We're a young-at-heart Canadian couple, travelling slow and long term. Since December 2016 we've spent time in England, Tanzania, Kenya, Cambodia, Indonesia & Malaysia (did a wonderful pet sit in Penang) and arrived back in Tanzania the end of December 2017 until March So far in 2018, we have also spent time in Croatia and Albania.
We lived in Tanzania for five years, and after three years back in British Columbia, itchy feet got the better of us and we set off again. Here we are, 1.5 years into our intentional homelessness and loving it.
Shaun comes from a long line of very handy, highly capable, mechanically inclined farm stock. He grew up on a huge acreage on the side of Mt. Kilimanjaro, surrounded by nature at its wildest, and pets that had to be kept safe.
I was always a city girl, and my earliest memories are of me and my black Labrador Lou, with her red painted toenails, thanks to me. (Did I mention that she was my bestie?) And then from Su-Su the Siamese to Tusker from Tanzania, there was always at least one or two cats around in my life. However, I longed to travel and Africa was calling. Even though I called myself a city girl, surprisingly I adapted and thrived in rural, coastal Africa, along with all the insects, snakes, and sea creatures (oh my!) that we encountered daily.
Having lived in Western Canada for many years, we spent a lot of time outdoors in the mountains and around the lakes, from hiking to rock climbing to camping and kayaking.
Nowadays Shaun spends his days on the laptop drawing up house plans, and I work part-time as a copy editor and remote project management assistant. Fortunately, this leaves plenty of time to take care of pets and things around the house, and time for those long walks we like to take.
As empty nesters who no longer have a nest or pets of our own, housesitting gives us that sense of home that's sometimes missing in a life of hotel rooms and short- term rentals. It's a way to have our cake and eat it too, I suppose. There's nothing better than to have a chance to hang out with furry creatures in a real home setting. It's like comfort food--everyone needs it now and again. And this way we get to meet people where they live, and where we can live more like locals, if only for a short time. The world is full of interesting people, and we are on a mission to meet as many as we can, and do each other a wonderful service while we're at it.
We have done short city house sits with one dog, to resort sitting in Africa. Most of our house and pet sits have been in a rural setting. In the US we did a rural house sit with three dogs, two cats, two pygmy goats, fish, and even had to keep an eye on the horses (although we had back-up to do the actual feeding and vetting).
In Tanzania we were the happy caretakers of a large beachfront property and house for five years, looking after building, maintaining and repairing systems and structures. Shaun is an experienced builder and knows his way around electrical systems, water, and wastewater systems, among many other things. He even used to be an aircraft mechanic. Let's just say he's extremely handy.
In 2017 in Tanzania, we did a house sit looking after Tusker the cat and supervising household staff. The rest of the time while renting a house, we fed and kept Tippy the cat company, while our neighbour went away for several weeks at a time. We also had to make sure his chickens and guinea fowl got their usual treats every day, and the pond fish got leftover greens and bread crumbs. We did this again for the same neighbour for three months in 2018.