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Can you imagine choosing to be homeless? In 2012, we made the decision to stop paying our mortgage and instead spend our money on travel and adventure. We no longer have to pay property taxes, home maintenance, homeowners insurance, monthly utilities like sewer, water, garbage, power and cable television. With a low monthly overhead, we are able to travel to new places and meet new people. We don’t think of ourselves as homeless, yet we are nomads with no permanent home…and here’s why we are loving it.
We spend the majority of our time as house sitters, taking care of the homes, and sometimes pets, of other people while they are away. It is our preference to choose house sitting opportunities that are three months or longer for a few reasons. The longer the house sit, the more months we have to amortize the cost of traveling. Staying in one place for a few months affords us the leisure to explore the area thoroughly at a comfortable pace. We call this “slow travel“. Finally, living in one house for an extended period is a comfortable, low stress lifestyle.
House sitting is a great way to see the world inexpensively, but it can be challenging to line up one house sitting assignment after another without any gaps in between. But we’ve discovered that you don’t have to. While we were enjoying our house sitting job in Western Australia, we began to explore the affordable adventure travel options in nearby Southeast Asia. Rather than trying to find a house sitting job that began immediately, we set our sights on one that began three months down the road. This enabled us to add some adventure travel into our itinerary.
People have written to us asking what we do when we don’t have a house sitting job lined up. It has become clear to us that we actually prefer to have a gap between our house sits. Not only can we take advantage of inexpensive travel opportunities that are close to where we are house sitting, we appreciate having the flexibility to visit with family and friends in the U.S.
Since our travel budget is limited, we want to visit countries where the American dollar goes furthest. In Bali, for example, we were able to stay in nice accommodations and eat most of our meals in restaurants for less than $1500/ month. We also found cheap accommodations, inexpensive food and affordable travel in Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand. There are many other countries in Southeast Asia where one can live very cheaply in between house sits. These locations work best combined with one of the many available house sitting jobs in Australia or New Zealand which are both nearby.
We have located similar affordable adventure travel options to combine with house sits in the US. There are several countries in Central and South America where the lifestyle is affordable and engaging. House sitting in this way, creates the flexibility for travel opportunities in wonderful places. By traveling to countries where costs of living are much less than in the United States and Europe, the combination of house sitting and adventure travel is a perfect match.
While we enjoy the excitement and new experiences found in foreign travel, we also enjoy having the space to plan our next adventure while house sitting. This is also when we do our writing and organize our photographs. Planning and researching adventure travel requires quite a bit of time and energy and it is nice to be living comfortably while doing it. Trips to exotic locations and house sitting in interesting places for longer periods, is the perfect way for us to pursue our goal of a relaxing lifestyle of fun and adventure.