Enjoy housesitting? Many people do. House and petsitting is a growing phenomenon. One way we like to better understand how people enjoy housesitting experience is to host a housesitting blog competition in 2016 we asked ‘what is your favourite thing about housesitting?’ And we were stunned by the quality of entries. Thanks so much to all who entered. It has been a hard decision to decide on a shortlist of entries. This is one of our top three blog competition entries. Please congratulate Sandra Gurvis on making the shortlist with her blog – ‘My favourite things about house sitting might be … House/ petsitting: Let me count the ways.’
My favourite things about house/ petsitting might be…
…LET ME COUNT THE WAYS
Enjoy housesitting? I think I will. House/pet sitting seems like the best of all worlds. Not only do you get to experience a place on a cellular level, staying in the home of a local, meeting the neighbors, exploring nearby shops, restaurants and attractions, but if you’re really lucky, you have a furry friend or two to keep you company. What better way to immerse yourself into a new culture? So completely different from the prepackaged travel found on tour buses, cruise ships and other organized trips, although they have their strong points, too. As a person who both travels alone and with others, house/pet sitting offers a perfect balance of adventure with the comforts of home.
The moment I heard about Housesitmatch.com, I was in. This was a few years ago and while many things transpired to prevent me from immediately jumping on the opportunity, I am now ready to take it on. I am aspiring house/petsitter for the UK for several reasons:
- It is somewhat familiar. I know the language (well, duh) and have visited the UK several times in the past. I know I will enjoy housesitting there.
- I will be completely alone and unencumbered to work on my book on Presidential libraries. Having wanted to write it for over 25 years, the past election created an impetus finish it before the next Presidential mud wrestling match.
- Since the early 2000s, I have been obsessed with the “Midsomer Murders” TV show. Legions of others seem to feel the same way: South Oxfordshire, where it is filmed, offers year-round tours of the various locations and settings. Each June sees an annual gathering of fans, a sort of ComiCon for English mystery nerds. Along with making a pilgrimage there, I also want to visit Dublin and possibly some other spots in Ireland.
- My college boyfriend has lived in London for the past 40-some years. The road not taken and all that. Enough said.
There are so many reasons to enjoy housesitting
Some people have a bucket list; this sounds more like BOGO. While I’m not keen on the former term and all it implies, it can be useful in keeping a zesty and energetic attitude towards life.
I don’t have one favorite thing about house/pet sitting, having never done it in the first place. But I do know what won’t work for me.What I wont enjoy about housesitting includes:
A setting where I have to drive a car. Driving on the right side of the road in the good old US of A is stressful enough.
Taking care of animal species I’m not familiar with. Mostly, I do cats. I have had cats for over 40 years, including fostering some kitties. Pictured are my most recent two: Savannah, a 15-year-old Himalayan and Peabody, an 8-year-old curly Rex who recently came by the way of my son who needed a temporary place for him. He (Peabody) is now on permanent loan.
Sasha, my 19-year-Burmese passed away in August 2015 and is still sorely missed…but it’s nice having two felines again! But I hesitate taking on critters I’m not as familiar with — a large dog, multiple pooches, horses, emus or any animal that requires a permit.
Here’s why I think house/pet sitting will be a good fit:
- I love travel. In April of 2016 I went to India on assignment for a major magazine. It was quite an adventure, as we also traveled well beyond the beaten path.
- I’m resourceful. Being divorced for a number of years has taught me to deal with household emergencies on my own. If pets get sick or something breaks down, I may get flustered for a moment, but then jump into the crisis until I find help or a solution.
- I am a self-employed professional. If I don’t work, I don’t get paid. So there’s constant need to think on my feet and find the most efficient, practical and cost effective way of doing things.
In some ways pet/house sitting can be like managing a bed and breakfast. While it may sound romantic and fun, it can also be a lot of work and challenging. You are responsible for someone else’s property and fur baby(ies) and these are your first priorities. So people who like their travel safe, predictable and pampered might want to look elsewhere.
Me, I’d be bored after a couple of days (well, maybe not the pampered part). Instead I’d rather get the “scoop” on a house/pet sit, litter and all.
Sandra Gurvis (www.sandragurvis.com) is the author of sixteen commercially published books and hundreds of national and regional newspaper and magazine articles and blogs. Along with having her books featured on radio, television and in newspapers and magazines, her biography, PARIS HILTON (ABC-CLIO) has been translated into Chinese. Her newest nonfiction titles are MYTHS AND MYSTERIES OF OHIO (Globe Pequot), her second novel, COUNTRY CLUB WIVES (Loconeal) and a collection of essays and shorter works, CONFESSIONS OF A CRAZY CAT LADY AND OTHER POSSIBLY DEMENTED MEANDERINGS (Loconeal). COUNTRY CLUB WIVES was also optioned as television series by Insight Productions out of Toronto, Canada. Her newest project is CLOSE ENOUGH FOR GOVERNMENT WORK: AMERICA’S PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARIES. She is also planning a “Geezerville” series of satires based in certain retirement “Villages” in Florida. She lives in Columbus, Ohio.
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