This morning the grass sparkled as if dusted with rainbow glitter and the frozen blades crunched pleasingly underfoot. We were enjoying our morning house sitting ritual of walking the fields while Jupiter, our Border Collie ward for the month, happily chased the sticks we threw. The rising sun warmed our cheeks and lit up the rolling hills and stone buildings that dotted the landscape. It was simple perfection and it was to be our life for the next five weeks.
After spending the past three months living in the big, bustling cities of Istanbul and London we had wondered if the transition to country living in the south of France would be challenging. It wasn’t. We slipped on the garb of the slow, simple routine of country life like a soft warm sweater. And I mean that quite literally. As it turns out the ‘south’ in Southern France does not necessarily mean mild temperatures.
We are one week into house sitting a 300 year old stone farmhouse near a tiny village south of Cahors and we are in heaven. Also in our care are chickens, ducks, geese, a large but sweet ginger cat and of course the aforementioned fun loving eight month old Jupiter. He will no doubt break my heart when we leave.
A Typical House Sitting Day
The past seven days have been full and yet beautifully free. The rooster wakes us at dawn but we snuggle deeper under the covers and steal another couple of hours of glorious sleep. The kind of delicious sleep you only get out in the countryside. When we hear Jupiter stirring downstairs we peel ourselves out of bed and quickly pull on our warm clothes against the morning chill.
Nathan starts a fire in the wood stove, I let the fowl out of their coops and then we set out for our morning walk and stick throwing session. Each morning displays a new work of art. The surrounding countryside of fields, hills, trees and farmhouses changes with whatever Mother Nature has decided to offer up. One day can be a misty landscape of grays and blues, the next a patchwork of golds and greens and on one occasion this week a powdery vision of white. This morning the fields were a sparkling kaleidoscope of sun shining on the frosty grass.
Our house sitting days have fallen into a comfortable routine with a sweet balance of relaxation and productivity.
It’s really quite amazing how a lack of distraction can seemingly add hours to your day. Magically we are able to effortlessly fit in cleaning, cooking and other errands, dog walking, chicken feeding and fire building plus a full 8 hours of work and we still have time to enjoy a leisurely bath with a glass of wine and watch a movie before bed! How great is that? Next week we’ll add in some countryside explorations so the long baths may change to showers but I can live with that.
I suppose there is the chance that what we find pleasing today becomes monotonous with time and although in this moment it’s hard to believe, we will undoubtedly be looking for new adventures. For us that is the best part of living this nomadic lifestyle and especially incorporating house sitting into the mix…we don’t have to pick just one thing. Last month we were urbanites caring for four cats in a London flat and exploring Soho’s hidden bars and riding the Tube. This month we are country folk feeding the chickens, living in a stone farmhouse and driving along winding roads in search of baguettes. Next month? Well you’ll just have to stop by again to find out.
So You Want to Try House Sitting?
If you are interested in learning more about house sitting and how you too can live this life just drop us a line. We’d be happy to answer any questions. For now check out some of our favorite sites to get an idea of what house sits are available. There is no cost to browse the house sits but if you want to apply you will have to become a member. We initially signed up for all three of the sites below but after the first year we cut back to the two we found to be working the best for us. They each have their own strengths depending on your criteria so it’s best to do some research and of course ask us!
Trusted Housesitters This is the best site that we’ve found so far and the one that we have had the most success with getting housesits all over the world. It’s really easy to use and has tons of opportunities but because they are so popular there is also some stiff competition.
House Carers We have had success with this site also but not as much as Trusted. They don’t have as many listings but then again you also won’t have as much competition. They do have listings all over the world but their largest market is Australia.
Mind My House This is a great site as well but we find it to be mainly North American housesits so we haven’t had an opportunity with them yet.
Happy House Sitting!
Disclaimer: We do receive a very small commission from both Trusted Housesitters and House Carers if you sign up using our link below. We would really appreciate it. As always we only recommend things that we have tried ourselves and fully believe in.
Born in England, Sarah developed her wanderlust at a young age as she traveled around Europe with her parents. As a young adult she spent every penny she could on experiences as opposed to possessions. Eventually she found a way to earn a living doing what she loved: traveling, writing and capturing images of the wondrous world we live in. When not on the go Sarah enjoys time in her “sometimes home” of Vancouver.