Stephie D

Napier
Napier

Solo world traveler having bucked the system and left the U.S. to follow her dream.

Comments

I left it all behind to travel but renting is expensive. I was able to reduce my budget drastically by house sitting. Ask Me Anything!

Yeah it's not comfortable thinking you're being watched. And it's really unfair (maybe illegal) to not let the sitter know that. I don't know the laws behind 'nanny cams'.

Jun 27, 4:04PM EDT 0

I left it all behind to travel but renting is expensive. I was able to reduce my budget drastically by house sitting. Ask Me Anything!

I wouldn't say most, but had the feeling a couple did. 

Jun 27, 3:47PM EDT 0

I left it all behind to travel but renting is expensive. I was able to reduce my budget drastically by house sitting. Ask Me Anything!

Having to abide by certain hours and it may not be near things you wanted to do or see. Also, if you jump around from one sit to another, you have to schedule them pretty close together, which isn't always possible. This is what may lead you to a location you didn't really want to be in.

Jun 25, 4:39AM EDT 0

I left it all behind to travel but renting is expensive. I was able to reduce my budget drastically by house sitting. Ask Me Anything!

You don't get paid to house sit unless there is additional work required of you which the owner may or may not pay you for.

Jun 24, 8:48PM EDT 0

I left it all behind to travel but renting is expensive. I was able to reduce my budget drastically by house sitting. Ask Me Anything!

Having my own garden and knowing where everything is in the kitchen!

Jun 24, 8:47PM EDT 0

I left it all behind to travel but renting is expensive. I was able to reduce my budget drastically by house sitting. Ask Me Anything!

Other than cutting up chicken hearts for a cat, I can't really think of anything odd I've been asked to do. 

Jun 24, 5:57AM EDT 0

I left it all behind to travel but renting is expensive. I was able to reduce my budget drastically by house sitting. Ask Me Anything!

If I've house sat before; do I like animals; what I do for a living; if I had owned a house. Typical stuff like that. Some people will even lend you their car while away which is great. They'll just put you on their insurance. VERY helpful if you're not within walking distance of a shop.

Jun 24, 5:56AM EDT 0

I left it all behind to travel but renting is expensive. I was able to reduce my budget drastically by house sitting. Ask Me Anything!

They're usually very trusting (obviously) and love their animals. Typically they're pretty laid back and helpful. I did have one though that was really crazy and I had to abandon the sit. She had changed her mind before I even arrived (but didn't tell me) that they were leaving. She said they'd find somewhere to go though but then went completely nuts so the best thing to do was just leave. It was a bad situtation.

Jun 24, 5:55AM EDT 0

I left it all behind to travel but renting is expensive. I was able to reduce my budget drastically by house sitting. Ask Me Anything!

Anything from a crappy apartment to a doctor's house on a vineyard with a tennis court, pool and spa! I've had a townhouse that was near the beach to a house right on the beach. You can pretty much pick and choose where you want to be and if there are a lot of choices, the kind of house you want to be in (as long as they pick you!). You'll have competition more than likely.

Jun 24, 5:51AM EDT 0

I left it all behind to travel but renting is expensive. I was able to reduce my budget drastically by house sitting. Ask Me Anything!

There's really no temptation...I don't really need to know plus I wouldn't want them doing it to me if the tables were turned. You have your own room to stay in and you keep out of rooms you shouldn't be in. Easy.

Jun 24, 5:49AM EDT 0

I left it all behind to travel but renting is expensive. I was able to reduce my budget drastically by house sitting. Ask Me Anything!

Komodo island, Madagascar, Borneo, Ecuador, Italy, Greece, Palau and some other Pacific islands.

Jun 24, 5:48AM EDT 0

I left it all behind to travel but renting is expensive. I was able to reduce my budget drastically by house sitting. Ask Me Anything!

I suppose being away from my family/friends and selling everything I owned were a couple of sacrifices. I also got away from working with wild animals, which was why I had left in the first place. A lot of house sitting jobs aren't going to be accessible to things you may want to accomplish like volunter work. 

Jun 24, 5:47AM EDT 0

I left it all behind to travel but renting is expensive. I was able to reduce my budget drastically by house sitting. Ask Me Anything!

