FROM THE EDITORS Find out what
Ian and Vanessa
STAYING SAFE ON YOUR HOUSE SITS Journey Jensen
have been doing on their long term
sit in France acquiring new skills -
advises on ways to keep yourself safe
on your travels as a solo house sitter.
LIFE IN THE PET SITTING LANE Doreen Cumberford
DIVING INTO THE PAST Andrew Redfern
is back to talk
house sitting story of her and hubby
about the discoveries he's made in
John's, Covid journey, back and forth
Australia while exploring his family
between Mexico and the USA.
THE NUDGES & NIGGLES THAT STRETCH YOUR LIMITS Regular contributor
explains how to deal with the "mush moments" as we heal and reinvent ourselves while travelling.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT VELORAIL FRANCE It appears that France has a network of disused railway lines repurposed for exploring the countryside. Here's more about our trip into the Morvan.
UNDERSTANDING THE APPEAL OF HOUSE SITTING How often are you asked why you do what you do? Here are some answers from
members of the House Sitting
Magazine Facebook Group .
THE BENEFITS OF ID VERIFICATIONS Lamia Walker,
ID verifications are so important when joining a house sitting website.
SEEING THINGS WITH TWO HATS ON Carine Lenfant
has the advantage of
being both homeowner and sitter she shares her observations.
Autumn in Bourgogne, France
from the editors Welcome to the AUTUMN 2021 issue of House Sitting Magazine What's the longest house sit you've ever done? Do you think longer house sits have different challenges to shorter ones? As you may know, Vanessa and I chose to settle for a while at the start of winter last year. Well... when I say "chose", what I really mean is we got stuck in France as the country went into a strict lockdown at the start of November 2020. So we didn't really have much choice but to stay here and see how things played out with lockdowns and travel restrictions. Fast forward to October '21 and we're still here, in the Bourgogne (Burgundy) region of France. We love the area, and thanks to the kindness of the home owners of our current house sit, we are fast-approaching one year in this lovely area. Prior to arriving here our longest sit was 3 months, so we've beaten that record by a long way. The house we're taking care of is a holiday home, so there are no pets living here, which means we haven't had any of the usual challenges of caring for pets. However, we have had a few slightly unusual challenges to deal with recently. Our responsibilities have been more about longer term maintenance of the property, which has quite a large garden. I've never done so much lawn-mowing in my life (in part because our own newly acquired piece of land here also requires a lot of garden maintenance).
Vanessa has done a lot of shrub, tree and rose bush pruning too in preparation for winter. However, just a couple of days ago we had an uninvited visitor to the garden. We have a large chestnut tree at the very top of the garden, right by the fence, beyond which is a field of cows. Some of the chestnuts fall into the field, but most into the garden. The cows love them, and we often see them close to the fence, noses deep in the grass looking for a tasty snack. It would appear that the other morning there were no chestnuts left to be found in the field, so one cow decided those in the garden looked obtainable, and had somehow got over the now trampled fence and wandered in.
Our main worry was the swimming pool in the garden, now closed and covered for winter. The winter cover is green, quite similar to the grass. What if the cow wandered on to that and then fell through, into the pool? That didn’t bear thinking about. Action was needed. While I attempted to lower the fence to ground level so we could get the cow back over it without it getting caught up in the barbed wire, Vanessa played cowgirl, keeping our visitor away from the pool. Once I had the fence prepared, Vanessa went to inform the farmer next door about his escapee, and I took over wrangling duties. I feigned an air of breezy confidence as I tried to herd the huge beast towards the fence, but she just stared at me in a mildly indifferent manner. As I got closer she started to move, and I was amazed when she made a beeline (a cowline?) for the hole in the fence, and casually stepped over. We quickly raised the fence again, reinforcing it with some wood from the shed. The rest of the afternoon was spent raking up the chestnuts, so the tempting treats were no longer in sight just over the fence. This will be a daily task for the next week or so.
Potatoes are in and Ian has panelled the insice of the garden house for sleepovers!
Another household maintenance task which has been on the list over the whole summer has been to fix the chimney cap (le chapeau) before we light the living room fire for winter. The roof is very very steep, and quite high. We’d been told we’d need a crane on a truck, but handymen are in short supply in our rural area. So just yesterday I spotted our cow-owning neighbour standing a huge ladder up against the side of his house. He then produced some flat wooden roof ladders so he could access his chimney.
I quickly offered to hold the main ladder for him while he worked, and wondered if I might borrow it when he was finished. These things are never as easy as you hope, and we were unable to secure the roof ladders on our house in the same way he had done on his... something to do with the roof construction. But our neighbour is very practical. He is a farmer, after all, and being hands-on practical comes with the job. "I have an idea," he smiled. Before long we had a tractor parked on the front lawn, and had the roof ladders held (sort of) safely in place by the bucket raised up to roof level. I headed up onto the roof, assessed the job, and returned with tools and screws. The chimney cap is now firmly fixed in place, and we're ready to get the fire blazing for winter. Our recent pet fix with Eliot With our house sit being pet-less, we've had quite a bit of freedom to roam, which means we've been able to take on a few short house sits in other parts of France. More recently we had a new request from our village mayor. Could we look after his 10 year old Yorkshire Terrier, while he and his wife enjoyed a much needed break?
It's the first time we've ever done a pet sit at home, even though "at home" is actually a house sit. Of course we made sure our home owners were happy for us to entertain this tiny visitor. The smallest dog we’ve ever looked after! However, a couple of other locals weren't quite so happy... the two cats who often come to visit us in the back garden weren't as keen about having a dog around for a week, and we saw a lot less of them for a while. Next week we are back off to the Alps for a short repeat sit ... with a new kitten to play with! More on that next time! IAN USHER & VANESSA ANDERSON CO-EDITORS
Stories from the house sitting community
Life in the Pet Sitting Lane BY DOREEN CUMBERFORD
"BLONDE SAND, WHEELING PALM TREES, LOUD MUSIC AND SEAGULLS." Those were the sensations that accompanied the arrival of Covid into our world on March 11th, 2020. Geography played a huge role in this change and where we house sitters found ourselves was influenced by geopolitics in ways we could only previously imagine. For 18 months none of us have been exempt from disruption and massive social change due to the Covid-19 virus. As pet sitters, many of us ground to a halt, stayed in place and watch horrified as our lifestyle shut down. We adjusted travel schedules, daily routines, methods of communicating, formed new cohorts and learned a wee bit of the language of epidemiology. Our own Covid pet sitting journey, looked like a series of reactions to circumstances, weather and regulations. We were fortunate to have the freedom ultimately to bounce between the US and Mexico. In early 2020, after pet sitting for three months in San Miguel de Allende (SMA), Mexico, we had taken a two week break in Cancun for a birthday celebration. Covid news was delivered by earbuds while I was sitting by a turquoise pool after a high energy aerobics class led by a svelte, high energy Mexican fellow. I recall mild concern landing, followed by questions. How would this affect our world, Mexico and the pet sitting lifestyle moving forward?
