House Sitting Enables Modern Day Nomads to Travel

November 25, 2005 -- Alys Henderson and Majella Gillen are modern day nomads. “Home” is wherever they are currently house sitting. However, it wasn’t necessarily the experience of different cultures and areas that attracted this pair to house sitting, it was the opportunity to be around different animals.

“We have had no fixed abode since March of 2003. The idea of changing environments and having a variety of pets to look after is what attracted us to house sitting. We love change and experiencing new things -- and we also adore animals. The Canberra and Blue Mountains fires, although not directly affecting us, reminded us to not become tied to possessions. We sold the majority of our belongings and rented out our home and started out sitting only in Sydney for the first two years while we both worked. Then we decided to see more of Australia and sit nationally so here we are in Kings Canyon at a Park Rangers house. We will eventually start sitting internationally.”

When asked which sits have been their favorite, they were quick to reply. “Our favorite sits are with dogs. We have come to love two poodles in Chipping Norton, a Westie in Alexandria and a pug in Newton. But, we have looked after many lovely animals and fondly remember them all. All of our sits have included pets, except for one. Pet types include: dogs, cats, a duck, chickens, fish, birds, guinea pig, a possum and a worm farm.”

“We always enjoy the interaction with animals the most. Whether it is talking to a possum and watching her eat a banana or cuddling a pussycat or walking and talking to a dog. Animals are not aware that their owners are going to be gone for so long, as they have no concept of the time. So, although the pets miss them, they usually just enjoy having someone around to fuss over them. The homeowners usually pine more than the animals.”

Alys Henderson and Majella Gillen are very busy. Their schedule is booked through July 2006, with only a few short gaps in between. Their stays range from one week to four months. “There are sits for periods like six months, or a year. But, we don’t enjoy that type of house sitting because you are locked into a place for a long time. We avoid the very long-terms ones because we thrive on change.”

When asked about the process of becoming a house sitter, they were quick to point out how simple it is to make connections. “It was very easy to become a sitter. The website makes it very easy to receive information from homeowners because we get an automatic email whenever a new homeowner advertises their need for a sitter. We can then choose to contact them by logging into the site. We get a lot of requests to sit and cannot do them all. We often give out the site’s details to homeowners looking for other sitters.”

Henderson and Gillen housesit approximately 11 months out of the year. “If we have gaps, we either go camping, go on a holiday, stay with friends or rent a room in Sydney. Our moves are down pat and we take only a few minutes to feel “at home” in any house. We do not feel the need to be anywhere permanently to feel at home. In fact, after about six weeks, we are looking forward to the next move.”

View the sitter profile for RainbowSitters

Ian White
Sydney, N.S.W.
Access 2000 Pty. Ltd.

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