Yes, I've turned down a lot of them. Could have been because I needed a car or the place looked run down or it wasn't in a decent neighbourhood. I always google the person's name or address and I had found one that had a really bad reputation (that was for helpx work). Go with your gut!

Jun 24, 5:45AM EDT 0

I left it all behind to travel but renting is expensive. I was able to reduce my budget drastically by house sitting. Ask Me Anything!

You should be mature enough to have owned a house and paid your bills, know how to fix things that go wrong and be proactive in getting emergency numbers and such from the owners should anything go wrong. Always keep them up to date every few days about the pets and anything that happens. I wouldn't want a 20something to be my house sitter, so if you're older, you've got that working for you.

Jun 24, 5:44AM EDT 0

I left it all behind to travel but renting is expensive. I was able to reduce my budget drastically by house sitting. Ask Me Anything!

Be a great sitter for everyone! Although sometimes it's not always possible due to circumstances beyond your control. I've had some bad ones before. By building up references of past sits is a great way to ensure steady work.

Jun 24, 5:42AM EDT 0

I left it all behind to travel but renting is expensive. I was able to reduce my budget drastically by house sitting. Ask Me Anything!

They usually want references. Sometimes (like my first job) they do Skype interview and email back and forth. Often they can just get a good feel for who you are by getting to know you. Some want a police report which is a good thing to get anyway just to show to them.

Jun 24, 5:41AM EDT 0

I left it all behind to travel but renting is expensive. I was able to reduce my budget drastically by house sitting. Ask Me Anything!

I've never paid for rent since I started house sitting.

Jun 24, 5:40AM EDT 0

I left it all behind to travel but renting is expensive. I was able to reduce my budget drastically by house sitting. Ask Me Anything!

I'd look for ones that are country specific. Oz has trustedhousesitter and NZ has kiwihousesitters and there's one in the US that's global. You can also try caretaker's gazette but you pay for a subscription per year which is emailed to you along with updates. Helpx is another one as is wwoof.

Jun 24, 5:39AM EDT 0

I left it all behind to travel but renting is expensive. I was able to reduce my budget drastically by house sitting. Ask Me Anything!

Pretty chill...ask what time the animals get up and get fed or need a walk and work around them. Most of the time is free though and you can do whatever you want. Grocery shopping, beach time, work from home...it's very laid back. 

Jun 24, 5:37AM EDT 0

I left it all behind to travel but renting is expensive. I was able to reduce my budget drastically by house sitting. Ask Me Anything!

You kind of end up working around the travel because of the house sitting. I suppose if you have your heart set on a particular location, you look to see what's there. That's sort of how I did it. 

Jun 24, 5:36AM EDT 0

I left it all behind to travel but renting is expensive. I was able to reduce my budget drastically by house sitting. Ask Me Anything!

It varies from a few days to a year or more! Ones in the United States don't last long because people don't get much vacation time. Down under, they get a long time so it can be for a couple of months. It all depends on the situation.

Jun 24, 5:35AM EDT 0

I left it all behind to travel but renting is expensive. I was able to reduce my budget drastically by house sitting. Ask Me Anything!

Yes, most of the time pets are involved.

Jun 24, 5:34AM EDT 0

I left it all behind to travel but renting is expensive. I was able to reduce my budget drastically by house sitting. Ask Me Anything!

You don't get paid to house sit unless they offer it to you for doing work beyond the scope of just watching the pets and maintaining the house. I.e., if they have farm animals that need attention, they'll sometimes pay for that as it's over 4 hours of work per day. 

Jun 24, 5:33AM EDT 0

I left it all behind to travel but renting is expensive. I was able to reduce my budget drastically by house sitting. Ask Me Anything!

If you're looking to do things in a certain location, get on their daily deal site for that town ahead of time to see if there's anything you want to grab. Some also have event special websites like for tourists. They're last minute kind of deals so you can book a week or less ahead of time for a discount. Also, cook for yourself to save money. Figure out the local transport system...some are really good (Australia) while others are almost non-existant (New Zealand).

Jun 24, 5:32AM EDT 0

I left it all behind to travel but renting is expensive. I was able to reduce my budget drastically by house sitting. Ask Me Anything!

The closest thing I can think of is a worm farm.

Jun 24, 5:30AM EDT 0

I left it all behind to travel but renting is expensive. I was able to reduce my budget drastically by house sitting. Ask Me Anything!

