Costa Rica House Sitting Photography travel

A Day in the Life…House Sitting

When you mention that you are going to be doing house sitting during your travels you get a variety of responses. From never have heard of it, to scepticism, to “hey, I’ve heard of that”. The one thing we never heard from anyone we spoke with before we departed on our adventure was “I’ve done that”. My incredibly talented researcher/wife combed the internet for several weeks before mentioning to me about house sitting. She presented a plan to take advantage of a number of reputable websites and peoples desire to keep their homes safe and in good repair that would allow us to live in locations around the world for next to no cost. Sounded awesome to me.

Well we are ending the first of our house sitting assignments in Puntarenas, Costa Rica and for the most part it is everything it is hyped up to be. That does not mean it is Nirvana and there are no challenges, but it does provide very low cost to no cost accommodation in areas around the world. I have received a few questions on what it is like to house sit. So here goes, a day in the life of a house sitter. Now please remember that this is only our first assignment so I am sure there are lots of ideas and details I may miss. This is a snap shot of how we have spent most of our days in the last couple of months that we have been here.

Our home for the last 2 months
Our home for the last 2 months
Taking Odie out for an afternoon walk.
Taking Odie out for an afternoon walk.

To start with our responsibilities were to take care of the house and watch over the owners dog Odie. This was pretty simple. For other than a love of barking at nearly everything that moved past the front of the house, Odie is a very easy boy to look after. Feed him, the occasional belly rub, and getting out for walks and he is your friend. The looking after the house is fairly low maintenance. Really, other than the occasional swarm of june bug, or termites, oh and ants, there really is nothing to worry about.

Odie's least favourite day of the week.
Odie’s least favourite day of the week.

I am usually the first one up at 6AM to let Odie out. Then it is either go back to bed or go for a run. I have conceded that early morning is the intelligent time to get runs done. I can run in the heat of the day but the increase in effort is phenomenal. Between 7:30 and 8:30 I blend up a fresh fruit smoothie after stretching out, then we sit and enjoy a pot of coffee while we catch up on emails, Facebook, Twitter, and all those social media sites. Karen also peruses the daily offerings of house sitting assignments from around the world. Focusing on our next 13 months in Central America.

Some time between 9 and 11 we chef up breakfast then digest before doing our daily workout. We mix up our routines to keep some variety. Currently we are doing a 30 day ab challenge we found on Facebook and I am doing a 30 day running strength routine put together by Kinetic Revolution, http://www.kinetic-revolution.com

Enjoying the wonderful Plank.
Enjoying the wonderful Plank.
And some sit ups while Odie watches on.
And some sit ups while Odie watches on.

Because we walk most places we go and the fruit here is so fresh that it only lasts a couple of days in the house, we go grocery shopping every other day. It is an easy 2km round trip to the local Maxi Pali (Walmart, I hate to say) and the local fresh fruit market.

The local super market where we get most of our groceries, except fresh fruit.
The local super market where we get most of our groceries, except fresh fruit.
Returning from Maxi Pali fully loaded.
Returning from Maxi Pali fully loaded.

One of the interesting sites as we go shopping, or go anywhere actually is the local jail which is situated at the end of the road that leads into our community.

Always an interesting collection of individuals hanging around the entrance to the jail.
Always an interesting collection of individuals hang around the entrance to the jail.

I believe the biggest misconception people have is they expect we are running around doing touristy things most days. Not so. For us we are living day to day, same as friends and family at home. Minus that 9 to 5 job thing. So though we do intersperse some outings to local points of interest, most days are what I have described. Our afternoons involve either shopping or taking Odie for a walk around the area or perhaps down to the beach. About a 5.5km round trip.

Usually the sand is too hot for Odie.
Usually the sand is too hot for Odie.
For the most part we have the beach to ourselves.
For the most part we have the beach to ourselves.

