I became a housesitter four years ago. My first experience was in Panama City followed by a half dozen assignments in Europe the following year. These first experiences were a wonderful introduction to experiencing what it is like to live in different countries. To date I have housesat in 13 countries – Panama, Canada, Cyprus, Belgium, France, England, Wales, Australia, Switzerland, Ireland, Italy, Singapore, and the US. I love it!
I have enjoyed each and every housesit. All have provided an opportunity to better understand the world’s diversity, complexities, and cultures and an opportunity to make friends all over the world.
Some of the people I meet in other countries have more in common with me than my neighbors at home, so housesitting is rarely a lonely experience. The only time that I have felt lonely was a housesit in rural France where I truly was alone without a single nearby neighbor. While I did enjoy a glorious view, days of solitude did not suit me so I now focus my housesitting in populated areas.
I discovered that meeting people and making friends brings my greatest satisfaction. I am the perfect person for housesitting in communities filled with nosey neighbors and curious friends. The housesit that was the most satisfying was one in Cyprus.
Cyprus is easy to love and has become a favorite vacation and retirement destination. My housesit was in Paphos, a few blocks from the aqua blue Mediterranean Sea. Each day I would walk 4.5 miles to the city center along the coast, passing historical sites and imagining Cyprus as a busy port centuries ago. I would shop for fresh ingredients for dinner or indulge in a foot soak and then take the bus back to the house. All of this was lovely but the best part of the stay was feeling a part of the community.
The couple that I housesat for were well liked in the expat community of Brits. Any friend of theirs was a friend of all. My days were filled with invitations to join hikes, pub quizzes, games, and, of course, dinners. I was provided tours of the area and included in any event being attended. When I twisted my knee on a hike, they made an appointment and escorted me to the doctor.
I helped our team win the pub quiz by providing little known facts about the United States while being toasted with chilled pints of beer and surrounded with gales of laughter. To conclude my time, I hosted a dinner party for my new friends and the homeowner who provided this wonderful opportunity. It was an evening full of engaging conversation, wit and fun. I was completely at home and a part of the group.
This is the culture of housesitting that I now so eagerly enjoy!
Interested in house and petsitting? Connect with the housesitter’s community at: https://www.thehousesittersnetwork.com