This month’s edition of 8 House Sitting Questions we caught up with a solo house sitter; Amanda “Tasty” Burger from the United States of America, and founder of the travel site: Burger Abroad. Please note, “tasty” is just a nickname I added because of an inside joke my wife and I have, which now makes it an outside joke, but if the nickname sticks, well, even better…but let’s get back to our questions for the Burger Abroad:
Name: Amanda Burger
Hails from: U.S.A.
Question #1. How/When did you become a house sitter?
I was a vet tech previously, so I actually started dog-walking and house sitting about 15 years ago. I was a professional house sitter (as in a paid full-time job) for several years and then I started house sitting internationally a little over a year ago.
Question #2. What’s the funniest thing that has happened to you while house sitting/travelling?
I’d probably say that getting dropped off by a ride-share in the wrong country, while running out of cellular data, and cell battery, in a place where I didn’t speak the language, on a national holiday, when public transportation was limited, was probably the funniest travel experience yet. It wasn’t funny at the time, but it’s darn hilarious now!
Question #3. What’s the worst thing that’s happened to you on your travels/house sitting?
Nothing other than the occasional ridiculous travel story has happened to me personally, but in my opinion, pet emergencies are always the worst thing that can happen while house sitting. Of course they do happen, especially if you’re caring for ill or geriatric pets, but definitely can be very stressful if they do come up.
Question #4. What is the single most important item (aside from laptop/phone/electronics) that you take with you to every house sit?
I travel ultra-light (5 kg total) so I always carry my laptop, iPad, phone, shoes, clothes, a toothbrush, and that’s it! The great thing about house sitting is that you don’t really need to bring anything else with you, as the houses usually have TV, internet, movies, books, musical instruments, etc, not to mention all the time you’ll spend with the pets and exploring the area. You’ll never be bored. But the single most important item that I take everywhere I go? That’s an international adapter to charge my devices in any country! The one I use doubles as a surge protector and works in 180+ countries. Don’t leave home without it!
Question #5. How long do you plan on house sitting?
I plan on house sitting for as long as I enjoy it. I love travel and I love animals, so it’s perfect for me. I really don’t see an end in sight!
Question #6. What’s been your favorite house sit so far, and why? (location, awesome pets)
Oh that’s hard! Can’t pick favorites, I love all the animals so dearly! So I’ll choose my favorite location, which was the Netherlands. I loved living there. Life is so easy and it was so clean and beautiful. Also had two of the sweetest, most snuggliest cats in the world there as well.
Question #7. If you could improve one thing about house sitting in general, what would it be?
I think the most frustrating thing about house sitting is keeping track of house sits, messages, contacts, etc. I use a multitude of websites (in addition to my own) and I wish that could be simplified down into one site or platform! Someone create this!
Question #8. If you could offer one piece of advice to would-be house sitters, what would that be?
The one piece of advice I would offer is to be flexible. Every situation is different, every country, every house, every pet and every homeowner. Communication is important and understanding is even more important. The less expectations you have and the more flexible you are in adapting to new situations, the better experience you will have.
Bonus question: What’s your favorite movie?
All-time favorite is The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. It literally made me jump on a plane to Iceland. Several times. It’s the best.
Walter Mitty – awesome answer Amanda, and what an amazing flick indeed! That’s so ironic that you jumped on a plane to Iceland after seeing that movie, because I went out and bought a long-board after watching it (I had an 8 minute walk to work from the parking lot and there was a road with some super-smooth asphalt so I just had to!)
And totally agreed about being flexible (which I mention in my eBook; Sell All Your Stuff and Become a House Sitter).
Oh, and here’s part of the inside joke about “tasty” burgers: We were camping and some guy brought these burgers, and he kept saying “tasty burger” as he was cooking them. Therefore he forever became known as “Tasty Burger”…I don’t even know what his real name is!
Anyway, you can check out more from Amanda / Burger Abroad by:
Liking Burger Abroad on Facebook:
Following Burger Abroad on Twitter:
Or follow Burger Abroad on Instagram:(she takes some pretty cool pics)
And of course, check out Amanda’s adventures on her Burger Abroad website: http://www.burgerabroad.com
If you would like to share your awesome stories and take part in our 8 House Sitting Questions, please visit our contact page to reach us.
Now go sell all your stuff!