SO BEGAN OUR PET SITTING ADVENTURES IN MAGICAL MEXICO Mexico, like every other country, handled their Covid response based on a combination of information, fear and culture.
Queretaro We arrived in Queretaro, a wonderful throbbing hub normally buzzing with life and culture. Notices were being posted
San Miguel de Allende (SMA)
everywhere. Over two days in Queretaro, our pet sit One by one museums closed, then
hosts in SMA came to the decision that
hotels, then restaurants. El Centro was
they would not fly to Australia. Through
pulling a blanket up and over its
another pet sitting connection, we
population, everything felt muffled,
quickly found a house to rent on a
muted and mystifying.
month to month basis.
For more information on Queretaro -
We returned to San Miguel de Allende to
take a read here.
sit and wait it out.
The community connects
The connections, conversations, and crazy trivia games we came up with helped us
Thanks to social media, we watched as
cope and stay questionably sane. We
house sitters around the globe saw sit
needed these quizzes to apply our brains
after sit cancel. Calendars emptied,
to something positive and upbeat.
dreams of next destinations dissolved, dismay set in. Australians were stuck in
Pet and house sitting platforms dried up.
the Galapagos, Brits in Australia, French in
There are literally hundreds of stories
Singapore. Our world which previously felt
because each of us lived a different
like our playground, felt like it had been
torn apart and our pet sitting corner reflected the chaos.
Even now in September 2021, I understand there are sitters who are still
For the moment house sitting for us was
watching, waiting, living under
out the window. We were well and truly
restrictions where they cannot follow
stuck; even the US border closed for all
their pet sitting hearts.
commercial traffic for a few days – now that was unnerving. Of course many
The rest of us cannot fully imagine their
house sitters did continue to find those
plight having enjoyed a version of
rare and precious sits.
Weeks rolled by. Connections with other house sitters were built. We all moved onto Zoom as if it was a hostel. A house sitters trivia quiz was formed and we kept in touch with “where are you now?” and “what are your numbers like?”, conversations.
HOME TO THE USA Upon returning to the US in July 2020, we observed and compared the cultural differences in how two countries, sideby-side, were handing this monster epidemic. In Mexico, disinfectant mats, being sprayed down prior to entering an outdoor restaurant and the mask, gloves and one person per family in the grocery rule was our norm. One store prohibited us entering because we were over 60 years of age!!! News from Mexico City was grim with
On the other hand, arriving in Dallas
constant black smoke from funeral pyres.
after six months in Mexico, we arrived to
Mourning was pushed underground
a different norm. It was an adjustment.
because public funeral processions, a
All the seats at the gates were available,
normal civic activity, were cancelled.
few masks were to be seen and people lined up next to each other.
SMA had a great organization of former medical professionals from the USA who pumped out information, advised on
Back to pet sitting
behaviour and generally loved and
After three weeks at home in Denver, we
supported people when they caught
were contacted directly by a homeowner
just thirty minutes away. Would we please come and take care of their three dogs and two cats? Yes, we agreed in unison, ready to hit the road, find some relief from the intensity of the news, in the form of pets to love, a mission to accomplish and a new place to explore, albeit close. Thereafter, the summer was peppered with very brave homeowners who were bursting to travel - somewhere, anywhere!
A pattern emerged.
Needs and boundaries Discovering each of our needs and boundaries added another layer to the intimate experience of assuming someone else’s pets and property. We learned that the joy of adventure and walking this huge Malamute through misty mornings on a Christmas Tree farm, was delight enough to balance out all the limitations and isolation around us. While based in our home state of
One of the most poignant and sad
Colorado, we were able to pet sit for
experiences of the entire Covid chapter
approximately two weeks per month
was visiting the US/Canadian border.
around our home state. Conversations about Covid protocols, virtual handovers
Normally a hive of activity, with lines of
and masks were a new addition but
cars, hundreds of people, daytrippers
some version of normal returned to our
and tourists everywhere, we were met
pet sitting world.
with a deserted infrastructure bereft of humans and energy.
By October, families were getting bolder. They had discovered they could travel a bit if motivated enough, and would take critical journeys to see family, meet new grandchildren etc. We ended up house sitting from August through November in the US. One of the highlights and most visceral experiences was an October house sit in Bellingham, Washington just below the Canadian/US border. This was our second flight since Covid. The handover was not virtual, but we maintained social distance. Extra conversation and communication helped to oil the wheels.
It was the saddest moment of Covid.
Tragedy back in Mexico
The pet sitting community is remarkable
After a variety of house sits in the USA, we
competition for pet sits occasionally we
returned to Mexico to rent the same
spend more time and energy in
house, although we did slip in a few days
collaboration. We truly focus on win/win
of pet sitting while there. Sadly, the
and on serving.
in that while it appears we are in
homeowner from 2019 who could not go to Australia passed away within days of
On May 1st we drove to the US from
our arrival in SMA.
Mexico to get a vaccine. Since then we have driven through Texas, New Mexico,
Shocked and stunned, we formed pods,
Colorado, Utah, California and back up to
played pickleball outside while wearing
masks, followed the rules and yet, both of us caught a mild dose.
We have house sat in each state except Texas and Utah since May. Few
Our pet sitting colleagues in SMA made
homeowners in the US even ask if we are
soup, brought medicine and ginger,
vaccinated, they just assume. And we
checked in with us, called frequently and
always make sure to reassure them we
generally supported us. The Mexican
are, yet our hospitals are filling up again
medical community was superb.
as I write.
Global mobility has continued all along at a severely reduced pace. Families have relocated over the summer, expats and digital nomads have travelled. While the world continues to trip over itself to find a new normal, we feel hopeful that pet sitting will find new life very soon.
