On the TrustedHousesitters blog there is a regular feature called Storytellers Share and we were very excited to share own story of how we achieved the freedom to travel in this post.
Vanessa talks about how teaching English in China led us to providing online English tuition which, coupled with house sitting, has now given us the freedom lifestyle we have always longed for.
Freedom to travel
Here’s our story, but you’ll also find 4 other inspiring tales on the TrustedHousesitters blog page. Each contributor explains how house sitting has provided them with the freedom to travel around the world. Link at the end of the page.
Our three-year journey to freedom began on a small Caribbean island off the coast of Panama. I met Ian briefly in London before he returned to his small island home in Bocas del Toro. A subsequent invite resulted in a visit. A two week holiday then evolved into a new way of life providing the freedom I’d been looking for all my life.
As we explored how our life might take shape, we realised we didn’t want to return to corporate life or the trap of the 9-5 work routine. We knew we wanted to travel and explore new cultures, but we also needed to find ways to support our unfolding life together.
Our first decision was to free ourselves of all property ties. We’d previously used house sitters in Panama, but this didn’t provide the complete freedom we longed for. My house sold first, and while Ian awaited completion on his, we went road tripping in an old RV, exploring the southern states of the US. We also house sat in the wonderful city of Austin, TX where we stayed for a couple of months.
However, at the end of six months, funds were running low. We’d tried all sorts of online businesses to support ourselves – building websites, publishing e-books, paid blogging etc. But none had provided a consistent income.
House sitting was put on hold and we headed to China to become English teachers. This provided the best solution for continuing our travels and earning money at the same time. China was such an eye-opener and we loved living and working in Shenzhen.
A year later, with our travel funds replenished and an offer of on-going English teaching online, we were able to formulate our ideal long-term lifestyle. Since leaving Asia, we’ve house sat almost continuously in Australia, Fiji, the UK and Mexico, working as online teachers in each location. In between we’ve travelled to India and Abu Dhabi and are planning a long trip to Cuba. We have no property or debts, minimal possessions, and are completely free to housesit, travel and live wherever we wish.
Tomorrow we catch a flight from Mexico to Panama. We’ll be house sitting for one of our previous neighbours, returning full circle to the beautiful archipelago where our journey together began. Three years on we have achieved the freedom we longed for.
House sitting full-time keeps our accommodation costs low enough that our part-time English teaching pays for our flights, travel adventures, and day-to-day living costs. It’s also given us time to create a FREE monthly online magazine to support the community that has helped us achieve our dream. We now have time to publish House Sitting – The ultimate lifestyle magazine, through which we hope to inspire others to follow their own dreams of freedom.