We are now finished our 3rd house sit (if you have been following our blog, it was the one entitled “Prepare to be Horrified”“). We thought we would tell you a bit about our experience in each place. There is a link later to read the horrifying house sit if you are interested! For those who haven’t been following our blogs, this post is a good summary of all of our other posts in terms of where we have been.
The one comment we have heard from other people about house sitting is that they think it would be strange to sleep in someone else’s bed, or live in their home. I remember saying to Trevor on our 2nd day into our 1st house sit in Cairns “I thought it would feel strange living in someone else’s home, but it really doesn’t!” He agreed. I can’t say for certain why it didn’t feel strange, but for us, we just made ourselves feel at home, and became comfortable right away. It helped that our first house was absolutely gorgeous, and was in pristine condition, so there was nothing to be concerned about (the complete opposite from our last one). Most home owners have a spare bedroom that you would stay in, so it is very rare to be sleeping in a home owner’s bed. They usually have spare bathrooms too (not always).
Our first house sit (Dec 24th to Jan 8th) in Cairns was by far our favourite home. We felt as if we were staying in a tropical retreat in Bali. We were surrounded by lush tropical gardens, and had a lovely outdoor space, which had a pool. Considering, the weather was a constant 40 degrees Celsius, the pool came in handy!
There were some downfalls to our 1st house sit. One of them was our location within Cairns. We were about an hour walk from the main town, which meant we had to rely on the bus system if we wanted to go anywhere. In most cities this isn’t a big deal, but Cairns was a small city, and it didn’t have the most efficient bus system. We attempted one day to walk to the bus stop (about 10 minutes away), and when we arrived, the bus drove right past us! It wouldn’t be returning for another hour, so we had to catch a taxi and spend $20 to get to the main town. Because we couldn’t figure out how to get home, we had to spend another $20. This became an expensive outing, and because of that, we didn’t go out often. We enjoyed our time at the house, and spent lots of time with our new dog Ebony. She was a wonderful dog, and gave us no problems. If you are thinking that she looks depressed – she isn’t. We thought that too, but turns out she just looks that way!
Our job was very easy, not much was expected of us other than to clean up the debris on the patios, and clean the pool. We took Ebony for walks, and took out the garbage, but otherwise, our time was our own, and we found it very relaxing. If you are curious about the overall costs associated with house sitting. When it came to this house sit, we spent about $300-350 in groceries and take-out food. We didn’t want to spend that much, but because we were so far from any grocery store, we had no choice but to order in food after our initial groceries ran out after the first week. We spent way too much on a tour to the Great Barrier Reef, and about $100 on a day out to the Zoo. When you add the cost of the flight to/from Sydney ($900), it was a very expensive 2 week holiday. I wouldn’t recommend following in our footsteps on this experience. We could have done much better to plan a location with access to cheaper food, and to transportation, which would have cut our costs. If you look back on our blogs you can read about our time in Cairns, and our adventures to the Great Barrier Reef and the Zoo.
Our next house sit was in Sydney (Jan 11th – 20th), and since it started a few days later, we had to spend one night in a hotel (VERY expensive in Sydney), and the home owners were nice enough to put us up with them for one night before they left. This house sit was in a cute home in an older suburb of Sydney. We couldn’t have asked for a better location, it was only 10 minutes by bus to Darling Harbour, and only 15-20 minutes from the Sydney Opera House. There were lots of shops and restaurants nearby, which made it easy to run out and grab last minute groceries or a cheap pizza. We were able to shop for all of our groceries for this house sit ahead of time because it was only a 10 day stay. We picked up a $5 pizza from Dominoes one night (yes they have Dominoes), and had a Thai dinner another night. We hadn’t gone out to a restaurant in Cairns, and we wanted to treat ourselves to a “Date Night”, so we took the opportunity to eat dinner at a restaurant on the Harbour one night, and stayed to watch the fireworks. It was expensive, but well worth the experience. We have photos posted on our Facebook page HERE.
In this house sit we had a dog named Poppy. She was an energetic border collie, who gave us little rest! At first we were a little concerned that she might be too much dog for us to handle, but we got into a routine, and she seemed to take a liking to us over time. This house sit was very easy in terms of expectations. We actually did more than what was asked of us, so overall we were able to sight-see and relax, which was great. Check out the beautiful Sydney beach photos we took, and If you are interested in learning how to see all of Sydney in 24 hours, check out our blog with all the photos HERE.
Our 3rd house sit, I am not going to discuss, because it would be repetitive for those of you who are following our blogs. There is a link to it at the top of this blog if you want to read it!
We feel like we have been gone from Canada forever, but it has only been about 7 weeks. We have already lived in 3 different cities, and are now into our 4th city and 2nd country (New Zealand). I will be posting very shortly about New Zealand, as we have experienced quite a big hiccup in our adventure, and I definitely want to share it with you all.
Ciao for now!