Pet and house sitters who can work away from the office travel internationally

There is a breed of person who are in employment (employee or self-employed) and their work does not require that they attend the office; they can work at home and home can be anywhere on the planet because these people are also international house and pet sitters. They are on-call internationally and can fly off to Puerto Rico or Greece or anywhere else for that matter where they may end up in a mansion surrounded by acres of gardens and where they continue to do their work via the Internet. If they are employed their employer might not know where they are. They could be thousands of miles away.

Claire Brummell
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Claire Brummell. Photo: Claire Brummell.

And, of course, we know that the Covid pandemic has opened up huge possibilities to homeworking. Post-Covid we are seeing many people working in hybrid employment, namely part of the time in the office, and part at home. And I think you will find that in some modern employee contracts you can choose to work from home at least part-time from the outset.

Clearly you need to divest yourselves of all your possessions and any property that you own. One lady, Suzie Young, 44, a digital consultant, put all her possessions into storage and sold her home in 2017 and joined an agency which places her in homes far from the UK, which is her base. She is currently in Greece which she loves and has applied for citizenship.

Another lady who does this is Amitra Lal. She is 31 and lives in London and works in marketing. She has been housesitting for 10 years. She has visited Australia, New Zealand, India and Italy. Another is Claire Brummell, 41, a business consultant from Kent. She is single. She has visited Brazil, Costa Rica, America, Greece, Spain and Ireland. She’s been working as a house sitter for seven years. She joined various housesitting websites and six weeks later she was in Costa Rica on her first appointment. She was interviewed by the homeowners through Skype.

She worked in one home in Costa Rica which was owned by American expats which had a 4-acre garden, plunge pools and two dogs. She has found herself in a very wide range of homes including a gated, 18-bed villa in Brazil with domestic staff and a huge pool. Claire works for three months annually as a house-sitter but it varies year-on-year.

It is a responsible position particularly when there are a couple of pets to look after. Looking after someone’s cat or dog is highly responsible as you are looking after a much-loved member of the family. Her favourite property was in Key West, Florida. The house was a nice size meaning not too big and therefore easier to keep tidy and clean. Also, the smaller properties, she finds, have more character. She has to do her domestic duties and pet caregiving followed by her work as a consultant, using the Internet, and between these sessions she does yoga on the beach or heads out to see on a friend’s boat to sail among the dolphins.

It does paint a very easy-going and pleasant life which is particularly impressive when you can actually earn a living at the same time. You just have to divest yourself of any possessions and anchor points such as property because you’ve got to be totally freewheeling and ready to travel pretty well anywhere. It seems that sometimes the pet’s owner pays the travel costs which might be substantial.

I wonder, too, if it might get a little bit lonely particularly if you find yourself in a very large property which will always be in a strange place. Although, it certainly has its attractions and I expect more people to do this now that homeworking has become far more acceptable for nearly all employers.


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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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