Travel With Bender

Uncovering the best family holidays

Living The Dream

Living The Dream: No Fixed Address, Permanently House-Sitting

We met Nat and Jodie recently online. They house-sit permanently. That’s right, they spend their life living in free accommodation, looking after other people’s pets and just travelling. Which is all Living The Dream is for them. 

Nat Smith

What was the first country you visited? Who with and why did you choose it?

If I recall correctly it was 1998 to Vanuatu with my fiancé and a very crazy bunch of divers. We were there to dive an awesome old WWII wreck and get some dive tickets for wreck and deep diving in the process. The two main things I remember about that trip was a massive earthquake that shock our bed into the middle of the room one night, and beating all the boys by registering the deepest dive that trip by 20 centimeters… Woohoo!


When did you start a travel lifestyle? What inspired that change?

In my head I started traveling a very long time ago Smile I had National Geographic maps on my wall for years and would study them incessantly. Embarrassing yes, but I knew it was inevitably leading me to travel, a lot!

But my traveling lifestyle didn’t start the way I envisaged it might.

We left Australia in 2011 for a job that I was offered in Dubai. I hated it about 3 months after I got there, so we took up an offer to start a company. Long painful story short, we lost everything and then some.

So with no money to return home to Australia and no money for rent, we started house sitting. It was only going to be for a few months till we got back on our feet, although I have no idea what we thought we were going to do after that! But as things turn out, the more we house sat, the more we realised we were both living our absolute dream life.

So our travel lifestyle was really born out of necessity or default for us… but oh what a gift!

 

Do you have a base you travel from? Or is it continuous travel? And why do you choose that style?

After finishing our 16 months residency in Dubai we became fulltime international house sitters and travelers. Since we left Australia almost 3 years ago now, we have no residency there. In fact we became residents of nowhere after we surrendered our UAE visas. So I guess we are just Citizens of the World now!

In many ways we didn’t consciously choose this lifestyle (although I think subconsciously we definitely did!), but Jodie and I have spoken often about this… we could not even imagine what it would be like to be settled in one place now. We crave the variety of constant travel. Even house sits over two months long start to get to us! 

 

How do you fund your travel lifestyle? Is it something you do when travelling or are you a saver?

Saving does not exist in our vocabulary… well not yet at least. So yes we work, and we work a lot actually. While people might think we are just gallivanting around the world, the hard reality is we work some long hours creating our business.

Our business now is bringing awareness and teaching others about house sitting. We had no intention of starting this business (abit like starting this lifestyle!), but after a young lady came to the door in London and got chatting about house sitting (about the 40th person to ask us about it), we could not ignore the signs anymore. Jodie walked back inside, found the domain name International House Sitting available, and bought it there and then. Our house sitting business was born and since then everything has just flowed in this direction.

While we have been getting our business up and running however we have been making affiliate sales and doing press releases for clients for cashflow. Money has been very tight throughout the last 18 months, but we have been determined to create solid business foundations under us so we can earn a more passive income in time.

 

If you could tell yourself one tip before you started your travel lifestyle, what would it be?

That a thing called house sitting exists to travel the world, and you do not need money to travel… well not as much as I thought I did!

Oh and you do not need all those ‘things’ in life… life does go on without them, and in fact there in lies the ultimate freedom.

Sorry that’s three!

 

What does "Living The Dream" mean to you?

Travel. No fixed address. Constant movement. One bag of possessions. Seeing where life takes me next. The sense of adventure that comes from the unknown.

For me these things are the ultimate freedom and dream lifestyle.  

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Jodie Thompson

What was the first country you visited? Who with and why did you choose it?

In 1989 at 19 years of age my first passport stamp was Hawaii, USA including a quick trip to San Fran & LA for the tourist attractions – suckiest part was not being able to drink at the Hard Rock Cafe being under 21 at the time LOL! I went with my ex boyfriend and three girls I worked with at Westpac Bank (whoa there’s a blast from the past)

 

When did you start a travel lifestyle? What inspired that change?

I guess it was instilled in me as a child. My primary school years were spent in five different towns in two different states. And then touring on the East Coast of Australia with my parents Coach Company through High School years. My first solo 12 month trip abroad was when I was 21. It never really stopped from there... my Nan used to tell me we had gypsy blood in us – I guess I took that literally! Occasionally I tried to be all ‘grown up’ and try to fit into society’s requirements of home ownership etc, but it was always short lived. My random movements have left many scratching their heads for years now ;)

 

Do you have a base you travel from? Or is it continuous travel? And why do you choose that style?

No base, no residency anywhere, no desire to have one either. Continuous travel is cheaper and way more fun, especially with house sitting!

 

How do you fund your travel lifestyle? Is it something you do when travelling or are you a saver?

Sorry, I don’t comprehend the word “saving”, have never done it – ever! In more recent years I’ve learnt why, which is simply that everything always falls into place when you follow your heart and don’t listen to logic – especially other people’s logic! Having spent six years learning ways to make money from anywhere, especially online, house sitting gave me the time and stress freedom to pursue the path.

 

If you could tell yourself one tip before you started your travel lifestyle, what would it be?

Why didn’t I start house sitting abroad sooner?

 

What does "Living The Dream" mean to you?

I no longer know the difference between dream and reality, its only when others bring it to my attention that I can sit in gratitude for having the courage to follow my hearts desires and my spontaneous ideas!

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You can find Nat & Jodie here -

Website: InternationalHouseSitting

Twitter: RentFreeLiving

Living a life uncommon feels so much more natural. And in the vain of Jewel’s song ‘A Life Uncommon’… fill your life with love and bravery, and you will live a life uncommon. 

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"I respond to every comment by private email. So please leave me comments, I love chatting to you" -
Posted by Heraa on
No fixed address is seriously a dream.. got to read this!!
Posted by Sharon on
ingenuity at its best
Posted by Tracey on
Really inspiring! I can identify with these ladies. We left on our travel adventure without a lot bucks in the bank ,working hard to make a living online. House sitting would be awesome for us! We haven't had any luck applying yet but with their tips we will be updating our profile and hopefully that will change.
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