Recently, we had a chat with Rebecca. After completing over 50 pet sits in Canada, Rebecca decided to become a travelling house sitter. She has now cared for homes in Mexico and Colombia!
Below you’ll learn how Rebecca began her house-sitting adventure and how she landed a EPIC house sits in Mexico and Colombia
Tell us a little bit about yourself – who are you, where are you from, for, do you do it full-time or sporadically
My name is Rebecca Jacobs, and I am originally from Zimbabwe but have called Toronto, Canada home for about 15 years.
I have been petsitting for friends and family for many years, but started doing it more or less full time since 2020 when I gave up the apartment I was renting. Since then,
I have pet sit over 50 cats and dogs in Toronto alone! I have been travelling during Canada’s winter months for a few years.
Now I am hoping to join my love of petsitting with my love of travel with more opportunities for petsitting abroad.
I have taken care of a few dogs and cats in Oaxaca, Mexico, and may soon be dog sitting in Medellin, Colombia!
Why did you do petsitting? What is the primary motivation?
I love housesitting for a few reasons, including my love of animals. But the main motivation for me has been both my love of a nomadic lifestyle and financial reasons.
Toronto, where I live, has become incredibly expensive for a solo person, and so housesitting provides me a way to live in the city for reduced costs – all while also giving me the chance to explore different neighbourhoods and areas of the city!
How many housesits have you had and where?
Most of my housesits have been in Toronto, Canada as I use housesitting as a way to save on rent while living in the city. I have taken care of at least 40 different cats and around 10 different dogs in Toronto!
I’ve also cared for 3 dogs and 2 cats in Oaxaca, Mexico (in two different house sit opportunities.)
How did you find out about housesitting?
I have been petsitting informally for friends and family for years – but it was only in 2020 when a friend asked me housesit more formally and I learned about apps and websites that facilitated housesitting that I started doing it full-time.
What’s been the biggest adventure so far?
Staying in a rural town of Oaxaca, Mexico, with two dogs and two cats to care for! They were wonderful 😊 I hope to do more international housesitting in coming years, including my current travel within Colombia.
How do you decide on a destination?
I have been travelling in central and south America annually for the winter months, and love the diversity and warmth of these countries.
I will likely continue travelling to these regions, but always stay flexible on exactly where and where I’ll stay!
I like to go with the flow when I travel, so don’t plan things too far ahead.
How much luggage do you travel with?
When travelling abroad, I travel with a carry-on sized backpackers backpack plus my smaller personal backpack on my front. This way, I avoid having to check a bag and I’ve found this set up most convenient for my lifestyle and for all that I need!
In Toronto, I travel with two bike panniers and a small backpack. I use my bike every day in the city, and so I simply pack whatever I can fit onto it.
Pros of House Sitting?
The freedom of having a nomadic lifestyle is a huge benefit for me.
I love to travel and be on the move, so I love the minimalist lifestyle that housesitting provides. It’s all the benefits of a home without the commitment of property ownership 😊
Also, of course, being able to spend time with cats and dogs – but also without the commitment of caring for them full-time.
I often joke that I am the aunt for these animals while they’re in my care!
Cons of House Sitting?
House sitting full time is truly a big time commitment, as I am almost always searching for the next opportunity and networking with others, alongside planning logistics and schedules to align.
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?
I was asked by a friend-of-a-friend to cat sit for 6 weeks, and then by another friend straight after that because she had seen my Instagram pictures.
After that, I had a few reviews under my belt and so getting my next assignment more formally was pretty quick. I do find getting accepted for international sits more difficult, as there is usually more competition and logistics to match up.
Have you had any funny housesitting experiences?
Last summer, I took care of a sweet Siamese cat who loved to climb up onto my shoulders and perch their like a parrot. She was so sweet!
Tips for others wanting to get started?
Get reviews from friends or family if you’ve looked after their home or pets, even informally. And be honest about your interests and lifestyle – I’ve had quite a few people reach out or choose me because of shared interests and hobbies!
Where to next (when you can)
I am currently travelling in Colombia and open to any house sitting opportunities while I’m here 🙂
Want to try House Sitting As Well?
There are thousands of opportunities to house sit around the world!
Check out the resources for getting started as a house sitter here.
Are You Ready to Start House Sitting?