DOREEN CUMBERFORD Doreen is a Cross-Cultural Consultant, Certified Coach and Author specializing in global mobility for expats, digital nomads and returnees. She helps globally mobile communities master transitions. In re(w)irement she and partner John, enjoy pet sitting and all the bite-sized adventures it delivers. https://doreenmcumberford.com
STRETCHING YOUR LIMITS by Jenny Lincoln A full time nomad and house sitter, Jenny helps leaders, achievers and their teams move past their self imposed limitations. She is the Founder of HUMNAV ~ The Human Navigation Project. You can catch more of Jenny on her YouTube Channel
THE NUDGES & NIGGLES THAT CHANGE YOUR COURSE by Jenny Lincoln Central and South America has a feast of opportunity when house sitting outside of city limits. You get to test your own limits ... break through old boundaries, grow your courage zone and ignite that inner spark that is itching to "Burn Baby Burn!" You don't have to go jumping off a mountain (although that can be kind of cool and liberating), you just need to be open to trying new things and following the nudges from your intuition. A couple of months ago I had a lovely sit in El Retiro, Medellin Colombia. A cute little rural community in the Andes where they make their living from carpentry. I had 2 senior pups that kept me all "loved up", a bevy of hiking trails on my doorstep, plus full immersion in the local Colombian rural lifestyle. Life was good but I had a little niggle growing within. I pushed it aside and distracted myself with work. Then I started to get triggered by one of the lovely pups. She had a fetish for horse poop, so at times needed a little more discipline. On one of our morning walks I found myself saying, "If you break my trust I'll have to keep you on a short leash." Dang! Those words LANDED for me! Immediately I thought, these words are actually for me! I had been cooping myself up on a short leash, playing the disciplinarian to make sure I got a whole bunch of work done! All based on my own self imposed expectations and deadlines!
SPACE FOR ADVENTURE, SURPRISE & DELIGHT Wasn't I living this lovely nomadic house
I found myself accepting a wide variety of
sitting lifestyle for a reason! To be free
sits that had access to big hits of nature,
spirited, to explore, experience and devour
the local culture, beauty and all it has to offer! That doesn't happen when you keep
Seaside in Crucita, Ecuador
yourself on a short leash. You've got to
Mountain top views above Cuanca,
allow space for adventure, surprise and
Hilltops of San Lorenzo Salta, Argentina Lakeside in Pucon Chile
So with that very loud and clear nudge I
Village life on Ometepe Island, Nicaragua
organised my first paragliding flight where I got to run off the top of the Andes and fly like a bird. What an amazing experience that was! So what's niggling and nudging you? How is it showing up in your life right now? Where are you speaking the words you need to hear?
The remoteness combined with the calm nurturing vibes of Mother Nature gave me the space I needed to embark on a huge inner journey! Everyone talks about the symbolism of the transformation of the caterpillar to the butterfly. But no one talks about the MUSH
MOMENTS you have during the COCOON
My time in Ecuador, Argentina, Chile and
becoming a pile of mushy goo before it is
Nicaragua became a period of deep immersion. My 21 year relationship with my partner had just come to an end. South America quickly became my Cocoon Room and Mother Nature my Bestie. She helped and held me as I healed my heart and reinvented myself as a Solo Sitter.
stage! The caterpillar totally loses its form, transformed into the butterfly. So do we! We can all have "mush moments" as we heal and reinvent ourselves after ending relationships, moving locations, changing careers, experiencing grief, as well as navigating a long ongoing pandemic.
One of the most important things you
During this morphing process you are
can do is have SOFT EYES for you ...
deconstructing the old version of you ...
meaning, release your expectations and
thoughts, feelings, values, beliefs, fears,
judgements of what you are going
doubts, habits, automatic reactions ...
everything comes to the surface! Which can be pretty overwhelming!!!
Embrace the glorious mess that you are because you are moving through a huge
The beauty of this reinvention process is
transformational process that affects all
you get to CONSCIOUSLY CHOOSE what
of you ... your heart, mind, body and
you take forward into the new version of
you! At times you may find yourself desperately clinging to past stories and memories, wanting things to be different! Holding on and resisting change only creates struggle and tension. However, this tension is powerful, it ends up sling shotting you forward into the new version of you! The whole reinvention process can be a wonderful shedding experience if you release the judgements and lean into the discomfort, just like a good yoga or pilates pose!
It is a little like when you first embarked on your nomadic / house sitting journey. You may have had mixed emotions as you packed up your house, sold or gave away all your stuff, said goodbye to your family and friends, then jumped on a plane! Yet the end feeling of FREEDOM and LIBERATION was profound!! Throughout this whole process it is important to know ... you WILL EMERGE a different BEAUTIFUL BEING through the portal of discomfort!
YOU ARE CAPABLE OF MORE! Too often we underestimate our own capabilities and so side step adventure and experimentation. We fill our days with stuff that keeps us busy and distracted. Before you know it, the seeds of inner disturbia sprout and grow.
When you dismiss these nudges, We tend to judge these feelings as bad or
challenges find their way onto your path,
something we need to fix, when really it
forcing you to step into your "courage
is our soul's way of getting our attention.
zone". At times you may even curse your
It is trying to get us to make different
circumstances and question ... "Why is
choices or take a different path.
this happening TO me?" A powerful reframe is to get curious around ... 'Perhaps this is happening FOR me!' Consider how you can benefit and grow from the challenge! When I reflect on some of the challenges I've experienced in recent years of house sitting, my growth in capability plus the trust and knowing what comes with that, is immense! It has enabled me to navigate a range of experiences (many unexpected) with grace, ease and an open heart!
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HOW SAFE ARE YOU ON YOUR TRAVELS & HOUSE SITS? by Journey Jensen Whether you’re a solo sitter, a couple or
Scope out the fastest escape route for if
a family - safety is something to
there is a fire or some other emergency. If
consider and isn’t always foremost on
you are staying in an apartment building,
our minds when we start an exciting
become familiar with the exit stairs. During
an emergency everything may be dark or smoky so it’s best to know ahead of time
I’m a solo female house sitter and love
where the stairs are.
the opportunities house sitting brings me. But as a global traveler and nomad
Be sure to have on hand the local contact
I’ve had my share of personal safety
details of the police/fire-brigade. If you’re in
issues on my journey bouncing around
a new country, learn the emergency number
the world, especially in more remote
to call for relevant help and find out what
information they will want. If they need a postal address you should have that
None of this is to put undue fear into
information handy because you’ll struggle to
anyone house sitting on their own, but a
find it during the emergency situation.
little risk assessment never did anyone any harm and if you are unlucky enough to have an emergency situation, forewarned is forearmed. So here are my tips for both house sitting, and personal safety when traveling, especially as a lone female. Let’s begin with house sitting:
Emergency planning in the home
Ask the homeowners who you should call
Consider how to manage an emergency at
trouble you need help with.
from their group of friends if there’s any
the home including fire, adverse weather or personal accident. Know where the
If you’re house sitting with a partner or
homeowners keep their first aid kit, fire
family, make sure you are all aware of your
extinguisher, fire blanket, and torch. Ask
exit plan in case of a fire or other
the homeowner if smoke detectors are
emergency. If the exit door requires a key to
currently operating and where the spare
operate, leave it ready near the door every
night so you can find it very quickly.
