House Sitting Questions with

8 House Sitting Questions with Travel Life Experiences

The great thing about travelling is you meet so many cool people along the way. And the great thing about house sitting while travelling if you meet so cool people you can share advice and your house sitting adventures with. When we were in Panama City we met up with Jane and Duncan…again (and we’ll cross paths with these cool Aussies again I’m sure). But we also met Doreen and Troy from Travel Life Experiences.

The six of us went out for pizza and beers in Panama City. Sadly, Shelly and I had to get back to the pup we were sitting so we missed out on the many beers that followed after we left.

House sitting meetup
Jane and Al did not get the memo that it was a “Black Shirt” event.

Anyway, this month we wanted to feature Dorene and Troy in our 8 House Sitting Questions as they bounce around Latin America.

Names: Dorene Wharton and Troy Young; 45 and 46
Hail from: Canada

Doreen and Troy
Dorene and Troy of Travel Life Experiences

Question #1. How/When did you become a house sitter?

2015. As we were preparing to leave our careers and home and travel long term, we read about house sitting as a good way to see the world, travel slowly, and save money.

Question #2. What’s the funniest thing that has happened to you while house sitting?

It was during our first international house sit in Costa Rica. We were looking after 3 dogs and 2 cats. As newbie house sitters, we were often nervous about every little thing, and overly careful the pets were safe and healthy on our watch. The youngest dog was allowed to sleep on the outside porch, which made us a little anxious. At 2 a.m. we awoke suddenly to the dog barking loudly at something. In fear the dog would get hurt, Troy bolted out the door to ‘rescue’ the dog, I can’t forget the sight – Troy carrying the 50 lb dog back in, wearing just his underwear and flip flops, and only to discover the dog was barking at a sleeping cow. Every night after that, we coaxed the dog to come inside with us so we knew his whereabouts and we had peace of mind.

Question #3. What’s the worst thing that’s happened to you while house sitting?

Overall our pet sitting experiences have all been very positive. However, coming from Canada, ticks were never a big issue. During our pet sits in Panama and Costa Rica we were pulling off at least 10-20 ticks a day, this was definitely the worst part of the job, but also a very necessary one for the dogs health.

Question #4. What is the single most important item (aside from laptop/phone/electronics) that you take with you to every house sit?

Tweezers! For any surprise ticks on the pets! And of course any pesky facial hairs on ourselves! (we do clean those tweezers first 🙂

Question #5. How long do you plan on house sitting?

I don’t think we will ever stop house sitting, it is now a part of our way of life. It gives us the opportunity to travel longer, to stop and enjoy living in another country from a local perspective while we work on line. Our lifestyle doesn’t support having pets, so this is the perfect win-win situation. We also continue to meet wonderful homeowners and neighbors during our pet sits.

Question #6. What’s been your favorite house sit so far, and why? (location, awesome pets)

Our pet sit right now in Ecuador. We are having a blast with this very playful, spunky dog full of personality. The location allows us to work, stay in a friendly neighbourhood, travel around interesting towns, and we are in close proximity to the beach to play and run with the dog.

Question #7. If you could improve one thing about house sitting in general, what would it be?

Truly selling it as win-win shared economy– like Airbnb, where the house sitter and the Pet sitter are both rated after a job.

Question #8. If you could offer one piece of advice to would-be house sitters, what would that be?

Follow up in writing what is agreed to.  For example: what your responsibilities are, and what is included and what isn’t (Costs we agree to pay). Also, stay in contact with your homeowner – brief check-in emails, mention any issues with the house/pet as soon as possible.  It gives both you and the homeowner peace of mind.

Bonus question: What’s your favorite movie?

Troy: Silence of the Lambs
Dorene: Groundhog Day

Haha, Dorene, Groundhog Day – we love that movie!
Haha, Dorene, Groundhog Day – we love that movie!
Troy, Silence of the Lambs…
Haha, Dorene, Groundhog Day – we love that movie!

Yeah, our first experience was much like Troy and Dorene’s with ticks. Central America sure has a lot of them. You can use those tick remedies (Frontline comes to mind) but they only do so much. Sadly, many dogs succumb to tick fever because of said ticks. You can pick a tick off, and when you put in on the ground it instinctively knows to go back to the dog, so you have to kill the tick. Some people flush them down the toilet – that seems like a waste of water. We squished them with small rocks. I’d like to say it was fun, but it was far from it. It was kind of creepy, gross, and gave me the heeby-geebies…kind of like that movie Silence of the Lambs – kidding Troy!

You can catch up with Dorene and Troy’s travels and see some of their amazing videos by:

Visiting their website at, or following them on:

If you would like to share your awesome (or not so 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!


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