Today I made progress on the New Zealand planning. My biggest issue is someone to take care of the kitties while I am gone. I know, it's silly. But these little guys have been my anchor through a lot of s**t over the past few years, so I can't just leave and have someone come in to feed them occasionally. They would pine away, they are such people kitties.
So...I put an ad on Housecarers.com Jenni told me about it and I had heard about them, in fact was registered as a house sitter but had forgotten!
This is a great service - it doesn't cost anything for people offering a house sit situation. If you want to house sit, then...
I started this post last night...and this morning I was completely blown away! Four responses to my ad already! And they all sound qualified! I've been reading their references and will respond later today but I think I already know who I will engage.
But back to what housecarers.com is - and does.
On their website, they say, "Housecarers.com is online search and screen database for house sitters and homeowners to share information." There are two sections; one for available houses to care for and the other for potential house sitters, who can peruse the listings and apply. It doesn't cost anything for home offerers and just $50 for a membership for house sitters, a fee that would repay itself in no time.
For travelers, this is a great way to experience the world, not as a tourist but as a local, which is the way I love to travel. A sitter's responsibilities are defined by the home owners whose house they will care for. Some need pet care, like mine. Others are strictly just to have someone there while the owners are gone; a good security measure. Still others require more gardening and maintenance. It all varies and house sitters and owners work out what is best between them.
In my situation, which seems to be the norm, it's pet sitting more than house sitting. So when whoever I select moves in, they will just be living here with normal chores - keeping the house clean, etc. The house sitter, in a long term house sit, also pays utilities. A good thing because, especially here in the cold country, the heating can get out of hand if you aren't conservative and conservation-minded.
What a great deal - for both parties concerned.
Can you tell I am stoked?