Do you experience Joy when traveling ? Do you enjoy being of service to others? Why not combine both? Traveling the world as a house and pet sitter? Read on…
Today, I am interviewing Jean about his and his wife Kate’s personal experience with international house and pet sitting. Jean is presently retired in the south of France with his wife Kate. He is French and Kate is English. I met Jean through the Wealthy Affiliate platform. Click here if you would like to read my review of Wealthy Affiliate.
After you read this interview, let me know what you think of this life style. Are you going to give it a try? Or at least read the books Jean recommends? Let me know below. I look forward to reading your comments! 🙂
- About Jean
- House and Pet Sitting Experience
- What about the Money?
- Good Books
- Final Words
- And Now?
- My Secret
Jean, Can You Tell us about Yourself?
Jean: I was born in Vietnam of French parents, Kate was born in the UK. We met and got married in Lesotho (southern Africa). I/we lived in Liberia, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Lesotho, South Africa (farm owners), England, Florida, South America, Australia (house sitting, where we often go back because we have children and grandchildren there) Tasmania (house sitting), New Zealand, Italy, Spain, Malta then finally France, my home country where I practically never lived till I retired at age 65, and I am not listing the countries we are visiting while house sitting worldwide, or while Kate was lecturing and teaching bead work on the QE2 cruise liner, which took us from Fort Lauderdale (Florida) through the Panama Canal and all along the west coast of South America down to Chili, or along the west coast of Africa down to Capetown, then to Mauritius.
In 2001, we were drowned in credit card debts and loans, no jobs and no qualifications to back me in my search for a job. As I have hardly been to school I developed a strong thirst for knowledge and became totally self-taught early on in life.
As the Internet became available to everyone I thought that it would be an excellent tool for gaining skills and perhaps earning a living off it, and it became my passion.
Since then, I have done just about everything that is legally possible online, sometimes made a lot of money, lost a lot too, and picked myself up more times than I can think of. But hey, as Thomas A. Edison said: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”… don’t panic, I have not failed that many times yet!
I have become an expert in social media marketing and I am running several very profitable online businesses. I came across Wealthy Affiliate as I wanted to add other streams of income to my portfolio and what convinced me to join and upgrade immediately was that I have created many, many websites and blogs in the past but they never have been very profitable and I found out that at WA I could find the missing link. I read a lot of positive reviews about WA, so I decided to join to see for myself, and here I am. [Click here if you would like to read my review of Wealthy Affiliate.]
Can you Tell us about your House and Pet Sitting Experience?
Jean: Kate and myself have been lucky enough to have traveled the world from North to South and East to West as we have nearly never had a boss.
We are International house and pet sitters which enables us to travel the world, Where We Want, When We Want, and in Luxury as we do chose only high standard country properties. We form a perfect team, Kate takes care of the bookings (and makes sure that we have the best) and I, with my laptop, provide the income. This is FREEDOM at its best! As Kate likes to say: “We are the most upmarket Gypsies in the world.” She is also a published writer, her books are available on Amazon Kindle (look for Kate Fagalde).
We did two things early on:
- I created a blog on blogspot: Caring For Your Property and Pets
- We joined several specialized sites that put home and pet owners in contact with house and pet sitters.
We are now only registered with one (which is the best): “Trusted House Sitters“.
What about the Money?
Jean: Trusted House Sitters is a bit expensive but you can find sits where you want and when you want (close to home or abroad). And think that if you spend a winter in a very comfortable home and don’t pay for winter bills, you are way ahead of the game.
A couple of years or so ago “Trusted House Sitters” decided to mention that their sitters sit for free which is not fair, because we charge depending on how it suits us. Fortunately, we have our own regular clientele and they know that we charge and they are more than happy to pay.
For example, just to be a presence on the property we might not charge if it is in the middle of winter and we don’t pay any bills, or in the middle of summer if they have aircon and a swimming pool. If we go abroad we don’t charge but we require a car to use for free (only pay gas). In France, we charge per day $15 for a dog or two, $10 for a cat or two, $10 even if it is just to sit. Keep in mind that this is very, very cheap and you could easily try to double that, especially once you have a reputation.
Each case is negotiated at the moment. We charge for traveling expenses (gas and wear and tears) if it is more that an hour away from home. We must have a proper Internet connection, as I work online, as you know.
Are there any Good Books that you Can Recommend?
Jean: Sure! There are two good books on the subject that I can recommend where you will find all the details: House Sitting: Travel The World Living Rent Free [18/04/20 note: this book is no longer available] and Endless Holidays – A Guide to House and Pet Sitting Around the World
What Final Words would you Like to Share with our Readers?
Jean: House sitting is a way of life that is quite special but doesn’t appeal to everyone, but nothing stops you from trying. One thing that is quite important is that you must like it. You don’t have to do the pet sitting bit if you don’t want to, but people with pets don’t like to put their pets in kennels, so they need people like us.
We LOVE this lifestyle. Imagine that it has been already 10 years that we have not paid a rent, any electricity or water bills, plus we get paid and I work online… do the maths!
Well, dear readers, what do you think? Are you going to give it a try? Or at least read the books Jean recommends? Let me know below. I look forward to reading your comments! 🙂
To our Joy and Happiness,
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