I had no idea there were so many house sitting spots out there! All over the world, people are asking for help, opening their houses to people who will happily, like me, take care of their houses and pets.
The most difficult thing, at least for me to accomplish, is scheduling the places, trying to leave as few gaps as possible. (That's why I need a van! For a place to "be" in between houses.)
With my New Zealand departure imminent (8 days), I've been planning/searching/booking sits on 3 sites; Trusted Housesitters, MindMyHouse and House Sitters America. All require a yearly fee to join, then you set up a profile so prospective home owners can check you out when you apply for a sit. I'm also part of an international referral network, and am looking forward to working with the Inner Circle group of House Sitting Academy.
Currently, I have (almost) back-to-back sits in California through June. Now I must decide whether to go up to Washington in July or stay around SoCal. And where I want to go when winter returns to the Northern Hemisphere! It's called long-term planning but I call it following the sun!
I can come back to New Zealand in 6 months and house sit here; or go to South Africa and do it there. (And incidentally, South Africa is one of the very few countries where you actually get paid to house sit. Most other countries don't pay but the house sitter can hope for a "gratuity" at the end.) Or I can stay in North America and stay south - SoCal, Florida - or go to Mexico, where there are lots of housesitting opportunities.
This final week in New Zealand is going to be a lot of mental preparation for leaving. Someone asked if I was sad and I replied that I don't think that way, I know I will be back and see everyone again. it's also mental preparation for the completely different culture in Southern California, plus for my new lifestyle! It's exciting but on the other hand, a bit scary!
But I am fortunate to be able to live this way and have friends and family around the world who support what I am doing.
Below is a little video of our long-awaited Bay Explorer trip that we went on last Sunday.