Housesitting whilst travelling

the motoroamers

Housesitting whilst travelling

When you’re stuck in the system of life, the idea of travelling seems somehow quite Utopian. Escaping life’s rules and being free from all your worries and strife. Now there’s a dream we can all buy into.

Yet the reality of travelling is that there is no Utopia, no grass is greener on the other side.  Don’t get me wrong, leaving the System and travelling full time in our camper has been the best decision we’ve ever made, (second to getting married, I hasten to add) and we’ve never been happier.  It gives us an immense freedom, a joy that is indescribable and an inner peace that I’ve never had in my life.  More importantly, I wouldn’t swap it for the world.

Although this is not a dream-like state where everything is rosy and where we all live happily ever after. Life still comes with strings attached, with unpredictable challenges and outright trauma sometimes.  It is though all about how we handle those situations and which ultimately define us and our life experiences.  Living on the road is no different.

As I reflect on our nomadic path, sat on the cusp of a change to our lifestyle, I feel like after 19 months travelling full time that I can, with a degree of credibility, assess life through more realistic glasses.  And it is both beautiful and stretching all at the same time.

We have seen fellow nomads get caught up in hurricanes, we’ve seen couples not getting on and heading home, we’ve seen others being offered jobs that they couldn’t turn down or family having babies that draw them home.  Sometimes illness throws you off course, the needs of a close relation calls for your support, or children need to return back to finish their schooling.

However we travel, for however long we travel, it is still life and the ups and downs still need navigating. That is something you can’t escape.  And if travel feels like an escape, then don’t be fooled by this illusion as you will be disappointed. After all, our taxes still need paying and financial institutions still need interacting with.

A heap of questions danced in my mind about what would happen next

For us, we have recently had an opportunity to put our travel commitment to the test after a financial sideswipe threw us temporarily off course. Our journey so far has been blessed by only a few financial constraints. Whilst we are mindful of our expenses and we have a budget to honour, it hasn’t been, until now, hugely restrictive on a day to day basis. Yet a significant shift in our rental income hit us two weeks ago and sent us, well in truth me, spiralling into a vortex of uncertainty and panic.

A heap of questions danced in my mind about what would happen next as the reality of our situation expanded from just a short term issue to a medium term challenge. Now we’ve had some problems to deal with along our way, so I don’t think for one minute we have been complaisant on our nomadic journey although this change in finances, which came overnight, was a bit of a shock to the system.

I’m a great believer, when I’m not in a state of panic, that every situation offers learning and opportunity, even if it’s not clear at the time.  So when the shock wore off, we were able to assess our new situation with fresh eyes.  We looked at all avenues; the thought of returning back to UK was the one that filled me with most horror. Aside of that we had two basic considerations – how to generate more money and how to lower our expenditure.

…and from that moment on, drama turned into opportunity.

Given that returning to UK was not a desired route for either of us, we put our rational heads into gear and from that moment on, drama turned into opportunity.  Within the space of a day we had come up with a strategy that was full of synergy and positivity where we could both reduce our spends and raise our income levels.  It was a strategy we had already built into our vision before we left England and now it was time to initiate our house sitting plan.

What a perfect opportunity for us; a chance to stand still after 19 months of busy travels and working as travel bloggers. A great way to reign in our campsite fees, diesel, gas and general wear and tear on the vehicle. A way of meeting my ‘helping’ gene, allowing others to fulfill their travel needs and an lovely opportunity to experience a new part of Europe from the very heart of its community. Plus on top of all of this, we will have the time to push forward with our Motoroaming venture and expand our offerings, which is important to us both and hopefully generate some passive income.

And a year on we are still housesitting. We have two very special housesits in the South of France, who, when we’re in the area love to have us back. What a perfect symbiotic relationship it is.

We have turned what felt like a storm of travelling doom, into a silver-lined cloud

When we told a few friends about this, they have been gutted for us, as many of our plans for next year have had to be shelved. Morocco postponed, the Baltics rescheduled and generally our European travels restructured for 2018.  And yet we are not only excited, we are so incredibly positive about this junction.  With four house sits under our belt, secured in just one week, we know that this is what is destined for us – it is our vision coming to fruition and we couldn’t be happier.

We are still nomads, if that label is important, we are still travelling and we are still committed to full time adventures.  There is no ending, no grieving, just travelling in a different way. We have turned what felt like a storm of travelling doom into a silver-lined cloud.  As a result the Motoroamers will have some alternative travel perspectives and a new take on our destinations that we hope will inspire you and that we are excited to share very soon.