If you do find yourself traveling or house
Together with the homeowners, check that
may want to carry some form of personal
windows and doors are secure and that you
safety spray. However, in many countries it
have keys where necessary.
is illegal to carry mace or pepper spray so
sitting in a less secure environment, you
another option is a small can of hairspray, or
Ask if there is a security system and how to
deodorant. An easy to activate personal
use it. Make sure to check whether it
alarm that emits a loud signal is another
connects through to a monitoring centre –
you may need a password in case the alarm goes off for no apparent reason.
There are now many personal safety apps for phones that allow you to do many things
Use rubber or wooden door wedge to keep
like automatically operating the video
doors closed, or even just to the door of
camera and microphone in secret, alerting
your room. There are quite a variety of
your circle that you’re in trouble, tracking
portable door locks and alarms available to purchase online to that you can travel with. They are very handy if you’ve got a door without a secondary lock.
DON'T GET LOCKED OUT It’s important to know where the spare key is and if you feel more comfortable, move it to a new spot that only you know while you are staying at the house, but remember to put it back in the original place when you leave! You may want to invest in a portable lock box for this purpose at each sit. Check who else has a spare key and what their contact details are so you can get in touch if you lock yourself out and don’t have a spare.
AROUND AND ABOUT
your location, recording what’s going on, turning on the torch, alerting you if in a bad area, and more. Your phone can also call the local emergency service and share your location with loved ones.
SELF DEFENCE I’m an adventurous traveler and I’ve had a few negative experiences including an attempted armed robbery on the streets of Quito, Ecuador when I lost my phone and other possessions. It was there that I turned to recently acquired self-defence techniques after learning how to kick-box in the Philippines during the first Covid lockdown. Personal choice in these situations is paramount – we may all react to situations
Be aware of your surroundings and ask the
differently. But assessing risk ahead of time
homeowners if there are areas of their town
can really help you when having to make
that should be avoided.
split second decisions.
I also keep my cards and cash hidden on my body and carry a fake purse containing only a small amount of money. I could easily throw the fake purse and cheap phone on the ground and run.
TRUST YOUR INSTINCT One super important tip is to listen to your gut instinct. Sometimes it can be hard to
WHAT HAVE I LEARNED?
hear the messages being given but at other times your instinct is yelling at you!
My assessment now is that it’s far better to
Often you’ll never know if it really saved
hand over your bag and not risk your life. I
you or not but I do know from personal
would not fight next time, I was lucky once
experience - if you can feel your instinct
but next time could have a different
whispering to you that there is a
problem, there often is.
It was a valuable lesson to learn and I have
It can be hard to distinguish from fear
now changed the way I carry my valuables.
but most people who’ve acted on a gut reaction agree there is a distinct
These days I carry my iPhone in a hidden
belt against my belly and use its hotspot to connect to a cheap Nokia phone that I use if I am following directions. If I need to check my iPhone I duck into a shop or toilet. It can be annoying, as I use my iPhone as my camera too, so that’s a downside of keeping it hidden.
More phone tips: If your iPhone is stolen put it into “lost” mode which means thieves cannot wipe it and sell it easily. Use “find my phone” to locate it, it's useful, but you’d have to assess whether it’s safe to do that.
Journey follows her name around the world on a perpetual journey to experience every corner, nook and cranny of our beautiful world. She loves to intersperse her adventures with house sitting while she spends time illustrating and writing. Find out more at her website Ninkompoop.
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DELVING INTO THE PAST WHILE HOUSE SITTING by Andrew Redfern
There are many reasons why a house sit may appeal to you. It might be the location, the pets or proximity to family. It could even be a combination of several factors. But have you ever considered securing a house sit to help trace your family history?
WHO KNOWS WHAT YOU'LL DISCOVER WHEN YOU TRAVEL TO THE PAST As the pandemic hit, a DNA match contacted me through the Ancestry website asking to collaborate on our family tree. That message reignited my passion for family history and so began a serious project and subsequent post-lockdown hobby. A number of discoveries were made and there are now a number of cities and towns throughout the world that I am keen to visit to further track down my ancestors. I plan to actively seek house sits in these areas as the world of travel opens up again. One of the benefits of researching while house sitting is that house sits generally offer you an extended period of time to interrogate archives. Some may also require several visits to sort through relevant material.
ONLINE RESOURCES Many ancestry records are now digitised and can be searched online either for free or via subscription sites. Working from what I already knew, going back in time to the unknown, I have been able to obtain copies of birth and death certificates, wills, and prison registers of many of my ancestors. Digitised newspapers are a great resource as well and these often tell the everyday stories of relatives while also giving more insight into the local area where they lived.
These online resources are a great place to
DUBLIN & BELFAST
start, but some records simply aren't available online and you will need to visit the particular archive or repository to view the materials.
My 3rd great grandfather, a member of the United Irishmen in the last 1790s, was arrested and interned in Kilmainham Gaol for "treasonable practices". The prison
GRAVEYARDS & CEMETARIES
letters are fascinating and show his gradual decline while behind bars, worried for his
In between house sits in the UK in 2018, we
wife and family who were not able to
were very fortunate to be able to visit the
grave of Dr William Redfern in Edinburgh. There is an extensive visitor centre at the There's nothing quite like standing at an
gaol and house sitting in Dublin will provide
ancestors final resting place contemplating
a great opportunity to visit, and to search the
their life. While there are many photos
National Archives of Ireland. The same 3rd
available online of gravesites, being there in
great grandfather was a saddler in Belfast
person is incomparable and sometimes can
prior to his arrest and I am keen to walk in
be very moving or even spine-tingling.
his footsteps and stand on the site where he had his shop. The Public Record Office of
Kensal Green Cemetery in London is high on
Northern Ireland will be another place to
my list of places to visit, where a family
visit to find additional records on the
memorial stands of several long lost
notorious Robert Redfern.
cousins. Closer to home in Australia I also hope to house sit in rural New South Wales
to visit several cemeteries in the area. Buried in Gulgong, my 3rd great grandmother has a particularly grand tomb, despite suspicions she was poisoned by her husband. A photo of the grave will certainly add to the story.
