are going on holiday. If you want to try house sitting for a short period of time, holidays are a perfect time to do that. You will quickly learn if you actually like this experience.

After all, house sitting is not only about enjoying a free house. You must be physically fit and mentally prepared to live in a new culture, usually in the countryside, and ready to be responsible.

House sitting is possible in many parts of the world but it is most popular in western Europe, the US and Canada. So, if there is a particular place you would like to visit, check the internet for house sitting opportunities.

Original article by Suchi Rudra – Corpus Christi, Texas. Text edited by The Word’s methodological team.

House Sitting Adventures Quiz: Mild

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When I was in college, a friend told me how she had stayed all summer for free in a swanky upper east side New York City apartment. All she had to do was feed two cats. That’s it. It was a friend of a friend of a friend kind of connection.

I soon discovered that what my friend had experienced is called house sitting, and just like with babysitting, the house sitter’s job is to take care of the house and keep it safe during the owner’s absence.

The author’s ‘home’ during her house sitting adventure. Photo by Suchi Rudra

I’ve traveled quite widely and have always been able to discover low cost places to spend a few nights or a few months, and I have done volunteer work in exchange for room and board. But a free house? Not yet. My friend’s story was always there in the back of my mind, until one day I met a woman while I was traveling in Bulgaria who had been through a couple of house sitting experiences and really enjoyed them.

Following this woman’s advice, I immediately signed up for a profile on a house sitting website, and I then began to perfect the art of the house sitter inquiry letter. I drew upon my job application cover letter skills but quickly realized that there had to be a step up in the level of familiarity and of amicability. Home owners don’t care about your people skills—they care about your animal skills, your gardening and DIY skills. They want to know if you can handle life in a remote rural area, driving a 4×4 vehicle down the narrow dirt track that leads to their mountain home. They want to know that they can trust you.

I sent off half a dozen letters, scattering my house sitting hopes across Portugal, Spain, France, Greece and Italy. I waited and waited for a response, and finally, the rejections started coming in. So, trying not to lose hope, I did another, more thorough search of houses (at the time, the largest number of homes were in France, Portugal and Spain) and refined my profile and cover letters accordingly. In the end, I wound up with an unforgettable house sitting assignment that started during the winter holidays, but lasted almost six months. It was a great way to discover the ups and downs of being a house sitter, but also provided a wonderful and inspiring experience in a destination I probably would never have visited otherwise.

There’s often a lot of work to be done around your ‘free’ house. Photo by Suchi Rudra

Many home owners need a house sitter because they will be leaving their home during the holidays – anywhere from one week to two months. If you just want to try out a short term house sitting assignment for your initial experience, then the holidays are a perfect time to do that. You will quickly realize what you like and don’t like about this type of travel adventure.

After all, it’s not just about enjoying yourself in a free house. House sitting requires that you are physically capable and mentally prepared to take on the living situation in a new culture, usually in a rural location, and ready to be responsible for anything that comes up along the way, including crazy weather or crazy neighbors.

House sitting is possible in many parts of the world, although a majority of assignments are found in western Europe, US and Canada. So if there is a particular place in the world that attracts you, do some research online, and you will quickly find out if there are any house sitting opportunities that you can take advantage of.

Suchi Rudra – Corpus Christi, Texas

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