House Sitting: Know Thyself
Know Thyself: Magic Mirror
Start with establishing what you're capable of handling.
Be honest with who you are, what your skills are and why you want to House Sit.
Which animals have you cared for before?
What kind of climate are you used to?
Do you know how to maintain a swimming pool?
Are their any physical limitations you need to take into consideration?
Basically, we recommend that you ponder your want to and your can do.
We’re not saying that you should stick with your comfort zone, but to be aware that every type of House Sitting assignment comes with its set of challenges.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t try something new, just be upfront when applying that this would be a first for you.
Tip #1: For animals you’ve never cared for before but are interested in, we recommend that you try it out back home before applying on sits with such. Volunteer on a local farm or help a friend with their pets for the weekend. Personally, I always thought I’d want to care for horses until I helped out a friend with horses and picked up poop for three hours during a heavy rainstorm. That’s her daily reality!
Tip #2: Take a course. There are many you can sign up for. Be it in person, online or even books. A Homeowner might be more willing to take you on as a sitter and familiarise you with the required animal care if you’ve invested some time to research it yourself. i.e. https://housesittingmagazine.com/pet-care-and-first-aid/
Know Thyself: A winning hand
Which conditions must a House Sitting assignment meet in order to be considered a potential good fit?
Just to give you an idea, here are our must-haves:
Whatever the answers are, own it!
If you’re more a dog person, that’s fine. Urban more than rural? So be it!
Establishing these criteria in advance allows you to become more assertive and comfortable to say NO if approached by a Homeowner to House Sit and it’s not a right fit.
Accepting otherwise would be a disservice to the Homeowners, the pets and to you.
Know Thyself: Availability
If you’re going to apply on a House Sitting assignment, be sure that you can cover the entire duration.
If you’re working and must ask for vacation time, secure those days off with your employer ahead of time.
Any visa restrictions for the country you’re interested in House Sitting in? Better read up on that as well.
Same thing with flight costs. Certain destinations are more expensive during certain times of the year.
A close relative is terminally ill? Postpone applying on anything. Better not risk having to leave a House Sit mid-assignment.
Be it House Sitters or Homeowners, both parties are looking at expenses that are significant; flaking on a commitment can quickly become a financial disaster. Invest the time to perform your due diligence for a smooth House Sitting experience.
Know Thyself: Advertise yourself properly
Once your thought process on everything we’ve brought up so far is complete, go back to your House Sitting profile and review it once again.
Notice any discrepancies now that you have clearer picture of who you are and what you’re looking for out of your House Sitting Journey?
Invest the time to tweak whatever needs to be tweaked.
Just remember, your House Sitting profile is your “advertising window”. Let your true self shine through it!
Know Thyself: Purchase Power
Being from Canada, we’re very much aware of the sting of travelling with an undervalued currency.
Even with free accommodations through House Sitting, some destinations are unfortunately out of reach for us financially speaking.
Groceries, day-to-day items, restaurants… all of these can rack up our cost of living after exchange rates.
This might also be your case. To get a comparative with countries you’re interested in, we suggest you visit www.numbeo.com.
Also, be mindful that sites like these might make a destination seem inexpensive, however the information provided is often based on how the locals live. If rice & beans three meals a day isn’t your thing, expect to pay quite a premium for that peanut butter you’re craving.
Know Thyself: A formula that works
There you go! You now have a better idea as to what’s you’re winning formula to experience the best House Sitting has to offer!
It’s now time to go look at House Sitting assignments and apply on sits; which leads us to our next House Sitting article:
In this one, we take a look at how to be successful when applying on House Sitting assignments.
See you in a bit!
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