Stunning view of shimmering waters from our front porch in Savusavu, Fiji.

Stunning view of shimmering waters from our front porch in Savusavu, Fiji.

Kelli and I just wrapped up a house sit.

In Savusavu, Fiji.

Yep, we had been house sitting in Fiji for 4 months, living rent free, in a house with a million dollar view, overlooking Savusavu Bay.

Our tasks? Watch a cat, plus 3 outside cats, and feed them. We also covered the electricity and water bills. For 4 months…and again, lived rent-free in Savusavu, Fiji. As you might imagine most folks’ eyes popped wide open when I told ‘em we were house sitting.

“Really? Wow….NOT a bad gig.”

We got that one a few times.

The house sitting gig is perfect for any digital nomad when you know where to look, and how to present yourself. We picked the right websites but more than that, we aligned with the sit. Here’s the scenario; after I was horribly ill in India, Kelli received a message from a house sitting site. A sit in Fiji opened up. Were were floored. Absolutely, positively, floored, because we knew how rare these sits where.

I mean, sits in Fiji, or Bali, or Tahiti, don’t come around daily. But here’s the deal; we know that everything in this world happens on an energetic level. So you either align with opportunities or you find yourself out of alignment with opportunities. It’s always on you. This is a wonderful truth because if you detach from a house sit you’ll naturally increase your chances of aligning with it. Of course, we increased our chances by detaching from the sit. We didn’t care about the hundreds of requests they must have received nor did we play any type of percentage game.

This whole life thing is an energy game. So naturally, if you’re playing the energy game right, and if you’re detaching from outcomes, you’ll have few issues creating some neat scenarios for yourself.

 

Blogging from Paradise and House Sitting

 

Kelli had set up profiles on house sitting sites.

Trusted House Sitters

House Carers

Mind My House

We sifted through opportunities for months. We wanted a match. This Fiji house sit popped up about a year ago, during our stay in Kovalam Beach, India. After an interview on Skype, we made their cut, or watch list, and after a second interview we were offered the gig during our Christmas trip in the USA.

We were elated! After crunching some numbers Kelli booked the flights. We had Thailand lined up already so we just added Fiji to the end of the trip.

 

Kelli overlooking Savusavu Bay.

Kelli overlooking Savusavu Bay.

Fast forward 10 months from when we accepted the job and I have to say; it’s the perfect fit for any digital nomad. House sitting in general but of course, landing a sit in Fiji.

You’d be a stone cold fool not to house sit. We only had to pay the electric bill, and the water bill never arrived during our 4 month stay. Other than that we watched and fed cute little kitties.

The upsides: living on perhaps the most gorgeous tropical island on earth, chilling somewhere with a lost cost of living, taking over a thousand pictures that certainly don’t hurt the Blogging from Paradise Brand, and inspiring you to join me.

My intent has always been to take you with me.

If I opened your eyes just a bit more with this post, maybe you’ll be on house sitting sites after reading, setting up profiles, and aligning yourself to retire to a life of island hopping through smart blogging, like Kelli and I.

On to the benefits.

 

Save Money

 

Kelli and I have rented serviced villas in Bali – not cheap, I might add – we’ve spent time in economy type spots…ok, a few borderline shitholes, but it was what it was, and have chilled in moderately priced digs. Most stops are super inexpensive, yet we’ve received max value for our rent paid.

So we need not take house sitting jobs to be able to afford the island hopping bit but it sure don’t hurt. Digital nomads, the obvious benefit of house sitting is saving money. You may pay for a few bills, and you’ll likely plunk down a security deposit, but other than that, you’re not paying rent.

In some places that rent costs a small fortune. In Savusavu we saved quite a bit of scratch by not paying rent for 4 months.

This one is a bit obvious methinks, so you get the picture. On to the next reason.

 

Be Around Pets

 

Most house sits involve watching pets. Pets lower your blood pressure. Pets make you feel good. Being around animals brightens your outlook on life.

We watched Hazy and Peggy Sue. One indoor cat, one outdoor car. We also watched outdoor cat Maddy before she was adopted. We fed these kitties and also fed Sofie and Tom. All cats rock.

Taking care of animals helps open up your heart. Animals are affectionate, demanding, cute, forceful, and they simply are what they are.

The kitties taught old digital nomad me a lesson in being persistent. Each day P Sue and Hazy would go mad meowing for their beloved liver and rice mix or mackerel and rice mix. At 5 AM, or 6 PM, or whenever. P Sue and Hazy also woke us at any hour – if you’ve noted my insomnia recently – to let ‘em in. 11 PM, 2 AM, 4 AM. I appreciate their single-mindedness!

What a rich experience, and so damn fun too. Most house sits involve caring lovingly for some furry friend so watching animals is an added bonus of watching a home.

 

Get to Know the Locals

 

You’ve seen them. So have I. The One Night Stand tourist crowd. In today gone tomorrow.

I watched a cruise ship filled with 3,000 bloated, sleep-walking tourists hustled in and out of Savusavu in about 6 hours, a month ago. What’s the point? To say you’ve seen Savusavu? Or, would you rather EXPERIENCE Savusavu?

I’ve made friends with:

  • Joyce
  • William
  • Olivia
  • The Tomato Lady
  • The Bakery Lady
  • The MH Ladies
  • Johnny our Gardener
  • Malcolm
  • A few more cool locals and expats

We smile, we chat, and hey, it’s impossible not to make friends if you’re somewhere for 4 months. This is an experience, not a stop, and we’re all after experiences we’ll remember forever.

