“So what do I do if he jumps off the balcony?”
“Don’t worry. We will know it’s not your fault. He’s done that before…”
– Maya giving last minute instructions
If you love animals doing a housesit is an amazing idea. Especially if you travel alone and would like some company that doesn’t talk back. Unless you petsit Ewok. He talks. A lot.
I had though about doing housesitting before I started my journey, but then never really got into it. After talking to Logan in Budapest and hearing which company he recommended, I finally signed up with Trusted Housesitters. It costs $119 per year, but then you get a safe environment where you can find people serious about their pets and homes, who want to find someone responsible to take care of both while they are gone.
I ended up going to Malaysia ahead of my plans because I found Ewok on there. Ewok is a black rescue cat who talks a lot and really loves company. After staying in Kuala Lumpur for a little week I ubered up to where Maya and her little family lives. She was taking her two kids to Indonesia to meet up with the husband and extended family. They would be gone for 12 days and while they were gone I would be given the keys to their lush apartment in a lovely building complex in Mont Kiara. It came complete with a swimming pool and gym, balcony, supernice bahrooms with lush showers and I was in heaven. The evening I got there Maya, Mahe and Solene took me out to dinner and we had a great evening together before they had to catch an early flight the next morning.
Then it was just me and Ewok. For 12 days that little guy was my favourite thing in the word. It took him about three days before he started sleeping next to me at night. He would follow me around the apartment when I was doing the (absolute minimal) chores that came with the place. They have a cleaner so I didn’t do any cleaning, I basically fed the cat and watered the plants. The plants stressed me out though… Trying to water them… but not too much… but not too little… lol.
Maya had written up a very comprehensive word document for me before I even arrived with all the important information and contact numbers. In addition, Trusted Housesitters has an emergency number for a vet if a crisis should happen. Fortunately I didn’t need any of that. The only problem I had during my stay was that one of the drains got a bit clogged, upon which Maya, who is a fan of the more natural lifestyle told me to use baking soda and vinegar. I had never tried that before. I can now say I am a professional de-clogger utilizing the natural methods. Call me if you need me.
I’m serious. You should’ve seen me. I was brilliant.
In the word document Maya had written about Ewok: “Currently he cries.” and she was not wrong. In the beginning he would start talking in the middle of the night for no apparent reason other than being awake and craving company. If I was not awake that did not fit with his current plans, so he had to make sure I was. Pretty logical. I didn’t mind though, he would calm down as soon as I acknowledged his presence and gave him a cuddle, and I was there for the company anyway. After about day three he learned that he could just come lie down in my bed with me and he would get the same result.
I ended up spending Christmas and New Years with a cat this year… Like a proper Cat Lady, except there was only one cat, he’s not mine, the apartment’s not mine and I am travelling the world as a nomad… Were was I going with this?
I just Trumped the hell out of that sentence… Can’t remember what I wanted to say…
Anyway! The point is, housesitting is cool. Even if I don’t do another housesit ever again the $119 was worth it, because it essentially means I paid $10 per night for luxury accommodation. But I plan to housesit more though, maybe in Japan. There tends to be more housesits in the more developed areas and in places with many expats. There are a lot of hosuesitters too though, so if you want to try this, be prepared to apply for lots of them. I applied for 5 and got a positive on 2, but I was lucky. Maya needed someone quick and I was very flexible.
Even if I don’t do another housesit ever again the $119 was worth it, because it essentially means I paid $10 per night for luxury accommodation.
All in all I would definitely recommend this, I thought it was a lovely experience and it’s a great chance to live like a local instead of out of a hostel/hotel.
The only downside is missing the pets after you leave.
Also: I bought Ewok a toy for Christmas… He couldn’t give less of a sh*t about it if he tried… Thanks, dude. Love you too ❤