We've house sat in Mexico several times and are keen to return. Santa Cruz is on the list thanks to another 3rd great grandfather, imprisoned as a result of his involvement in the Mexican War of Independence.
William Bestwick was shipped to New York
My 2nd great grandfather escaped from gaol
where he jumped ship and subsequently
in Bathurst, NSW and made his way to
made his way to Australia.
Hobart before being re-arrested. The pattern of criminals and gaols in my family is
This area of Mexico is one we are yet to
explore and what better excuse do I need than to investigate the prison and
He served out his sentence, working in chain
interrogate local repositories and archives.
gangs near Green Ponds (now Kempton). There's a convict museum being planned for
TIME TRAVELING IN THE UK
Hobart where my ancestor will be included. Spending time in Tasmania will allow me to
The Knowles family (a paternal line) were owners of the Swan Inn in Wedmore,
further explore my connections as well as hopefully meeting key historians who can
Somerset and the hotel still exists.
assist with my research.
You can even stay in the accommodation
Investigating my family history has
which is something I am keen to do, even
certainly unearthed some very surprising
for a night or two between sits.
discoveries and led to investigating many
One brother of the family remained in
stories of my ancestors are re-created it
Wedmore while two brothers emigrated to Australia. House sitting in the area and staying a while will allow me to immerse myself in the local history and perhaps even
unknown parts of the world. As the is fascinating to see where they will turn up next. As I stand in these places where my ancestors lived and worked I wonder if a sense of connection will wash over
track down some elusive cousins.
There's only one way to find out - start
Closer to home, Tasmania and particularly
ancestral roots. If nothing else, it may
the area around Kempton also has
allow an application to stand out in a
significance for my family.
crowd of many.
applying for house sits in the areas of my
Andrew is one half of the Global Wanderers. With his partner Christopher he has travelled extensively and completed over 50 international house sits. You can read more about Andrew's family history discoveries at www.andrewredfern.com or Facebook or twitter
The Redfern Memorial in Kensal Green Cemetery, London
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
The rise of the automobile in the latter half of the 20th century was partly responsible for the decline of the railways around the globe, and over the
past decades many smaller branch lines and local stations have been closed. Initially, most of these transport corridors and buildings fell into disrepair, but more
Take a trip on an abandoned railway line through the French countryside using pedal power VeloRaildeFrance.com
recently the potential for alternative uses of these historic routes has been recognised. Many abandoned railway lines have been turned into long distance walks and cycle tracks. In the UK many of these old routes form hundreds of miles of the National Cycle Network. The tracks have long-gone, N O Mflat A D I and C | car24 but the rail bed offers relatively
free adventures through the countryside.
Many of these trails feature spectacular viaducts crossing high above deep valleys, or long tunnels through the hills. In France the railway tracks have found a new lease of life as "velorails". Instead of ripping up the old tracks, many have been maintained, and offer the option to enjoy a relaxing and unique adventure, pedalling through the countryside.
The route begins at the Gare de Cordesse, and there is a short option, and a longer trip. For those wanting a quick outing you can head up the line as far as Gare de Barnay, a ride of about 4 kilometres. There is a slight rise as you climb from an altitude of 317 metres to 346 metres. But don't worry, the draisine has electric motor assistance, so you'll hardly notice.
Riding the "draisine"
The longer trip takes you on past Barnay,
These unique "velorail" attractions involve
kilometres you arrive at the old Gare de
riding a on a "draisine". The word "draisine" comes from German inventor Karl Drais, who is credited with inventing the forerunner to the modern bicycle. And of course, people have been putting
and winds through the fields and forest, past a secenic lake, and after a further 7 Manlay. This section of the route is a little steeper, climbing to a final altitude of 431 metres, so you have to add some of your own effort to assist the electric motor.
bicycles on railway tracks ever since there have been both bicycles and railways. Our first experience of these unusual vehicles was on the Veloroute du Morvan, close to our current long term house sit in Cote d'Or, just across the border and into the department of Saône-et-Loire.
Veloroute du Morvan Visit the website for all the different options - picnics, family events, twilight tours etc.
Turning the draisine is a manual operation, but with two people is very easy. For both trips, the return journey is either downhill, or flat, and is faster then the outbound trip. The short trip is a return distance of 8 km, and takes around an hour or so. The longer adventure, 22 km in total, takes around 3 hours, allowing for a picnic stop somewhere along the route. We were amazed to discover a sign detailing other velorails in France, which informed us that there are 49 different locations accross the country. They offer
Draisines are used for recreation on
an incredible diversity of experiences in
several unused railway lines in Germany,
Sweden, Norway, Poland, some other European countries, and South Korea.
Not all have electric assistance, and some sound more physical than others.
In the United States, railbike tours have
Obviously they vary in length and price
operated in several states, including
too. "The Velorail de France" website links
California, Maine, Oregon, the Adirondack
to them all, where dates, details and prices
Mountains of upstate New York, and
can be found.
If you aren't planning a visit to France any
Find out more at Wikipedia
time soon, you can find similar activities on rails in other countries too.
The reasons to love what we do!
UNDERSTANDING THE APPEAL OF HOUSE SITTING How many times has a home owner, or even a family member or friend asked, "Why do you house sit instead of going on a standard vacation?" We asked our Facebook community: "As sitters and owners, it's a given that we all have a love of pets.. but what type of traveller are you and how has house sitting helped improve your lifestyle experiences?" Here's what we discovered.
Bonnie Hutchinson Collopy We've been sitting with Trusted Housesitters for over three years. And just finished our 20th one having skipped a year because of the pandemic. We use sitting to vacation in places we want to travel. Getting to live like a local instead of in a hotel is definitely our preference. Being retired allows us to explore more and live life to its fullest on a limited budget. We love the flexibility of traveling anywhere, spending time with the pets, meeting awesome people and seeing new places. I always say the silver lining to the pandemic was buying our camper. I've always loved camping and wanted one... Hubby wasn’t so convinced, but now he enjoys it too. I especially love being on vacation and exploring... House sitting has been a fantastic way to do much more of this. I can't imagine life without it.
Els - MyFeetWereMeantToRoam
A full-time sitter who's into slow travel and living like a local. I work online. I love long sits because they give me a lot of time to visit the places I like more thoroughly. I can't really see myself going on a city break again for 3 days where I’m rushing around from morning 'til evening to tick off all the sights.
