By Jim Selig
A few years ago I knew that retirement was in my near future and was both excited by the prospect and more than a little fearful to lose that sense of purpose driving my day. We certainly looked forward to losing the regiment of the 9 to 5 and relished the freedom to travel. But once my wife and I finally retired, we soon realized a number of things. One, that visiting every temple, palace and tourist traps was not our idea of fun. Two, we really enjoy getting to know the people as much (and maybe moreso) than the places we visited. And lastly, we like having SOME responsibilities as it fulfils our sense of purpose. So having a lawn to cut or a pool to clean was a welcomed chore for me. Taking dogs for walks is a treat for both me and the puppies. All that and getting to know the neighbours is an added bonus.
We knew Phil and Sophie and were familiar with their website “The Amazing Stroll” so we decided to look more seriously at house and pet sitting. As I said, I like looking after pools, lawns and doing generally house maintenance and my wife loves spoiling anything with four legs.
So here is what I can tell you about our entry into this world. There are a lot of common mistakes that new “wannabe” pet sitters make and if you want to avoid them, I strongly recommend that you read the house sitting articles and watch the videos on “The Amazing Stroll”. It will cover the basics “what is right for me?” to specifics like “how to best find available opportunities, how to present yourself and what to look for “job” posting.
I have gone so far as to contact them directly to ask for advice and gotten tremendous support.
As a result of their help, we have secured a 5 week pet sit in (Nov-Dec) in Queretaro Mexico, several house sits in Arizona, USA (Dec-Jan) and one in Bergerac, France (Feb). I follow their website with great interest and I would certainly recommend that if you are looking to pet sit for others or have others pet sit for you, you should follow it as well. That is how The Amazing Stroll has changed my life.
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