So what’s the moral of this story?

  • Travel is just life lived differently to the norm, free from just some of life’s traditional rules.
  • Travel comes with consequences and choices just like any other lifestyle.
  • Challenges and dramas hit us when we least expect them, it’s how we choose to deal with them that defines us.
  • Travel is multi faceted and three dimensional; it’s how we create meaning for our life and how we let labels of ‘nomad’ or ‘full time’ get in our way.
  • There’s always a way through when we remove ourselves from fear and the vortex of panic.

So our final thoughts remain; travel when you can, however you can, for as long as you can, just travel. 

How we set up our Housesitting

There a number of on line agencies that a show-case sits around the world. These were the three that we initially joined. Each one has an annual membership fee to join. – become a member £89.00 per year and £30 for a one-off payment for an advanced level Police Check.* For us this is by far the most professional and prolific of the agencies. We get daily announcements of sits around the world enabling us to plan and look ahead. They also have a referral link that enables you to invite friends and acquaintances to join for a 20% discount and in return you get 2 months free membership. – become a member for $15 per year.* We have not continued our subscription with these guys this year despite having one successful housesit from them. – register for free and become a member for £30 per year.*  We have also decided not to renew as we have not had one interaction or communication from them in the last 12 months.

* These are the currencies that we paid to register as UK residents.

If you wish to join one of the largest global Housesitting Agencies, Trusted Housesitters, then we can offer you a referral link that will save you 20% on the fees listed above. In return we get two months free membership. Click this link here if you want to join either as a home owner or as a house sitter. 

20% Discount Link click here

When we joined these three agencies initially, we set up our profiles, giving a strong account of our skills, our lifestyle and information about our characters. When you are presenting yourselves to the outside world where TRUST is the centrepiece, then these profits are really important. To that end, we also decided to submit a Profile Document that gives a lot more detail about us as individuals and a couple and included additional references to those that the agency collect from your testimonial list. On top of that we produced a video that offers a very visual perspective of us and helps prospective house sitters see and feel us, in the flesh so to speak. The video has been one of the most positive aspects of our profile and has secured us eight sits in the last year. So we highly recommend this. Check out our video HERE.

When you find a sit that suits your requirements, then you apply for it and if the homeowner is interested in your profile, then they get in touch and generally suggest a Skype interview and ‘Getting to know you’ Session. This is important for both parties as you need to feel comfortable with the sit requirements as much as the homeowners need to feel trusting of you.

After that we then stay in contact prior to the sit to ensure that they always know we are still committed to their dates and we generally suggest arriving the day before their departure so that we can do a handover and get to know the animals that will be under our care.

Remember that housesitting is a symbiotic relationship – it is not a paid contract. 

We hope this information is useful. Very happy for you to get in touch if you have any more questions about our experiences.

Published: October 10, 2017


  1. Julie Buckley

    It’s a great feeling knowing that you are in control of your own destiny and that you can adapt to whatever life throws at you.
    We added house sitting to our travels (and know plenty of others who do the same) and it is a great way to stop for a while and get to know somewhere better.
    We’re with trustedhousesitters, so will be interested to hear how you get on with the other two sites.
    Enjoy the break from the road, and fingers crossed one of the houses has a bath!
    Ju x

    • Myles Davies

      Hi Julie, not only a bath but a full on Jaccuzzi that we are able to use. Crack open the bubbles, lol.

  2. Bernie

    Those are such wise words, and sound counsel that travel does not remove life’s ongoing issues. You two have made not just lemonade, but a glazed citrus tart with a brulee topping from the situation you faced. Wishing you many and happy adventures on your house sitting trail.

    • Karen Davies

      Morning Bernie, thank you. I love your description, got my mouth watering. Thanks for your good wishes. Kx

  3. The Mac’s

    Wow guys! I’m so sorry that life threw you this curve ball, but as housesitters for the past 18 months I can genuinely say you will not regret it! Yes it’s a different way to travel, but oh so rewarding as I’m sure you’ve already figured…! Can’t believe you know people who got caught up in a Hurricane though. What were they thinking…😉😂 Wishing you many safe sits ahead!

    • Karen Davies

      Hi Nicky – it was a shock at the time, although so where we’re meant to be right now. I can see that housesitting will come with its own set of challenges, as we’ve already experienced on day 2, although it’s still just stuff you have to work through. And hey, if you ever come across those guys caught up in that Hurricane, will you just tell them that we think they’re ace and have the courage and resilience of…. well, something that has got loads of courage and resilience (for once I can’t find a fluffy analogy to use!!). Thanks to you both and we wish you guys the same. Hope one day our paths will cross. Kx

  4. jin

    i couldn’t have agreed with you more of what you’ve mentioned! but sometimes it takes leaving the conventional life behind to find your way and purpose in life.