We are homeowners and sitters. We used TrustedHousesitters for our home and pets when travelling for about a quarter of each year or more, for many years before
Sharyn Nilsen We use it to bookend our cycling adventures, stop for a while to catch up on administration and sometimes work, and to explore popular destinations more fully without breaking the budget.
beginning to sit ourselves. We’ve sat in places we were considering moving to many times to get a feel for the place. It’s a super way to spend an extended time somewhere. Now we’ve relocated, so we sit places we want to visit. We prefer at least 2 week sits and are picky about homes and pets. We prefer countryside sits in a nice home with one, maybe 2 dogs, a cat or two, and occasionally horses.
I've seen more of the world on a modest work and state pension than I have while working as I could not afford many holidays – maybe just staying in hotels a
I joined TrustedHousesitters at the beginning of 2012, rented out my house and planned to housesit as long as I was enjoying it. I sat in the UK until July with
fortnight once a year! I was raised with pets around me but decided not to have any while working full time and raising my
natural breaks in between sits when I either stayed with friends or booked Airbnb's. Then I flew to Auckland, house
children. They would have been left on their own too much.
sitting and travelling on the North Island for 6 months. Then onwards to Australia but just as I was about to start my first Oz house sit, the pandemic hit. I flew back to the UK just before the first lockdown began. I did a few sits between lockdowns but am now booked until April 2022 in the UK.
Now the kids have flown the nest it’s perfect in my retirement to rekindle this love through house sitting. I met an ex paramedic guy who had no home, and was house sitting to stay put for a while between travels. We joined together to see the world in 2016, through a mixture of house sitting (long term and short term), backpacking and campervanning, plus popping in and out of the UK to see our folks. The pets are always our priority. Our choice is not to do back-to-back sits as we prefer a breather in between to be fresh for the next assignment. We do miss the pets when we leave. Fortunately we’ve remained friends with the homeowners and get to see them on video chat. So yeah, it is a lovely way to spend our old age, granted I'm not a traditional hands on Grandma! We feel enriched in the knowledge of many cultures and how to deal with pets too. This lifestyle is an anti-depressant! We so enjoy our interactions with others that we could not go back to packaged hotel style holidays where no one talks to you.
I’m seriously now considering renting out my home again….I feel I’ll housesit until I get tired of it and can’t see me settling down for the foreseeable future, which does worry me at times. But this is a fantastic lifestyle. I do so much more when house sitting - exploring new areas, walking, cycling etc. Never been happier!
Click Here to Join TrustedHousesitters
Debs of 2 Northern Souls
I house sit with my husband, we've been full-time since 2017 (apart from a slight hiatus due to Covid). We are based in the UK but have also done sits in Europe and are hoping to go further afield once the
I’ve been a full-time single sitter since Jan 2018, mostly sitting in Australia, but also Spain, the UK and the Netherlands more recently. I generally choose house sits of 4-
world and travel recovers.
8 weeks, allowing me to "live as a local", which is my preferred way of travelling. I select locations that do not require a car -
I run my own business so the slow travel element really suits me and allows me time to focus on this whilst I travel. Having
as using public transport, walking or cycling is another way of getting a true feel for a place.
the comfort of a home and animals for company is the best bonus. I love that I get to care for so many different breeds of animals, helping me better understand them and gaining a broader knowledge of pet care with every sit. I love exploring new
Around Australia, I use house sitting as a way to determine where I would like to eventually settle down. For overseas travel, I try to select different countries each time (as well as my favourite Spain),
places and one thing which really fascinates me is seeing different lifestyles and how others live. I take what inspires me and leave what doesn't.
so that I can broaden my range of experiences.
I've learned many life skills since house
I work remotely as a writer, editor and proofreader, so my only requirement is a good internet connection. In order to
sitting - emotional and physical. The whole experience has built my confidence and helped me address some personal issues along the way.
integrate and not become too isolated, I make an effort to find out about local activities and events - walking groups, craft circles, festivals and exhibitions - and visit
I don't envisage being full-time forever. But it's definitely something I'll continue to do part-time, and will use house sitters myself, if and when I ever settle again. Simply put, my life is so much better thanks to house sitting!
a wide range of small independent cafes and retailers. As far as pets go, I am a little “fussy”. My preference is for 1-2 dogs and/or cats, as I can then pay them the attention they deserve.
If you do what you love, you'll never work a day in your life. Jan Kenney
Karen Stewart Ethridge
We are retired and are full time sitters. We
We've been house sitters since 2012 and
have a tiny 13 foot trailer to camp between our sits. Our preference is longer sits.
have been full time travellers since last year. We sit about four months each year, typically 1+ weeks at a time and have done 38 sits so far with 4 more booked. We've
Many of our sits are repeats, so it feels like visiting beloved, furry relatives!
been traveling only in the US for the time being.
Kris Liebsch I am a full time sitter mostly in the south eastern US while I wait for international travel to become more stable. I prefer the longer sits to get a feel for a place and, as others have said, to live like a local. Whenever possible, I prefer to go from sit to sit with as little time between as possible. I am on TrustedHousesitters as well as a few other sites to give myself more opportunities to be able to go from one sit straight to another without having to drive too far.
Bethany Teeples We are full time family sitters in the US. We live in a 5th wheel trailer and go wherever the jobs take us. That allows us to experience travel to areas we maybe wouldn't have visited otherwise. Living in the house on a sit gives us the chance to act like locals instead of tourists. It's a much slower lifestyle than typical vacationing. We camp a few days between sits to allow travel time. But camping for us is just being in our little home.
We look forward to seeing more of the world's wonders one pet sit at a time. Making friends around the world, having the ability to share life with pets, experiencing the hospitality of people from different cultures, and being able to travel slowly by living in homes are what we love about pet sitting..
I'm lucky to have a very regular sit with
When friends ask me “why do you want to go take care of someone’s
TrustedHousesitters near Lands End, England, with horses which I treat as a holiday between working. It was my second sit when I first started and it's my second home now as they treat me like a daughter. I find the whole routine with the horses so reassuring and good for me. In Spain I ended up buying a cave house because of my repeat sitting for a wonderful gang of rescue dogs and cats in a cave village. That changed my life as my brother then bought a cave place out there and we now have a much closer relationship - this is all thanks to that one particular sit! Also I have gained very good female friends from sitting for the owners. Sitting gave me the confidence to set up my own pet sitting business in my UK village which seemed a very natural progression for me. Pet sitting has made me loads more confident in social situations because I'm dealing with new people all the time. Between sits I now live in my camper van.
home for free” it is these moments that I think of. For me it is usually walking on a beach somewhere. Hearing the sound of the waves, seeing the colors constantly changing feeds my soul. But I lived in the Lake District for a while and this beach girl fell in love with the hills. I can still close my eyes and see the fells with the constanty changing light and colors, the clouds coming in so quickly, seeing rain swooping in. I learned I have more than one place that feeds my soul and makes my heart sing with joy. These magical moments and having lovely furbabies to love on is a continuous source of pure joy. Yesterday I was throwing balls for two large bouncy lovely dogs, today I have a 2 lb ball of fluff puppy curled up on my lap. Add the new and lovely view and my soul is happy.
by Lamia Walker Founder of HouseSitMatch.com
THE BENEFITS OF IDENTITY VERIFICATIONS
How do I really know who you are online?