If you mean before I started house sitting, I owned pets of my own and had worked with wild animals and also a kennel. Luckily, I've never had to baby-sit on a 'job.' Although I did watch some kids that were young teenagers sometimes but they were pretty self sufficient.

Jun 24, 5:28AM EDT 0

I left it all behind to travel but renting is expensive. I was able to reduce my budget drastically by house sitting. Ask Me Anything!

Sometimes...you always need to ask ahead of time to find out if it's ok.

Jun 24, 5:27AM EDT 0

I left it all behind to travel but renting is expensive. I was able to reduce my budget drastically by house sitting. Ask Me Anything!

Word of mouth...ask locals if they know anyone. Sometimes they'll have posts in places like grocery stores (in NZ/Oz at least) and sometimes you'll find ads in the local rag.

Jun 24, 5:26AM EDT 0

I left it all behind to travel but renting is expensive. I was able to reduce my budget drastically by house sitting. Ask Me Anything!

No mortgage payments; sometimes it's a REALLY nice house; proximity of beaches/towns or even in the middle of nowhere. It's almost always fun.

Jun 24, 5:25AM EDT 0

I left it all behind to travel but renting is expensive. I was able to reduce my budget drastically by house sitting. Ask Me Anything!

Usually I'll look for an airbnb or homestay or possibly a helpx position. When I felt like splurging, I'd rent a hotel/motel room somewhere for a while. They'll usually give discounts depending on the time of year for a stay longer than a week or two.

Jun 24, 5:24AM EDT 0

I left it all behind to travel but renting is expensive. I was able to reduce my budget drastically by house sitting. Ask Me Anything!

I had to cut up chicken hearts to feed a cat! lol

Jun 24, 5:23AM EDT 0

I left it all behind to travel but renting is expensive. I was able to reduce my budget drastically by house sitting. Ask Me Anything!

Yep, sometimes! Depends on how long the house sit is for. Some people like people to live almost year round as it might be a vacation home for them and they only use it a couple of times a year. You'll probably have to pay some bills though (electric, wifi, water) but not 'rent.'

Jun 24, 5:22AM EDT 0

I left it all behind to travel but renting is expensive. I was able to reduce my budget drastically by house sitting. Ask Me Anything!

Christmas usually.

Jun 24, 5:20AM EDT 0

I left it all behind to travel but renting is expensive. I was able to reduce my budget drastically by house sitting. Ask Me Anything!

I'd love to see Madagascar!

Jun 24, 5:20AM EDT 0

I left it all behind to travel but renting is expensive. I was able to reduce my budget drastically by house sitting. Ask Me Anything!

I did when I moved to Australia and NZ but I'm really not comfortable living with other people, especially strangers so I never persued it. They also want you to lock in for a while (at least 6 months or more). They were typically younger than me by a whole lot and I thought that wouldn't have gone over well either.

Jun 24, 5:19AM EDT 0

I left it all behind to travel but renting is expensive. I was able to reduce my budget drastically by house sitting. Ask Me Anything!

If they have pets, the typical stuff, walking them, spending time with them and of course feeding. Of course they expect you to keep the house up to par and if you want to work on the yard, that's typically fine with them. They also expect you to stay every night. If you think there will be an exception, you should clear it with them first. Some want you to pay a bill or two depending on how long they'll be gone. This is acceptable usually. 

Jun 24, 5:18AM EDT 0

I traveled and lived abroad for 3 years, averaging $8900 per year for all expenses. Ask Me Anything!

Good for you! Keep on!

Jun 19, 8:35PM EDT 0

I traveled and lived abroad for 3 years, averaging $8900 per year for all expenses. Ask Me Anything!

England, Wales, US, Mexico, Belize, Costa Rica, Panama, Trinidad, Guyana, New Zealand, Australia, Nicaragua, US Virgin Islands, Hawaii (still US but wayyy out there)

Jun 19, 8:35PM EDT 0

I traveled and lived abroad for 3 years, averaging $8900 per year for all expenses. Ask Me Anything!

They were more scared than I was. My dad said if I hadn't been traveling to Central America for as long as I did, he'd think I was crazy. But he knew that I wouldn't do anything I wasn't fully prepared for. My mom was all for it. Both of my parents are world travellers as well. They just wanted me to be happy, so I appreciated that.

