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Passionate experience junkie. Lover of the arts and architecture. Want to see and share the world, one village at a time.

What is Your House Sitting Quotient? Take this Questionnaire

House sitting travel

There’s no doubt about it — house sitting is a fabulous way to see the world on the cheap. You incur no cost for lodging while spending weeks or months at a time in the country of your dreams. You delve into the local culture, make friends with locals, learn a new language and expand your horizons.

House sitting and immersion travel in EuropeConrad and I love it. It suits us.

That’s the key to the point I want to make here. House sitting suits us, but doesn’t suit everyone. So in the spirit of discovery I have put together a short questionnaire to help you determine if house sitting is right for you. At the very least, these easy questions are food for thought and give you a peek into some of the unique aspects of looking after someone’s home.

Get a picture of what house sitting entails by answering “yes” or “no” to the following questions. If you answer “no” to any of them, you’ve got some thinking to do if this is right for you.  Here we go:

1. Am I a flexible person?

2. Can I live in a house that has a different heater/water system/windows/appliances than I’m used to?

3. Am I willing to adjust to a new coffee routine?

4. Can I deal with another language?

5. Am I willing to live by the homeowner’s rules, no matter how unusual they may be?

6. Do I love animals?

7. Do I have experience with home maintenance and the references to prove it?

Okay, most of those are common sense obvious considerations, but if just one of those has your hackles standing on end, then maybe house sitting isn’t for you. I have a friend who is a pretty adventurous woman, but when she returned from a house sitting gig, she pronounced she wouldn’t do it again because the coffee machine didn’t brew the same as hers at home. There are many different ways — and apparatus — for making coffee.

Some homeowners have ways of performing household tasks — and they want the house sitters to do it their way. One house sitting assignment I had, the woman had her own way of staking up her plants in the garden. As an avid gardener with years of experience, I didn’t see the logic, but she was emphatic about it. I wrote down her way in my notes, (which are absolutely essential!), so that it was clear to us both that I would follow her recommendation. I did it her way, groused about it to Conrad, but in the end, the homeowner was happy — and I could walk away from it at the end of our assignment.

In terms of pets, every owner has their own way. I think it’s vital to follow their lead, even if they instruct you to cook filet for Fido every day and give him Jolly Ranchers for dessert.

remote house sitting and immersion travel in SpainAll houses are different and there are many house sitting assignments for homes off the grid. Conrad and I eagerly tried one in Southern Spain and had some challenges, but in the end it’s the one we talk about the most. It changed our lives for the better to live with solar power, a very unique water system, and a remote location miles from anywhere. House sitting makes it possible to try this out, but it’s definitely not for everyone. A relative — whom I love dearly — says about traveling, “If I can’t stay someplace better than my home, I’ll stay home.” I heartily disagree and love the challenge posed by offbeat situations.

The first question about being flexible is a reference to traveling on someone else’s schedule. The homeowner dictates when the assignment starts and ends. (The exception to this has to do with “variable dates,” a term more experienced house sitters can use to their advantage. For more details, click here. )

I started this website to help others discover and succeed at this really fun low-cost way to travel the world. You’ll find many more tips and hopefully some inspiration to begin on your own journey. Click here for a list of house sitting articles.

Europe 2010 040Wishing safe and happy travels always and all ways,

Josie

 

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10 Responses to “What is Your House Sitting Quotient? Take this Questionnaire”

  1. I easily answered yes to all of them expect the change in my coffee routine (question number 3).

    I am not sure if I would be willing to go that far! 🙂
    Katherine James recently posted..Why Every Freelance Writer MUST Have An Online BlogMy Profile

    March 3, 2014 at 10:25 am Reply
    • Hi Katherine,
      Yeah, coffee is a very important part of the day. Seems so simple, yet it can be a deal-breaker in this case!
      Thanks for stopping by!
      Josie

      March 3, 2014 at 10:48 am Reply
  2. I love housesitting and longingly read the list delivered to my inbox every day. So far we have only done one through a site and it was the best experience. I find it very easy to accept the homeowners rules because after all they are trusting me to look after their home and beloved pets. I look forward to the day when we are free to accept more housesits. There are a lot of great housesitters out there so competition is fierce. 🙂
    budget jan recently posted..Tuesday in Townsville Central Park in Townsville not NYCMy Profile

    March 4, 2014 at 7:52 pm Reply
    • Hi Jan,
      I can’t resist reading the list of house sitting assignments either. Every one pulls at me to go experience them, you know? Here’s hoping you get to follow your heart to another one soon.
      Josie

      March 5, 2014 at 9:08 am Reply
  3. I’m still as intrigued and interested about this since the first time we “met” online via blogging Josie. I’ve housesat domestically in my hometown a many, many times and loved it. Before I could get dogs when I was 18 I love house and dog sitting the very best! I would be totally interested in trying this abroad depending on the fine print, location, etc. Good post! 🙂

    March 7, 2014 at 1:38 am Reply
    • There you see Mike, you ARE experienced at house sitting! Your motivation was to look after the pets — a noble and fun cause — while my motivation is to “live” in another area of the world. Either way, we both grow as people.
      Always enjoy your comments, my friend.
      Josie

      March 7, 2014 at 9:05 am Reply
  4. In the end, house-sitting is a ‘job’ for which you gain accommodation in exchange, so having to abide by the rules of the house is just the same as having a good work-ethic and doing what is required to get the job done!

    I love the way house-sitting not only lets you see the world but also gives you insights as to how the people there really live 🙂
    Linda ~ Journey Jottings recently posted..Watercolouring her Way Around the World – Interview with CandaceMy Profile

    March 16, 2014 at 7:11 pm Reply
    • Hi Linda,
      Good point my friend. I like your assessment of house sitting as a job. And I’ll add that the house sitters I’ve run into do just that, with respect, passion, and joy.

      Your second point is definitely where it’s at for me, too. Love to experience how locals really live!

      March 17, 2014 at 8:28 am Reply
  5. Another big question to ask your self before becoming a house sitter is are you willing to have a different routine all the time. Stephen and myself never change the house or pet routine when we come into a new home, we always carry on with what the home owner does regularly. This allows them to step back into there home and not have to do work to get the animals adjusted back, and the home is kept up in the same manner, like mowing the lawn on Saturdays. Another great post thanks so much!

    🙂 Tiffany
    Tiffany recently posted..So you want to be a house sitter?My Profile

    January 26, 2016 at 8:15 pm Reply
    • Hi Tiffany,
      The house sitting community is made better by you and Stephen. Thanks for weighing in on this important aspect — to live in a home as the homeowners would. It’s conscientious and lovely!
      Josie

      January 27, 2016 at 7:39 am Reply

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