Hosting the worlds first House Sitting Summit

Our love and appreciation for having stumbled into the wonderful world of house sitting is beyond words.

The proof that this is what we are meant to be doing shows up in the absolute ease and flow we experience in finding and saying yes to the amazing assignments offered. In almost 4 years of traveling the globe with house sitting we have enjoyed 95.5% free accommodation across 4 Continents.

Hosting the House Sitting Summit is another extension of our love for this incredible opportunity to feel a sense of purpose while enjoying parts of the world that most of us would generally never think to experience.

The idea for the House Sitting Summit was not new to us but it did finally come to life while we were house sitting in Granada, Nicaragua. Our friend Beck Power had recently hosted the Idea Summit and was talking about hosting another Summit in January. This news was the inspiration we needed to take action to turn this baby into a reality!

The first step was to decide when to host the House Sitting Summit.

Looking at the calendar wondering where house sitting would take us in 2017, we realized that the end of the year was fast approaching. In the world of house sitting this is the busiest time of year, with the most opportunities becoming available, and whoa-nelly, it was now just around the corner!

Perhaps the stars had aligned.

We estimated the number of weeks it would take to organize everything and low and behold, found the ideal dates to coincide with enough lead time to inspire and help budding travelers get started in house sitting… the US Thanksgiving weekend, November 25–28, 2016!

Who doesn’t love a win/win solution?

The aim of the House Sitting Summit is simple — to bring awareness of this awesome form of travel to more people across the globe.

The outcome we hope to achieve is for the three dozen contributors to inspire as many people as possible with their personal stories, tips and advice. And also for people to take action and get their first all important reference during a time when home & pet owners really need house sitters the most.

Win/Win — YES!

Year in, year out we see a dramatic increase in home & pet owners worldwide advertising their need for house sitters over the end of year holiday period. It saddens us to learn that some of these assignments go unfilled each year, simply because there are not enough house sitters available to cover them all, and leaving home owners in a quandary as to how to take their holiday leave.

So can the House Sitting Summit help fill more of these opportunities?

We certainly believe so! In fact many of the seasoned house sitters from all walks of life and all with unique experiences to share, say they used the holiday period as a launch pad for getting direct experience, references and confidence to apply for (and be awarded) the sought after house sitting assignments in amazing destinations of the world.

We are thrilled to be showcasing these experienced house sitters, including award-winning travel bloggers, TBEX speakers, Amazon best-selling authors, and even @hecktictravels National Geographic travelers of the year (2014), all sharing their love for this form of travel, inspiring others and helping to spread the word about the benefits of house sitting.

And there are so many benefits!

It was almost unnaturally easy thinking up the 33 topics that are being covered in the House Sitting Summit. And an even easier process was matching the topic to the house sitters who we felt could best shine their light of wisdom on. We are so blessed to have met both in person and online this wonderful group of experienced sitters and it is an honor to showcase their advice, tips and stories.

We love connecting with our peers, the fellow house sitters who share our passion and positive service focused mindset. In fact we first started reaching out to meet these like minds at the end of 2013.

It was the act of networking with the travel bloggers, the authors of house sitting books, the creators of match-making platforms and the hundreds of people who would like to one day get out a see the world at a much slower pace, that formed the foundation of the largest Facebook group supporting the house sitting community (now hosted by Tim & Louise).

This network grew quickly and the advice, tips and wisdom shared in the group has resulted in thousands of people now house sitting their way around the world and of course, providing such a win/win service to the home & pet owners who entrust their valued possessions with sitters.

The House Sitting Summit is not our first project dedicated to helping others start on this rewarding lifestyle. We are proud to say that we have provided direction, support and education through our online course, The House Sitting Academy, the first version of the digital magazine now known as House Sitting Magazine (published by Ian Usher & Vanessa Anderson), one series of the House Sitting Legends podcast where we interviewed 16 amazing sitters who go above and beyond the call of duty, and have also contributed to the Paradise Pack in its first two years.

So far everything about this project has flowed. We will share the process and results of every step in a Behind-The-Summit-Scenes series here on Medium.

Stay tuned!