Most house sits are 1, 2, 3 months or longer. Living somewhere for more than a minute lets you develop friendships with the locals, and you’ll also learn the lay of the land darn well too.

Get to know the locals. House sit. Stick around for more than a minute, would ya?

 

Minimal Work in Most Cases

 

My friends The Goats on the Road and Lash both did or are doing house sits recently and from what I’ve seen, each person had a minimal workload. Doing a bit of work – or almost none – opens up your schedule, to devote more time to seeing the local scene, to publishing kick butt blog posts, to writing eBooks (click click for my series), to doing whatever you want to do.

Another stunning Savusavu sunset.

Another stunning Savusavu sunset

In some cases you’ll be asked to garden or handle more tasks. You choose. Kelli and I don’t pursue any opps involving much labor as we have few around the home, handy skills. We prefer to watch animals, and build our online empires, thank you.

Some sits require bringing your own transport, and with others, you’ll be your own transport. Do your homework before hand, and in virtually all cases you’ll be made aware of special stipulations concerning a house sit.

 

Works Perfectly with the Digital Nomad Lifestyle

 

Really, how could this house sit fit any better? Look up and down my blog. See the Fiji pictures? See the branding? Digital nomads are on the road as is, so why not do the digital nomad bit and enjoy free lodging?

We travel, we work online, we prosper. If you can pick between paying rent and doing the rent-free bit I’d go with rent-free, if the house sit is a perfect match.

On to the next reason as this digital nomad-house sit match is too easy to see.

 

See an Area You’d Never Visit Otherwise

 

Kelli and I would never have visited Fiji if we didn’t have a house sit lined up. Or, we likely wouldn’t have visited Fiji unless we were house sitting. Even though we nailed down a sweet airfare deal we still had to pay a nice chunk of change to get here.

Factor in few homes or apartments for rent in this neck of Fiji – we love doing the long term bit – and there isn’t a huge range of options for us. We’re so blessed to have aligned with the opportunity, and we likely never would have visited Fiji for our customary month or longer trip if we didn’t peep this house sit.

 

House Sit Warnings: Pay Attention

 

OK, I am Mr. Positive. See me, Mr. Happy, Mr. Smiles? With that out of the way, I have to warn you; house sits beyond rock, but be aware of 2 things.

  • Some aspects of the sit may be glossed over when presenting the opportunity
  • Beware, beware, beware any hidden fees

Kelli and I look like walking marathon participants. That’d be because of the 5 miles we walk daily just to get food. We knew of the distance, and although bikes should have been provided, I can live with that.

We were completely unaware of the 50 meter high, 20% grade (means…”freaking steep!”) driveway we’d be hiking each day. I am in real shape, and I’ve become exhausted doing it. This was not mentioned in the house sit intro, and in truth, an overweight or out  of shape person simply would be stunned, and would have to turn down the sit, unless they wanted to pay hundreds and hundreds and heck, probably over a thousand bucks a month to rent a car.

Warning: demand to know everything possible about the sit, and even when you arrive, as a traveler, you know to expect the unexpected. Physically less than stout folks would have turned around and went home in an angry huff after seeing this Matterhorn of a driveway.

 

Warning #2

 

Kelli and I saw a house sit advertised on our same street. The person is requiring house sitters to pay $120 USD a week for gardening, electric, water and house cleaning. This is ludicrous because Kelli and I pay $17 USD a month for electric, and $12 to $24 per month for gardening. House cleaning would be $10 or so, if we had it done, but we handled it.

I snapped this postcard-type shot from our front yard in Savusavu, Fiji. Thank you, ferry. Perfect timing.

I snapped this postcard-type shot from our front yard in Savusavu, Fiji. Thank you, ferry. Perfect timing.

So the going rate for electric and gardening and house cleaning in Savusavu is $51 a month, and this joker wants $120 a week. A real ripoff, and a warning to you, not to take on any jobs where fees/bills are more than a handful of dollars. Even if the cost of living is high in a country – and it ain’t here in Fiji  – house sits should be money saving ventures.

Beware any fees which seem too high; the goal is to house sit, to save money, not to pay out of the nose while watching homes.

 

The Verdict

 

Try house sitting. Or, align yourself with some sweet house siting gigs. I’ve read more than a few comments both from this post and through social media channels indicating that people from a wide range of backgrounds had never seriously given house sitting a serious chance. Some don’t know where to look, to find awesome house sitting sites, and others feel the competition is too steep. That latter belief is a load of bunk. No competition exists in a Universe of abundance. Go for it.

Your Turn

 

Are you a house sitting digital nomad?

Where have you had assignments?

What tips could you share with the Blogging from Paradise audience?

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I’ve spoken to a few digital nomads who can only travel because they’re house sitting on the cheap. Blogging isn’t paying the bills yet.

If you’re in that boat, and if you want to become a full time, professional, prospering digital nomad who can rent or house sit without worrying about money, learn more about my blog coaching services.

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Ryan Biddulph

Ryan Biddulph is a blogger, author and world traveler who's been featured on Richard Branson's Virgin Blog, Forbes and Neil Patel Dot Com. He has written and published 126 bite-sized eBooks on Amazon. He can help you retire to a life of island hopping through smart blogging.
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