After a holiday trip around southern Spain and Portugal with Michael’s family, we found an online website that changed our winter travel plans, and possibly the way we do Digital Nomading.
TrustedHouseSitters is a website that lets people find someone to look after their house and pets when they go out on holidays. But for people like us, the website is also excellent to list to housesit somebody’s house, get free rent and visit new places.
We found an awesome place in Switzerland, just outside of Lausanne. We had not planned to go to Switzerland at all, so it was a nice change of plans. Our original plan was to stay in Romania, try to find a short-term rental, and just work for all of the winter. After a couple of days in Cluj-Napoca in Transylvania, we realized how hard it is to find short-term rentals. Airbnb prices there are very high for what regular rent would cost in Romania. Cluj is a University City, so most apartments are for rent for whole semesters, nobody rents you a place for just one month. We met awesome people who were more than willing to help us. Romanians are very nice people, like the girl in one of the Real Estate agencies we visited who went out of her way to help us find a place. We didn’t find anything suitable in the end, so we had to act fast and find a new destination.
That’s when we found out about housesitting. We made a cool profile, with a video to introduce ourselves to people looking for trustworthy people to live in their houses. After only a day of sending out requests to different people, with the only requirement being fast internet connection, Antonio from Switzerland replied that he would love for us to look after their house.
So we left Romania, spent my 25th birthday week in Milan, Italy and then traveled by train to Lausanne. (If you’re looking to buy train tickets in Europe, I recommend using Loco2).
We looked after the house for a month and a half, and not only did we have a giant house with breathtaking views of the Swiss Alps, fields and forests to go on hikes to, and a full pantry, we also had to beautiful dogs, a Weimaraner and a Pointer, to keep us company.
Being a nomad can become tiring, not having a place to call home, but in Switzerland we took a break, made the house we were looking after our home and had time to work and focus on great projects we want to see grow in 2016. I finished writing my novel during this time!
The family was awesome, we made friends with them, and we were truly sad to leave the dogs we looked after and fell in love with. Our first house-sitting experienced opened a whole new possibility to make long term travel more enjoyable.