It’s back! We made some more friends online and decided to ask them if they’d like to answer our 8 House Sitting Questions, and they said ‘yes’, amazing how the internet works. This month we feature a couple of younglings; Cynthia from Belgium and Niko from Canada. Both work together on The Journal of Nomads. I won’t make any ‘Belgian Waffle with Canadian Maple Syrup‘ jokes as I’m sure they’ve heard them all before, so let’s dive right into the questions…
Name: Cynthia and Niko
Age: 31 & 26
Hail from: Belgium and Canada (Quebec; the#1 producer of Maple Syrup…just saying.)
Question #1. How/When did you become a house sitter?
I, Cynthia, had my first house sitting experience in 2011 in New Zealand. It started first as a Helpx place, where I helped with caring for and training the llama’s of my hosts in exchange for a bed and food. When they went on a short holiday, they asked me to look after the house and the llama’s while they were gone. I enjoyed this experience a lot and this is how I got to know the concept of house sitting. When I met Niko in 2014, he didn’t have any experience with house sitting yet. That all changed in Ireland (see our favorite house sit experience).
Question #2. What’s the funniest thing that has happened to you while house sitting/travelling?
We’ve had so many funny things happening since we’ve started travelling and house sitting together that it’s hard to know where to start. Between getting attacked by a turkey to catching a woman stealing the lemons of the owner at her house, we’ve had a lot of funny and very unusual experiences. We’ll let you know when we publish our book about it ;).
Question #3. What’s the worst thing that’s happened to you on your travels/house sitting?
I, Niko, had my passport and all my belongings stolen in Tijuana, Mexico. Although at first the experience was scary and sad, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I had to stay longer in Mexico and it turned out to be the best time of my life! For Cynthia the worst thing was returning back home without money after two years of traveling :). But she quickly found a job in France so her return to Belgium became a short visit.
Question #4. What is the single most important item (aside from laptop/phone/electronics) that you take with you to every house sit?
We are compulsive ‘note-takers’. Whether it’s writing down a sudden moment of inspiration for a blog post/video or writing down the new words we have learned in a foreign language, we always take our notebooks everywhere we go.
Question #5. How long do you plan on house sitting?
As long as we’re traveling. We will be living on the road for several years. Most of the time we stay in our tent or with local people. Sometimes we like to take a break from constantly moving and then we prefer house sitting. It’s nice to be in a house for a while where we are by ourselves and with temporary pets. It feels good to have a home until the moment our feet are starting to itch again.
Question #6. What’s been your favorite house sit so far, and why? (location, awesome pets)
A tree house we looked after in Sneem, Ireland. We were living for two months in the middle of a forest, completely isolated. No cars, no traffic, no people, no internet, no electricity. Just us, a chess board and a herd of wild goats as our closest neighbours! Pure bliss!
Question #7. If you could improve one thing about house sitting in general, what would it be?
We would suggest to unify all the different websites for house sitting into one.
Question #8. If you could offer one piece of advice to would-be house sitters, what would that be?
Always arrive a few days before the owners leave so you can discuss all the details about the house and the pets directly with them. It’s also a great opportunity to know the owners and the environment better (they can give you tips on where to shop, what to visit, maybe bring you in touch with their friends).
Bonus question: What’s your favorite movie?
Giving the title of one movie is very hard but when it comes to a TV show, we both consider ourselves die-hard fans of Game of Thrones (season 6 is coming out next month!!!)
Who doesn’t love Game of Thrones! But I would have thought with their need to take a notebook everywhere that their favorite movie would have been…The Notebook :). I can totally relate to carrying a notebook though. During my comedy writing days I had hundreds of post-it notes, napkins, whatever I could find to write down a quick joke idea (or things I thought might be funny). We now use Google Keep for a lot of note-taking, but we still have a notebook too (both the movie and a physical notebook).
You can check out more from the tree house sitting Journal of Nomads by:
Checking our their website: journalofnomads.com
Subscribing to their YouTube channel: YouTube.com/c/journalofnomads
And liking them on Facebook: Facebook.com/journalofnomadsaworldodyssey/
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!