Jun 19, 8:33PM EDT 0

I traveled and lived abroad for 3 years, averaging $8900 per year for all expenses. Ask Me Anything!

Well they were all interesting in their own ways so that's a tough question to answer. Belizeans and Guyanese are quite self-sufficient and I learned a lot from them as far as growing your own food. Kiwi's do a lot of farming and gardening. I will always grow my own fruits and veggies from now on, whereas in the States it was sort of an afterthought. It's good to know where your food comes from and know it's pesticide-free.

Jun 18, 4:37PM EDT 0

I traveled and lived abroad for 3 years, averaging $8900 per year for all expenses. Ask Me Anything!

Well, in Central America I had attempted to learn spanish a year before setting off. However, it wasn't really up to par. I learned most by being around the locals. Although it never really hindered me as most people could speak English if necessary. Honestly, I don't recall having many difficulties during my travels. I sort of planned where I would have to go next as far as where to stay, but other than that, I just let life take me where it wanted instead of rigorous planning. I found it worked out better that way.

Jun 18, 4:34PM EDT 0

I traveled and lived abroad for 3 years, averaging $8900 per year for all expenses. Ask Me Anything!

Quite easily, really. When you factor in house sitting, that takes away most of your expense (they pay the utility bills as well typically). So my only expenses were food, cell phone, entertainment, toiletries and travel related. Clothes are super cheap at second hand stores. Had I not taken up house sitting or work exchange, my budget would have easily tripled depending on where I was. 

Jun 18, 4:32PM EDT 0

I traveled and lived abroad for 3 years, averaging $8900 per year for all expenses. Ask Me Anything!

Overall, the fact that people everywhere but the U.S. were open and helpful and friendlier than I was used to seeing. They were also much more laid back and happy. In New Zealand, during a transaction such as checking out at a grocery store, you'll get no less than 4 thank you's. There are roadwork signs that apologize for the inconvenience and thank YOU. lol. During a transaction, they'll say: "That'll be $20.50 thank you." I'm used to hearing 'please' instead. 

Jun 18, 4:11AM EDT 0

I traveled and lived abroad for 3 years, averaging $8900 per year for all expenses. Ask Me Anything!

Costa Rica, Australia, New Zealand, Virgin Islands, Belize.

Jun 18, 4:06AM EDT 0

I traveled and lived abroad for 3 years, averaging $8900 per year for all expenses. Ask Me Anything!

The U.S. still nails it as far as standard of living. NZ homes are typically drafty and cold unless you're really rich. Australian homes aren't bad but electricity is expensive there so it can take a while to get used to the heat inside the house during the day since they don't tend to use A/C. 

Jun 17, 5:44PM EDT 0

I traveled and lived abroad for 3 years, averaging $8900 per year for all expenses. Ask Me Anything!

Not really and in some cases I was living BETTER than I had. You really only need a few things...clothes, toiletries, food, a roof over your head and a computer! I still ate well, which I didn't skimp on much. If you think about it, your income mainly goes to your mortgage/rent and bills. Once you don't have those things, your expenses aren't that much. Money to travel, be it by air/bus/train and then having a free place to live (house sitting) or a cheap place like airbnb or homestays. You can typically buy a cheap plan for your phone or pay as you go as you won't be using it much. Cook at home instead of eating out, etc.

Jun 17, 5:43PM EDT 0

I traveled and lived abroad for 3 years, averaging $8900 per year for all expenses. Ask Me Anything!

I'll never stop traveling although sometimes I may settle down (like I am now). 

Jun 17, 5:40PM EDT 0

I traveled and lived abroad for 3 years, averaging $8900 per year for all expenses. Ask Me Anything!

I lived in Texas.

Jun 17, 5:39PM EDT 0

I traveled and lived abroad for 3 years, averaging $8900 per year for all expenses. Ask Me Anything!

I started at age 43.

Jun 17, 5:39PM EDT 0

I traveled and lived abroad for 3 years, averaging $8900 per year for all expenses. Ask Me Anything!

I've had a complete blast! I've met a lot of wonderful people and seen some amazing sights. I was much happier being alone than I would have been with a partner. It gave me the freedom to do whatever I wanted to and not at the mercy of someone else.

Jun 17, 5:39PM EDT 0
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