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Start up out and about

Cozy Mexican winter on the beach with this furry guy.

Invest in your startup by house sitting.

When I first left the U.S. it was to work remotely on the paradise island of Ambergris Caye, Belize for 1/2 of the cost of working from Washington D.C. I had an awesome 3 room place where I worked from my terrace with a killer Caribbean view for the winter. It included utilities and internet. That’s a pretty good deal for a budding entrepreneur, right?

It gets better my lovelies.

There is a bartering community circle called House Sitting. Homeowners/renters post ads for a live-in individual to provide security and minimal care for their home while they are away for an extended period of time. Typically this service is done in exchange for a home stay free of charge that includes utilities and internet.

My first out of 25 house sits working remotely: Mexico | 9 months in a 2 br cottage with 1 dog | rent free.

Okay I’ll stop teasing you with photos and fluffy descriptions. Let’s go straight to the meat of the matter:

How do you land a cool situation like this???
Who the hell do you have to know????

I’m a good person to know but to be fair, there are thousands of folks who are supporting each other in this community exchange around the world. Below are the top groups that helped me into the house sitting network.

House Sitting Academy

I started with house sitting super pros, Nat & Jodie who traveled the world rent free for 2 years when I spied their FB vlog in a travel group. These ladies give thorough guidance in setting up your online presence from no experience in house sitting to slick domestic professional in less than a week, with an honest listing of your skills and references. The nominal membership to their academy site included memberships to house sitting platforms to land gigs and participation in a community of seasoned house sitters who share elite house sit referrals and current trends in travel and the house sitting world. I landed my first gig 2 weeks after I went through their guided course and took advantage of included startup benefits. Listen, house sitting is not brain surgery BUT it is a social commitment sealed with as little as a virtual handshake. This dynamic duo shows you the blind spots in coordinating these social arrangements and building the professional boundaries necessary to achieve an awesome experience for both the owner and yourself.

House Sitting Magazine

This periodical is packed with articles from seasoned house and pet sitters that will enlighten you on the concept of house sitting. You will be able to weigh your options as you gain knowledge of this growing community.

Facebook Expat Groups

Visit expat groups by country and use the search term: house sitting in each group to view past discussions between owners and sitters to see how arrangements are made in that region.

House Sitting Match Platforms

I started with these 2 nominal platforms:

Caretaker Gazette

Mind My House

They both provided me with many opportunities to chose from all over the world.

Here are a few other platforms that come highly recommended:

Trusted House Sitters

Nomador

House Sit Match

I never had a chance to use these platforms because, guess what? Word of mouth is REAL. After my very first house sit assignment, I accepted 5 referrals that took me through all of Central America. It was approximately 2 years before I needed to use a matching platform again. Being a part of the House Sitting Academy network provides awesome referrals and word of mouth had spread about my caring service from country to country, so my references just speak for themselves.

Hopkins, Belize: Sunset with sandy Charlie

My 3 tips for anyone looking to jump into the house sitting network

  1. Know how you want to live and what you want to accomplish for yourself in your house sit assignment.
  2. Stick to the list of security, gardening and pet duties you are willing to carry out. For example, I don’t garden. My limit is watering and nothing more. Thus I don’t accept sit offers that ask for basic gardening tasks. Don’t worry, this tactic will not limit your opportunities. There are many and one will be the perfect match for you.
  3. Consider the visa process and additional country fees, flight and ground travel costs, the exact location of the sit and duration of the house sit. These points can make for a bad experience if not planned in detail with care.

In just a few weeks you can embark on a world adventure in comfort just as you embark on your new startup idea for the price of a plane ticket.

1 year in, my mac and I made it to the jungles of Costa Rica.
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