After selling our home of twenty years in New Hampshire, we began living on our sailboat full-time in 2014. As if that were not crazy enough, we then decided to sell that boat and buy a new one. So, now we were houseless and boatless and it would be a year before our new boat would be complete. Unsure what we wanted to do with this found time, we knew what we did not want. We did not want to spend another winter in New England. We did not want to sit around waiting for a year. We wanted to do something interesting and adventurous. With only a minor awareness of house sitting, we thought this might be the perfect fit for our needs. But we only knew of these opportunities through word-of-mouth. We had no idea about the many online, worldwide platforms that bring together homeowners and sitters. This was starting to get interesting!
But lets back up and fill in a little of our history. Lisa was a stay-at-home mom and then worked in education for eight years, recently earning her Masters degree. Greg just retired after thirty-three years in aerospace. He is also a retired Army helicopter pilot. As if that is not enough, Greg is also holds US Coast Guard 100 Ton Captain’s License. We have two sons who have flown the coop and are both thriving in college. You may have noticed that as soon as our nest was empty, we sold it. That is because we have been planning to retire on our boat for a while. We have even lived aboard twice before, during sabbatical years. Those were both incredible adventures! During this time we traveled as a family from New England, down the east coast, and throughout the Eastern Caribbean, home schooling all along the way. Needless to say, our sons were not surprised when we hatched our retirement plan.
With the idea of house sitting for a whole year taking shape in our minds, we got right to work researching the possibilities. We joined Trusted Housesitters first, as it looked to have the most activity. Off to a great start, we were chosen for two house sits on that site. Having completed and enjoyed those experiences, we were off and running. We joined five more platforms and subscribed to a newsletter with opportunities. It was the start of something great! To date, we have completed five house sits that we obtained from online platforms. Most recently we decided to return to our former hometown of twenty years for the summer. I offered our services to friends in the area through email and Facebook and had an overwhelming response for local house sits. Our summer is completely booked. This adds another five gigs for a total of ten house sits as the year draws to a close.
This has been an amazing experience. We have traveled, had adventures, seen old friends, made new ones. And all of this, we knew nothing about before October 2015. What a fun ride it has been. While our period of full-time house sitting is drawing to a close, we are not done. We will continue to participate in the house sitting community even after we move aboard our new boat in October 2016. We will live and travel on our boat, spending summers in New England and winters in Florida/Bahamas/Caribbean. When we travel to Atlanta and Austin to visit relatives, we will look for house sits in the area. We will keep our eyes open for exotic locations that perhaps we are unable to get to by boat, but have always wanted to visit. And finally, we are available for house sits with water access, dockage, or marina slips that we can access with our boat.
Please visit our House Sitting References page to read homeowners’ thoughts on our experiences.