    • Karen Davies

      I agree Jin. Here’s to the unconventional life. Kx

  5. kate

    As what my boyfriend would say, it’s the “evolution of traveling.” As we travel, there are things that go beyond our control which allows us to evolve with the help of the universe. We grow, we evolve, and these new challenges give us different opportunities to see the world on a bigger and brighter perspective. 🙂

    • Karen Davies

      So very true Kate. We are very glad to have left traditional life behind us and we embrace all that comes our way on this travelling journey. kx

  6. Eemma

    Great post! Travel does not exempt us from the struggles of daily life! I feel the same way about expat life! Can’t wait to hear more about your adventures housesitting! I’ve always been interested in trying it out!

    • Karen Davies

      So true Eemma. Housesitting is yet another string of polar opposites where we experience joy and challenge all at the same time although certainly is giving us a very different travel perspective. currently in Pyrenees, enjoying the autumnal colours and life in a eco-friendly home. Kx

  7. Christina

    I am really happy to hear y’all were able to figure everything out! It sounds like y’all handle any obstacles that come your way, which is a true inspiration! We only traveled for three months and found it difficult, we cannot imagine 19+ months. Another avenue y’all should consider is Workaway. You help our your host 5 hours a day, 5 days a week in exchange for accommodation and food. IF you have further questions let me know. I would be happy to help y’all out. It is really popular in Europe – it’s how we traveled.

    • Karen Davies

      Our 19 months have been some of the happiest months of our lives and has truly enriched us. I can never see ‘going back’ as an option for us. We have had friends who have done the workaway and it doesn’t feel like it’s our cuppa tea. It feels like it has the wrong energy, for us anyway, although thank you for sharing. Kx

  8. Mike

    I have been inspired and reassured by your and others comments on this blog site. After heart issues in 2013/14 I decided there had to be more to life, so I sold the business and rented my home. After an aborted attempt to make a life in Spain and Italy and some financial and family problems, I now find my self in a motor home touring Europe. Been in France since the beginning of July and have covered western areas North to South as far east as the Ardeche. Will do Eastern France next year as I intend to head south to either Spain or Portugal for the Winter”
    My time travelling has revealed such a lot about myself, the good and the bad, These revelations have allowed me to like and love myself again, something I haven’t been able to do for such a long time.
    I have lonely and worrisome moments and that before, would cause me to despair and look downwards !
    Now, they are moments that cause me to celebrate the quality and diversity of my life now, whilst understanding and accepting that my life is what I make it.

    • Karen Davies

      Wow Mike, this is amazing thank you so much for sharing your story. I think so many of us reach that point in life that makes us ‘sit up and take notice’ and for each of us there is a different trigger point. Although we are blessed enough through that experience to have a much richer and expansive life that creates greater awareness and learning. Certainly that has been true for us. I’m so glad that your travel experiences have been so enlightening and that you can celebrate your diversity – this is just one of the magical ways of travel. It is the quickest route to finding yourself. May you be blessed with many more travel years and explorations of ‘self’. Happy and safe travels. Kx

    • Liz nichols

      Great reply. Hope you continue to travel for a long time.How do you with getting gas cylinders filled in different countries I wonder. Are the fittings the same. I heard Italy was different. Cheers

      • Karen Davies

        Hi Liz and Mike. Yes us too. It’s amazing what difference a year makes though. Now our finances are stable again after a challenging year and housesits are a bonus for us now rather than the necessity they were in 2017. We have a Gaslow system that allows us to fill up in any country, just using different adapters. I think from memory there are four different ones and we have not had a problem yet. We’ve travelled from France, Spain, Netherlands, Germany, Poland and through Romania, Bulgaria and Greece. We do hear stories of people saying that Italy won’t give you LPG for domestic use, although we’ve not had a problem to date and we have had three months in Italy. Kx

  9. lesley

    Hi Karen! I have only just come across this…am I thick, or what? Looking forward to lots of interesting reading…. after i have done my monthly accounts! 😉 XX

    • Karen Davies

      Hi Lesley, no not thick at all. There’s so much information floating around on social media it is easy to miss this stuff. If you want to be sure to catch everything we do, we produce a monthly newsletter where we include all our blogs and videos etc. You could always sign up for this from the website for free. Lots of love to you and Dave. Kxx


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