When we decided to sell our RV, we seriously considered getting an apartment in the Denver area again and basing our travels out of there. The only thing that was honestly stopping us was that we were about to take a big ol’ loss on the sale of our RV. So, we wanted to have a free or cheap living situation in order to recoup some of that. When we happened to see a blog about a couple that was traveling full-time through house and pet sitting, it felt like a sign from God. This was the answer.
Even so, it seemed like it may be a little out of our comfort zones. So, we planned to try to find a cheap living situation and test out house sitting on weekends and for trips. We thought we had found a good gig running an AirBnB for someone, but when that fell through, we started applying to house sits like crazy. And we are so happy we had that cosmic push to just go for it.
Why House/Pet Sitting?
Our conversations around selling the RV were very much, “well, we’re starting over AGAIN, what do we want our life to look like?” There were a few things that we both felt strongly about that we knew – when included in our day-to-day life – vastly improved our happiness.
1. Travel and exploration. We want to visit new (and well-loved) destinations – and often.
2. Time with animals. Although, getting another pet isn’t right for us now, we still want to be around animals a lot because they just fill our souls with so much joy. A home without one just feels empty.
3. Some consistency. We want to live in a way that facilitates good habits. Moving around every day or two in the RV always made it hard to be productive with work or get on a good fitness routine.
4. Provide value to others. It is important to us to do something that helps others. While we plan to volunteer and make donations to charities often, we wanted a more regular way to do good.
Views of Salt Lake City from a local hiking spot.
House sitting is allowing us to live in a new (or favorite) destination for a few weeks at a time (or longer!) with a sweet animal to care for and love on, all while giving the home owners peace of mind while they travel. It covers everything. And we had made those goals long before we even knew about this option.
Booking our First Sit
Once we realized what a good fit house/pet sitting seemed for us. We made a profile on TrustedHousesitters. We loved that both the sitter and home owner have to pay to use it and that we were able to submit to a background and identity check. It felt professional and safe. The application process was also very easy. And seeing all of the hundreds of sits around the globe was very encouraging. But, would we actually get picked for any sits?
Yes, and it was easier than we thought. The first sit we booked was in Silverthorne, CO, for mid-May. We knew we wanted to go back to Colorado for the summer, so we were applying to anything we saw there. And when we received a quick positive response from this great couple with sweet pups and an amazing mountain home, we were shocked.
Although we were optimistic, only having one review from a friend (not someone on the site), we thought we would be at the bottom of someone’s list. But they loved our bio and thought we would be a great fit. Hmmm… maybe this would be easier than we thought.
Loving driving the Subie through Utah and Colorado for our sits!
Getting on a Roll
In a week’s time, we had booked out about a month of our summer. And by the beginning of May, we knew where we would be until August! Maybe people could just tell we were doing this for the right reasons, and actually looked forward to spending time with their pet – not just using them for free lodging and an excuse to travel. But, everyone we talked to was ecstatic to have us as their sitters.
We even had one guy see that we would be in Colorado and message us to ask us to sit for his sweet dog, Coral. And I’m sitting on his couch now in his beautiful home outside of Denver as I type this. With a precious ball-obsessed Golden sleeping close by in the sunlight.
What We Think So Far
After only two house sits under our belt through Trusted Housesitters, we are far from pros at this. However, we have nothing but rave reviews so far. It is amazing for all the reasons we hoped for and so much more.
Our very first sit was in Salt Lake City, Utah, for a couple that was going to Europe for two weeks and needed loving care for their silly cat, Hooch. Day one confirmed this was the right choice for us.
When that sweet boy snuggled up to us on the couch, every ounce of my being knew we had done the right thing. And when I sent his mom a message with the photo and she replied with so much excitement and relief, it really solidified it. Not only were we receiving so much love from this adorable pet, we were giving his parents the gift of peace of mind.
Travelers are our people and being able to help them out feels so very good. (We’ll likely keep in touch with most people we sit for because we get along so well!) Plus, sitting saves us a ton of money by not paying for lodging and we are getting to explore a beautiful area. Win – win – win (for us, the owner and pet!)
We also love that there is no money exchanged. So, both sides are just very appreciative. Both couples we’ve sat for have gone above and beyond to make us comfortable. And we reciprocate that thoughtfulness upon their return because we’re thankful they chose us.
When our cat Sugar passed away last year, I didn’t just mourn the loss of her life. I mourned the loss of a part of my relationship with my husband that I truly cherished – our sense of family. Getting to see him kiss her on the head, or tell her how much he loves her, or all snuggle up together for “family snuggle time,” it broke my heart to think I’d never experience that again.
Then we met Hooch and it didn’t take long for him to steal our hearts, get kisses on the head, get told how much we love him, and have some wonderful family snuggle time. And now there’s Coral, who hops in bed with us in the morning – even though we barely all fit. She licks us in the face and we laugh like kids. Then we all go outside to walk or throw ball, with the biggest smiles.
These owners think they are getting the best end of the deal with free pet care, but we know we are the ones truly benefiting. How much more wonderful life is with the love of an animal. And although we aren’t in a place to make that life-long commitment to a pet again, we have limitless love to give and are so thankful to be able to have these sweet pets to open our hearts to.
But don’t get us wrong, the traveling part is pretty awesome as well. Did we mention we booked two months worth of sits in Hawaii for later this summer?
(P.S. – Want to learn more about housesitting? Read this follow-up article we put together with our top questions.)