Recent press releases highlighting the travels of retiree contemporary houses sitters are showing that becoming a senior is not a ticket to boredom, or a sedentary lifestyle. Retirees from around the world are finding house sitting to be the key that opens the door to unique, authentic and free travel to destinations that they had once only dreamed about.
Unfortunately, many retirees do not have the liberty of spending their retirement egg on pleasure items or excursions, such as traveling. Many individuals and couples who live on a fixed income have found that their funds usually only cover the basics of living. After a lifetime of raising families, running businesses and being everything to everyone, retirees are finding there is a way to travel and experience the world on their terms. House sitting is allowing them to connect with home owners who are in need of house sitters. In exchange for a valuable service, retirees are able to enter into new worlds, that would otherwise be closed to them.
Jim and Thelma McSkimming are retirees from New Zealand. This retired couple has only been house sitting for a year. They report that they would not be able to travel to all the places they dreamed of–if it were not for becoming house sitters. The McSkimmings have found that house sitting is the key that enables them to experience different cultures on a new level.
Jim and Thelma McSkimming reports they do not desire to travel as “tourists,” and quick visits to some popular areas does not satisfy them. The McSkimmings truly relish immersing themselves into new areas and they enjoy house sitting. House sitting lets them become mock citizens in various countries and gives them an authentic experience.
The McSkimmings had five months to allot for house sitting in the UK, and were thrilled when they were able to find five house sits. “We stayed in a beautiful 200 year-old stone cottage, which was previously a flour mill, in South Wales. We minded pigs, geese, miniature Dexter cattle and two adorable Border Collies,” the McSkimmings report. They have also recently had a stay in a Rectory in County Cork, Ireland, where they made friends with an African parrot they were minding. Many house sits involve the care taking of pets. The McSkimmings report that this is a one of the highlights of their stays and it fulfills their love of animals.
The wonderful experience of house sitting is echoed by Brenda Marie Batty. Ms. Batty is a retiree from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Ms. Batty has been a house sitter since 1999. She has visited seven different countries, and reports that her favorite house sits are in Greece, France and Italy. “House sitting gives me the opportunity to travel further afield for a longer period of time–to places I otherwise could not afford to stay in on my retired budget.”
Like the McSkimmings, Ms. Batty truly enjoys sinking into the culture and lifestyle of the various areas that she visits. She has found that each country has welcomed her with open arms. On a recent house sit in Greece, she truly felt one with her neighbors. “I even got into white washing steps and walls in Greece . . . I joined in with the island folk who were all in preparation for Easter’s arrival. I really felt like a local then! It was lots of fun, too. I enjoy travel on this level, meeting new people and becoming part of their communities.”
House sitters are in high demand around the world. Retirees who register as house sitters are among the first sitters looked at by home owners. Home owners know that life experience cannot be replicated. Home owners have confidence in seniors and trust them to watch over and care for their home, possessions and pets.
Many times senior house sitters are asked to come back for return stays. Ms. Batty has had numerous repeat visits. Chances are great that the McSkimmings will also be asked for a repeat stay–as this is their first year and they are just now getting their feet wet and making acquaintances with home owners. Both the McSkimmings and Ms. Batty report that home owners are warm and welcoming. Friendships are easily forged and many home owners keep up with “their” house sitters year round.
Both the McSkimmings and Ms. Batty report that maturity, flexibility and a love for animals are essential to being a good house sitter. However, to make the proper connection with prospective home owners registering with a reputable house sitting site is key. HouseCarers is sitting pretty on top as “the” place to make safe connections. Ms. Batty doesn’t hide her enthusiasm or appreciation of Ian White and HouseCarers.com. “Two thumbs up for HouseCarers!”