As some of you may know, I run a housesitting website, Housesitmatch.com and when we began our house sitting network some eight years ago, ID verification seemed like a very good idea.
Now, increasingly across the world we are all being asked to identify ourselves before engaging when we buy things and when we work with others. And it makes sense in most cases, especially online where anyone in the world can set up an email address and make up a name.
So I'd like to look at some of the benefits of having an ID verification when joining a house sitting website.
I like to know who I am dealing with. If it's a
It's good to remind ourselves about the
company trading online, I want to see what
basics of a great housesitter profile. If the
others think of them, and essentially, who
house sitting site you use has an ID
else trusts them.
verification process, make use of it. If they have an online Police and Background
And, if it’s an individual I need to connect
checking system in place, then update
with then it’s all the more important that I
have reference points. So why not use an identification system? At Housesitmatch we offer it for free as part of our membership profile. But not everybody does yet, and some people are still resistant.
PREPARING FOR TRAVEL
WHAT ABOUT HOMEOWNER ID CHECKS? From another perspective, ID verification matters because as a housesitter you are putting yourself in the care of a homeowner you do not know. You are entering their home, where they know everything and everyone near by and you
If like me you are desperate to leave that
know no one.
Covid state of mind behind you, and get back to travelling and house sitting, then
Building trust matters. When I housesit,
identification really matters. Actually, I have
and I do regularly every year, I always need
been fantasising about travelling as far
to know as much as possible before I enter
away from home as possible! So, I am
a homeowner’s property to care for their
buffing up my profile and checking that all
pets and home. I am just happier that way.
the I's are dotted and T's are crossed. Perhaps you are too?
Knowing the basic facts that they offer about themselves matters to me. It helps
WHY DOES A HOMEOWNER NEED TO KNOW WHO YOU ARE?
me feel safe, especially if I am housesitting on my own.
Because it will benefit you and help others trust you more readily. Put it this way, it eliminates any of those vague obstacles that might prevent you being considered for that perfect housesit.
AN IDENTIFICATION CHECK ELIMINATES ANY VAGUE OBSTACLES THAT MIGHT PREVENT YOU BEING CONSIDERED
HOW DO YOU KNOW HOUSE SITTERS ARE CHECKED? As a homeowner, the safest way to find a pet sitter is to find house sitters by using a house sitting website. But you may wonder just who all these listed house sitters really are. People vary in how much information they offer, and how much effort they put into their profile. What information do you look for in their profile? Do you assume that because they are listed, they have already been checked? Well, that is not always the case with every
When a new house sitter enters my home, I must know who they are, what they do to sustain their lifestyle, and what they enjoy. It’s all about getting to know people and trusting them with your beloved pets and home. We don’t have any Monet’s or Van Gogh’s hanging in our home, so I'm not worried about valuables or material things necessarily. However, I still need to trust this person. I need to feel ok about them staying in my home. If I can get to know them and build trust then I feel safer with my home and pets in their care.
HOW DO WE BUILD TRUST AT HOUSESITMATCH.COM ?
house sitting website. Make sure you check to see what level of verification they pass through before they can upload a
As a house sitting platform we invite you to
Look for the blue tick verification
selfie, sharing your Passport ID page and
symbol on Housesitmatch.com – that means they have gone through our process. And if they are slow in going through voluntarily, we chase them. From the homeowner’s perspective it may seem obvious and essential to know where this person purporting to be a house and pet sitter actually comes from, and who they really are.
do the ID verification online, by taking a another form of ID. Our system – we use Hooyu.com – then runs an algorithm to match your ID documents. It can be an involved process sometimes because it needs photos that are good enough to track the 75 common characteristics it looks for.
Do you assume that because they are listed, they have already been checked?
If you have a problem with scanning your
They will include a whole host of familiar
ID documents, we are happy to process
brand names and everyday utilities. Even
them manually. Get in touch via our
everyday functions in civil life may require
Livechat and we’ll tell you what to do next.
an online ID check, for example, joining a
Once verified you will have a blue tick next
new bank, or applying for a job.
to your username on the profile so everyone can see you are verified.
House sitting is a fairly daunting prospect if you are new to this intimate world. I'm
Police & Background Check
sure you’ll forgive me for saying that it is intimate. As a house sitter you move into
While this is not obligatory, we do strongly
someone’s home. You may sleep in their
recommend that you secure your
bedroom and cook in their kitchen. That’s
background check. Once again, we have an
online system that can process your documents no matter where you are
As a homeowner you're letting an unknown
travelling in the world.
person into your living space. Oftentimes you give them free reign to your home,
If you already have these documents, then
access to your media, washing facilities and
do share them with us and we’ll manually
mark your profile to reflect that up-to-date Police and Background check exists.
Sometimes you may not actually have met these people before they arrive with a
Homeowners will really appreciate this
backpack and a laptop, ready to run your
effort on your part.
home and look after your pets in your absence. That can be quite a big step if the
WHO ELSE DOES ID CHECKING?
world of housesitting is new to you.
While not all housesitting websites insist
So how do you build confidence in the
on ID checking, elsewhere you will bump into this request more and more frequently before you can engage or do
process? And more importantly how can that process help you build trust in a person before you begin the housesit?
business. There are many websites where you might have needed to do an online ID
Do the ID verification check!
check before making a significant online
It really helps everyone in house
Click here for your 50% discount - use code HSMAG50
STAYCATIONAUSTRALIA.COM The pandemic has certainly meant that the travellers among our house sitting community have had to get a bit creative over the past 18 months. Keeping the travel dream alive hasn’t always been easy and many have remained local, or even returned to their home countries. Inevitably at some time we’ve all considered the value of staycations.
Restrictions have meant we’ve often had to enjoy the leisure activities and sightseeing within driving distance of home, with or without overnight accommodation. But holidays spent at home can be just as rewarding and relaxing as a vacation taken abroad!
