Recently, we had a chat with Kate.
She travels with her partner Dave! They have done over 40 housesits around the world!
They have spent months house sitting in Hawaii (the dream!!)
Find out how they got started and where they will be heading next!
Tell us a little bit about yourself – who are you, where are you from, for, do you do it full-time or sporadically
I’m Kate Evans. My husband Dave Rhine and I left our native California to live a traveling life nine years ago, when I retired at 50 from teaching university and are now grey nomads.
I’m a writer, and also a part-time writing coach and book editor. My book Call It Wonder: An Odyssey of Love, Sex, Spirit & Travel explores our unconventional life and its ups and downs, including my experience with a brain tumor.
I’m currently writing a book about housesitting. We have a casita in Baja California Sur, Mexico, where we spend a few months each year, and the rest of the time we travel, which often involves housesitting.
How many housesits have you had and where?
About 40, all over the U.S. and in Australia, Mexico and Malaysia.
Why did you do petsitting? What is the main motivation?
We want to explore the world.
Housesitting is a great way to travel cheaply and to be in lovely homes rather than stale hotels or expensive Airbnbs, although we do sometimes fill in the gaps with rentals.
We like being in neighborhoods rather than hotel rows, and we love animals so having pet companions is a bonus.
We also like to slow travel, and so it’s great when we get sits of a month or longer.
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?
We got the first sit we applied for. Dave says we get a lot of interest in our applications because I’m a writer. 😊
How much luggage do you travel with?
We’re minimalists. If we’re flying, usually one carry-on and one backpack each. If we have the car, it’s stuffed.
Pros of House Sitting?
It’s a great way to see the world for cheap and to get in our animal fix.
We love being able to cook our own food in nice kitchens, soak in people’s hot tubs, use their cars, and have room to spread out.
We both like to do yoga at home, which isn’t possible in most hotel rooms.
Also we’ve met lots of wonderful homeowners and their neighbors who’ve become friends.
Cons of House Sitting?
Having responsibilities—such as animal care, gardening, etc.—means you don’t have as much freedom.
Also, if you fall in love with a pet, it can be hard to say goodbye.
How do you decide on a destination?
Sometimes it has to do with wanting to spend time with family and friends, so we look for sits in those areas.
Other times we have an event we want to attend (a wedding, a concert, etc.). Usually, though, I scan the sits on the sites and when one looks great to us, we apply!
The past year and a half we’ve driven thousands of miles all over the states, doing things like riding our bikes along the rim of the Grand Canyon, hiking underground through Carlsbad Caverns, visiting our niece at her university in Tennessee, going to music extravaganzas in New Orleans…and we housesat all along the way.
What’s been the biggest adventure so far?
A four-month housesit on the Big Island of Hawaii, followed by a few weeks at an Airbnb on the island of Molokai, and then another month-long sit on Maui.
How did you find out about house sitting?
Somehow I stumbled across the fact that there were housesitting websites out there, and we joined two. That was during the time we were taking care of a friend’s small farm, and I suddenly realized we could do this for strangers too!
What was your favorite housesitting experience to date and why?
Hawaii. Because, Hawaii.
Have you had any funny housesitting experiences?
The funniest was taking care of Duke, a pug in West Hollywood who weighed maybe ten pounds.
On our walks, he’d comically do a handstand while arcing his pee as high as he could. His goal seemed to be to spray his scent in such a way that other dogs would be in awe of the colossal canine who’d passed by.
Tips for others wanting to get started?
You can search for sits not only on the websites but most towns/cities/areas have Facebook pages for housesitters or nomads or expats, which can be another great way to find sits.
Also, starting out, do short ones in your area to build up some initial reviews. The short sits are less competitive, and you’re more likely to get them if you’re nearby.
Where to next (when you can)
We are currently housesitting in Southern California, in the San Diego area.
When we leave here mid-June, we drive back down to Baja Sur, park our car in our bodega, then fly to mainland Mexico where we have a six-week sit in the Lake Chapala area outside of Guadalajara.
After that we fly to Panama for two housesits that are a month each. One of them is on a small island resort; the resort will be closed, and we will be staying in the owners’ home caring for their two dogs.
They told us they will catch enough fish to stock the freezer for us! That’s another thing I want to mention: We have found the generosity of the hosts to be phenomenal.
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?