Recently, we had a chat with Kelly. She provides an epic service called Airnbeast.
Not only does she do travel Canada in her campervan house sitting, she also gives business owners the chance to have a holiday whilst she keeps it running for them.
Read on to find out how she ended up caring for a yacht, a crab and caterpillar!
Tell us a little bit about yourself – who are you, where are you from, for, do you do it full-time or sporadically
I had a dog walking business in Toronto from 2004 –2018 prior to that I was the hospitality business so I also offer small business sitting.
I sit full time since I don’t have a regular home, just my camper which is really only liveable in the warm Canadian months.
How many housesits have you had and where?
Many. Mostly in Toronto. Since COVID I’ve been on Vancouver Island BC
Why do you housesit? What is the main motivation?
Animals are my people so this is a great way to hang with them, travel and be free to go wherever I like.
How did you find out about house sitting?
It was part of my business but I discovered the exchange platform while I was researching sitting on the road.
Was it hard for you to secure your first housesitting gig? How many applications did you have to send before you got accepted for your first assignment?
The first sit I applied for (Trusted House Sitters) was a month in July at a hobby farm on Salt Spring Island, BC.
There were a bunch of applications and I got a response minutes after I applied. I think my vast experience gets me to the front of the line. Not always but most times.
Pros of House Sitting?
Travel. Beautiful settings. Animals. A way to fund my travels.
Have you had any funny housesitting experiences?
Not funny ha ha but interesting. I’ve never accepted a sit sight unseen but being nomadic is different.
Had a guy call and say he’s be in a nearby town to go to a fishing lodge with his buddies.
Would I mind staying on his yacht and take care of his dog? Um, let me think… YES! That was a fun weekend.
How do you decide on a destination?
Ideally, I go to an area on my bucket list but sometimes I end up where I need to be like 4 months on a mountain since it was a set place for most of the winter.
Cons of House Sitting?
Since I’m full time it’s tricky to stitch the sits together and not have to fill in the gaps with accommodations.
Fortunately, I have great friends that put up with me when I need a place to crash. They also get free pet sitting.
What’s been the biggest adventure so far?
Aside from the actual cashing in my condo, dissolving a successful business, and hitting the road at 60.
I did a 4 month winter sit in a remote area in BC, pretty much on a mountain.
Just me, my dog Booboo (she passed in 2019), three Frenchies, and a lone coyote that kept us company at a distance. I thought I’d like the “Living on an island” thing but I discovered I prefer a more populated area.
I learned a lot about myself in those 4 months.
Where has been your favorite house sit?
I honestly don’t have a favourite, they are all so different. I did love going to San Francisco and later Santa Barbera. California is awesome!
How much luggage do you travel with?
My whole life is in my camper.
Did you ever have any unusual pets to take care of or responsibilities that were out of the norm?
I’ve had to keep a child’s caterpillar alive. Once I had to feed a crab type thing in an aquarium with chop sticks. Sometimes it’s the clients who can be unusual.
Tips for others wanting to get started?
Be sure this is what you want. It’s not a cheap lifestyle, especially when you factor in travel and interim accommodations. Good to have a plan B.
Where to next (when you can)
I’m so busy right now. I’ll be staying on Vancouver Island until the fall. The plan is to head back to Ontario in the fall.
Ideally, I’d like to be east in the winters (I prefer snow to damp) and the coast in the summer (Vancouver Island is a camping Meca, lots of beautiful parks and hardly any bugs).
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