Housesitting seems to be a hot topic at the moment. And it just happens to be what I am doing right now too! It’s part of what I think of as the caring and sharing economy, right up there with Airbnb (which has really taken off lately in Australia), Uber (which is not having such a good run here) and Couchsurfing . There’s a huge amount of trust involved as with housesitting it is often complete strangers who have you stay in their house while they are away. Usually part of the deal is that you will look after their beloved pets. That’s the part I love!
I’m in the Clare Valley looking after a property with two dogs, one cat, six chickens, twenty goats and one alpaca. It’s a pretty sweet gig, especially when the weather is lovely like it is today. And when the Clare Valley Gourmet Weekend just happens to be on while I’m here, well that’s an added bonus. On Saturday after I walked the dogs I headed off to the Gourmet Market in Clare and picked up a substantial swag of treats. Some of which I consumed on the spot of course! There were lots of events on at the wineries nearby too. Some of that is wasted on me as I don’t drink. Anymore. I’ll save that story for another day.
Another great thing about this location is that it’s right on the Riesling Rail Trail. I have discovered that rail trails are my perfect cycling option. There is a pop-up cafe the Legless Dog that opens on the weekends along the rail trail about 2km from the house. I can walk the dogs there and have a lovely coffee and cake and lunch as well if I hang around too long! If I want to cycle I can go about 7km in one direction to a bakery. In the other direction I can go about 12km to Cogwebs, a cafe where the owner is a cyclist and she makes sure that the food she has is exactly what a hungry cyclist wants.
While I’m eating my way around the countryside here, my man is off doing the Outback Odyssey. That’s an event organised every two years by BikeSA and it’s over 900km of mountain biking from Adelaide to the Flinders Ranges. Beautiful scenery for sure but just a bit hard for me. Too cold, wet and muddy. I’m speaking from experience here because I did this ride two years ago and vowed at the finish that I was never doing it again.
When my man announced that he wanted to do this ride again I said I would look for a housesitting spot in the Clare Valley and just hang out there. This was one of those putting it out there moments. You know, telling the universe what you are looking for. And sure enough I found one! To get the housesitting jobs we are registered with two websites. It costs less than the price of a hotel for the night to register with them for a year and I think it’s worth the money. People often ask how we can afford to travel so much when we are early retirees and don’t have a huge amount of money behind us. Well this is one of the things we do. For worldwide travel (and daydreaming) we use Trusted Housesitters and for places in Australia it’s Aussie Housesitters.
Here I am hard at work housesitting with some happy pets who just don’t like getting up early!
If you are interested in reading some tips and stories about housesitting, here are some links.
Complete guide – a great place to start
Getting started – a useful step by step guide
Another getting started guide – plus links
Housesits around the world – many housesitters share their experiences
Hecktic travels – a couple who travel and housesit a lot
I haven’t bought any of the e-books that are mentioned on some of these sites. I just read a fair few articles, wrote a profile and jumped in!