Being around the community every afternoon allows us to see some other activities we would normally miss. Once or twice a week a couple drive a small pick up truck up and down every street in the community. They have a loud speaker system on the roof announcing the sale of papayas, oranges and pineapples. Quite literally service to your door if you want it. The fellow I enjoy the most is a wonderful man who comes by 3 or 4 times a week with a tray of fresh made flan type dessert. For 500 colones ($1US) we have a nice snack for later in the evening. It was great the day Costa Rica was playing Uruguay in the World Cup. He was dancing along with the National flag draped around his shoulders. We were able to keep track of the score by the explosion of noise from every house around us every time Costa Rica scored. It was like the Stanley Cup finals, except it was just the first of their games in the World Cup. Very interesting to be here during this event.

Refreshments in the front courtyard are served around 4:00 ish as we enjoy the coolness of an afternoon shower, or watch the cattle wander by. This is a wonderful time for reading, writing, or just playing games. The side entertainment at this time of day is the sound iguanas scurrying around on the hot metal roof over our heads. At first it is a bit disconcerting, but after a while you just laugh.

We relax in the front courtyard as the cowboys bring the cattle in for an afternoon snack.
We relax in the front courtyard as the cowboys bring the cattle in for an afternoon snack.

As we have been repeatedly informed that it may not be safe to be out and about after dark, we usually enjoy a movie or TV series on Netflix.com. It is also a great time to FaceTime or Skype with family and friends.

It is not the jet setting lifestyle some may have expected, but it is a wonderful way to fully experience the pace of life in areas that we probably would never have encountered.

If you are curious about the sites we use to check out house sitting opportunities here are a couple we have found useful.

http://www.housecarers.com

http://www.trustedhousesitters.com

http://www.mindmyhouse.com

 

Welcome to our travel blog. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to say, "I'm out of here?" Well we did, and in 2013 we made it a reality. We sold or gave away all of our possessions other than what fit in our luggage and we set off on an endless adventure. Part of our goal is to share our experiences with others and hopefully provide some information, motivation, or just a moments escape. The general idea was to look for a place that would be ideal to settle down in. However in the meantime it is about experiencing life in different countries amongst different cultures and learning how to understand and appreciate each other. A large part of our time is spent housesitting which provides an excellent opportunity to experience more of the "normal" neighbourhoods as opposed to the tourist locales. Though we make sure to enjoy those as well. So through plenty of photographs and a running commentary come and share with us our life on the road.

7 comments on “A Day in the Life…House Sitting

  1. Very informative and as always well written. We too get questions when we go to Yuma every year. Most people think we just do tourist things constantly for those 6 months. We try to explain to them that we are past the tourist thing, it is just a warm place to live day by day in the winter. I have even had people ask me what we eat there? I think they imagine we eat camping food?? I enjoy reading about your adventures and the “everyday stuff”.

    • I am so glad you enjoyed the post Delena. And you hit the nail on the head. It is just “normal” life, Where it is much warmer. Enjoy your warm summer up north.

  2. K. Wright

    Nice article Peter. FYI, I have use http://www.caretaker.org for decades now and been housesitting all over the world from the housesitting gigs on their site.
    Karen

  3. Adams, Dianna

    Can not imagine being there when they best Italy
    Keep the posts coming

    Dianna Adams, CIP
    Senior Adjuster
    Risk Management and Claims
    P: (403) 268-5423
    C: (403) 804-9349
    F: (403) 268-8257
    E: dianna.adams@calgary.ca

    Sent by iPhone

  4. We have been house siting for a couple of years and in many ways your daily life is a lot like ours. We spend time getting exercise, shopping and cooking and enjoying slow travel. We do usually spend part of a day exploring the local area (currently Phoenix, AZ) and doing some touristy things. This assignment happens to be close to some family and friends, so we enjoyed having visitors as well.

    • Thank you for the comment. As well, we try to incorporate walks in the area we are in. Also we just did a touristy trip to Tortuga Island. Stayed tuned for our next post.

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