It’s been an even 500 days since we became homeless nomads. We sold the house and nearly everything we owned. We left home in the van only to sell the van as we hopped on a plane to Fiji en route to Australia and New Zealand for a string of housesits. We continue our homeschooling with a worldschool mindset and continue working remotely on a distributed team.
We do our best to “be here now” and avoid treating travel like a checklist, but here are some stats on our 500 days.
We’ve hit 6 countries (Fiji, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Canada, England)
11 housesits (all 5 star reviews from our hosts) for 350 days housesitting
28 short term rent/hotel/airbnb/campsites or other paid accommodations for 120 days
30 days staying with family & friends
Cared for around 145 pets and animals as trusted sitters
31 Kangaroo (4 infant joeys, 3 toddlers and the rest adults)
10 Rented Cars, Vans or people movers
1 purchased (and sold) van in Canada
1 purchased minivan in the UK (not sold yet)
55430 Miles traveled
Around the same total expenses for the nomad beds & planes & cars vs the same amount of time at home paying the mortgage and bills and usual life expenses. It’s been quite an adventure and incredibly educational for the whole family.
Who knows if we’ll go another 500 days, but no regrets here on where we are now and where we’ve been the past 500 days!
So, how do we (a family of 6) afford all this travel? We’ve had this question over and over. To appease or travel bug we initially had the plan to buy an RV or 5th wheel trailer and travel North America via campsites. There would be a fairly large upfront cost of purchasing the RV and/or truck. Plus, since I work remotely, dealing with mobile internet options looked expensive at best. We love the idea of taking home with us though, there’s something to be said for having our own space which we could transport to any place. Plus, we’d mainly be staying in campsites, and we love camping. I also had an international travel itch and I worried an RV wouldn’t scratch my itch for long and I’d still be restless. Simultaneously, we looked into long term airbnb/vrbo hopping. Since monthly rates are much better than the standard rental rates, plus we’ve heard you can negotiate even better rates if you contact the owner previously.
After some discussion and research online we started considering housesitting. The more we looked, the more sense it made for us. There is even a website that connects sitters with those looking for house and pet sitters called trusted house sitters. We set up a profile and browse available sites and apply. It’s set up for pet sitting and house sitting, so not only do we get to watch for someone’s house, but we get to watch their pets too! There are dogs and cats of course, but also horses, chickens and even kangaroo! Saying goodbye to our own furry family members was one of the hardest parts of preparing for this lifestyle change for our family. So, we’re happy to have the option to include animals in our world travels.
Trusted house sitters has international listings too! So with a passport and a desire you can go sit all over the globe! We get to visit new places as we house and pet sit. It’s a classic win-win! We take care of someone’s home while they’re away and we get a furnished place to stay. The homes will have a home feel and furry friends to love while we save on our budget to do things while we’re there. Many house sits are in a home that has a stable internet connection already. Some house sitting are asking for a weekend or a few days, but some (the ones were more interested in) are for months at a time! We can stay in a country for a couple months at a time usually without even needing a visa, just a passport. So, our first house sit is in Colorado since we had some open time between a work trip and a family reunion. Then we’re going international and flying to the Pacific for a few more: 4 lined up in Australia and New Zealand through October!
House sitting seemed like a crazy idea when we first heard about it, but the more we looked into it, the more sense it made for our family and our plan. We were able to go international and have a home base that feels like a home (because it is), enjoy the company of pets and make some local connections with people that actually live in the places we visit. We have been able to secure 5 months of housesitting in under two months of membership. We’re still new to the site and the process, but as we go we’ll only get better at it, we’ll even rack up reviews from our sits that will better qualify us for future sits. It has been a slight struggle for us to find family friendly homes and pets, but enough opportunities that welcome us, appreciate our vision and are happy to have us in their home to keep an eye on things and walk the dogs.
If you’re interested in trying housesitting out, go check out trusted house sitters, (this link will give us both a discount). While the house sitting itself has no monetary exchange, you do have to sign up for an account on the website with a fee, which I’m ok with, since it ensures that the housesits and applicants are serious users and not just casual curious browsers or spam.