Our Aussie friends Jane & Duncan have recently created STAYCATIONAUSTRALIA.COM bringing you the latest staycation deals and travel inspiration. Whether you are looking for a city break, a country escape, a beach retreat or you just want to pamper yourself at a spa... this new website covers all things Australian!
As Jane & Duncan continue their travels through Australia searching out the best places to stay, they'll keep you up-to-date with unique accommodations, great places to eat, and the best sunset views for sundowners. Whether you have 24 hours, or one week or more between house sits, check out StaycationAustralia. And go join their Facebook Group – they’d love to hear more about your discoveries !
MY "DOUBLE HAT" TAKE ON HOUSE SITTING by Carine Lenfant
"WISE WORDS FROM AN OWNER AND SITTER WHO HAS SAT ON BOTH SIDES OF THE HOUSE SITTING FENCE!
Although I have always owned pets, I welcomed pet sitters for the first time in 2018. I needed people to look after our two dogs along with our cat, while we traveled in South America for a whole month. Since then, our pets have been looked after by seven different couples. Some were from my home country, France, while others visited from different places in Europe. Their ages varied too… some in their 30s, others much older and already retired. When choosing sitters my most important criteria is how well they will care for my pets. Since my husband does not wish to travel as much as I do, I decided to become a pet sitter myself a year later. This has allowed me to discover my own country and to heal my sorrow after my beloved cat’s death. Keeping felines is a relief for me - I can cuddle cats, lie in their fur, and hear them purr. I still miss Zig so much! It’s important to inspire trust. I often apply for local sits to get references. Several of my sits have lasted one week, but a few only three days. Competition among sitters is less widespread for short stays in my country than for longer ones in popular cities like New York, or destinations like the Caribbean! Owners living in France have probably chosen me during the pandemic because they did not fear cancellation due to new lockdown travel restrictions. My experience as an owner and a sitter has given me insights that have made me modify both my listing as a pet owner and my profile as a pet sitter. These I will share with you.
I point out important details and ask many more questions now to avoid further disappointments or misunderstandings. I probably behave quite differently today than I did two years ago, as I understand the expectations of both sides.
Getting your application right As an owner, I am sceptical of sitters who proudly profess to be “the right fit” for me, but who really do not match the requirements in my listing. Some candidates seem to only look at the photos without reading the information. Others are not in France and do not speak basic French, which is something I insist on. English is still not widely spoken in rural parts of France with confidence, so how would my sitters fare in an emergency? Would they be able to communicate with my neighbors or the vet?
We all have different things that are important to us, and for me language is crucial. References are also vital for me, as well as sitters who pay attention to detail. I’ve had applications where the sitters have used the wrong name, not paid attention to my needs, nor given relevant responses. With my sitter’s hat on, I only apply if I’m sure I can fulfill the commitment. I check the pets’ names and gender, as I would feel bad to refer to a male when the pet is a female. I know I am not strong enough to walk two big dogs, and I never suggest I look after horses, alpacas or sheep because of a lack of know how. My answer to a new offer is very considered and it takes me time to write it. Because English is not my mother tongue, I look up words in the dictionary to make sure I am using them correctly. Applying to sits in the same region can make some owners suspicious or curious for my reasons which I always explain. For example, when I plan to sit solo, I say that occasionally I enjoy a break from my husband. Some are shocked I dare leave him alone (never for a long time), but others sound quite envious! One owner even suggested that I encourage his spouse to do the same!
Some things I've learned from having two hats! Good communication is important to me. I find it disappointing and discourteous when owners do not take time to read my applications or reply within a week. I know that sitters can take rejection personally, especially if there is no reason given for declining the application. As an owner I select sitters quickly, using the pause button to avoid being overwhelmed by offers, and inform everyone nicely once my choice is made. Early on I faced some disappointments such as lack of space for my clothes, and no essential information about the pets (vet address and account details, medications, pet routines). I have learnt that lesson. Now before confirming I ask many more questions. I request a welcome guide or home book and I insist if I do not get one. I want to know if the location is in a remote area, if an older pet is badly ill, if car parking will be difficult or expensive, and how far away the bus or train station is. So communication before a sit is essential.
I’ve learned to try and anticipate my sitters’ needs too. I provide them with useful information on amenities, interesting things to see and do around my home depending on their age, nationality, financial resources, food tastes, etc. Because I’ve experienced cancellations I now tend to stay in contact (months ahead of the sit) with the owners who have chosen me. I give them regular news so that I can check that their plans have not changed.
During the sit Like many pet owners who worry about their furry kids, I ask to receive daily news. I was very anxious on one occasion when I could not reach my sitters. After three days, I was ready to call my neighbors to see if they could check what was happening at home. We did feel betrayed by our first sitter who told us all was well while we were in Peru, and a long way from home. In truth one of our pets had fallen ill and he’d been taking him to the vets. He called us just before Foudre passed away after promising he would make contact if anything occurred in our absence. So following instructions is a must. Maybe I’m more anxious than some, although I do assume that most people appreciate getting calls, messages, photos, or videos. I know some, on the other hand, do prefer to be left in peace for a while to enjoy their time away.
Some of my sitters!
After the sit ... Owners seem to trust me totally, with some even telling me to drop their keys in the letter box when they’ve arrived home very
When I’m sitting myself I always take a gift of some sort to thank the pet owner for their hospitality. I know not all sitters
behave the same.
For me I always prefer to meet my sitters before they leave and offer for them to stay
Finally I know how important it is to give and receive feedback and reviews. I always
the night if they prefer. We are all very different and again it’s important to talk
send my reviews very quickly to sitters and even to owners. I hope they will react
about this to agree on a procedure that works for us all.
quickly too, crossing my fingers that they will give those all important 5 stars!
I don’t ever expect tips, but I do consider it normal to leave a bottle of wine or a box of
Maybe it's because I’ve seen things from both sides that I do the things I do!
chocolates to thank our sitters. We’re always delighted they have left our home tidy and our pets happy.
You can follow Carine at her blog here: www.escapades-autour-du-monde.com
Carine & Vincent with Nuage & Zig
ISSUE 37 - OCTOBER 2021
HOUSE SITTING MAGAZINE Editors Vanessa Anderson & Ian Usher Publisher Ian Usher Proofreading by Nicky Mackenzie Contributors Issue 37 Doreen Cumberford, Jenny Lincoln, Lamia Walker, Ian Usher, Contributors from the Facebook Group, Journey Jensen, Carine Lefant, Andrew Redfern
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