Digital nomads Kit and Nick had been on the road for 4 years when they first heard aboutA TrustedHousesitters.com. It appealed to them as a new way to travel and visit expensive cities like London, Sydney and New York on a budget while living like a local. Here, Kit tells the story of their amazing first time house sitting job in London.
"When I first heard about housesitting, I thought it was too good to be true. The only way I'd be able to have free accommodation while traveling would be if it were somewhere completely undesirable, right? Or maybe I'd need to keep an entire stable clean? So imagine my surprise when I discovered Trusted HousesittersA and found housesits available in cool locations like London, Sydney and the South of France."
"I greedily began applying for housesits across the UK, as I planned to be there for a few months anyway, and pretty soon I hit the jackpot. A three week housesit in London! Within walking distance to a tube stop, shops and parks was a beautiful house with a garden that my partner and I would have all to ourselves. Well, almost. Two adorable cats and a golden lab would make sure we were never lonely."
"When we first met the family whose home and pets we'd be caring for I was expecting them to have a lot of demands. They had thoughtfully prepared a list of everything they needed donea| and it wasn't much! Feed everyone first thing in the morning, walk the dog twice a day and water the plants if it was sunny. That's it! The majority of the information they gave us was for our benefit. They listed their favorite local restaurants and parks as well as neighbor's phone numbers in case we needed anything. After a few "test" walks with the dog, the house was ours!"
"Not that everything was sunshine and rainbows. Not being dog owners ourselves, we had to get used to the quirks of a rescue dog who had still not quite learned when to use the bathroom. I also spent a good amount of time fretting over the outdoor cats and making sure they were home safe every evening."
"But even this tiny bit of stress was worth the enormous payoff - free rent for three weeks in one of the most exciting - and expensive - cities in the world! Since caring for the animals only took about 10% of the day we were able to spend a majority of our time out - going to the British Museum, having traditional afternoon tea at a swanky hotel, walking along the Thames, shopping at Harrods, meeting up with friends for lunch and visiting the new Harry Potter Studio Tour."
"The best part was not having to worry about our budget. By far the biggest cost of any trip to London is the accommodation and our housesit had completely negated it. It also gave us the best experience any traveler can enjoy: living like a local. Each morning I would take the dog for a walk to pick up the paper, buy fresh bread from the baker and maybe even sausages from the local butcher. Yes, I really did that every day. And it was wonderful."
"We completed a second housesit not long after the first, this time in the English countryside. One dog, a huge house and endless rolling hills to explore right near Stonehenge. All for free."
"One thing's for sure, I'm definitely getting used to this lifestyle! We're now looking for housesits in New Zealand and Australia for 2013. I can't wait to see what adventures we'll have down under!"
Kit Whelan is a digital nomad on her fourth year of non-stop travel. You can read more about her adventures on her blog, Seek New Travel.