Yep, you could say I’m proudly letting my nomad flag fly.
Now, the term “digital nomad” tends to conjure up visions of a thin, white, blonde woman lounging in a hammock on a tropical beach or those bearded millennial bros sipping coffee in a fancy co-working space. But let me assure you, I’m a far cry from those stereotypes. I’m not your conventional image: I’m a bit on the heavier side, in my middle age, and present as female. My style is a little offbeat, and I’m not the most social butterfly. Picture me as your quirky, unconventional aunt.
Although I used to work overseas pre-pandemic, nowadays, I’ve grounded myself in the UK. Previously, I’d lived out of AirBnbs, but those got pricey, and I realized they came with their fair share of problems. So, I switched to house-sitting.
Let’s delve into my digital nomad life: House Sitting Adventure
My gig involves living in someone else’s home for a stretch, typically 1 to 4 weeks (I prefer the longer stints), taking care of their pets and looking after the house. I absolutely adore it because I get to dwell in beautiful homes, plus I get the added joy of the company of a lovely cat or dog. My usual daily routine goes something like this:
- Rise and attend to the pet’s needs, playtime, and morning feed
- Sip coffee while solving sudoku and listening to Kosmischer Laufer
- Freshen up, get dressed while jamming to tunes by Orbital
- If there’s a dog, take a pleasant morning stroll
- Breakfast for both me and the pet if needed
- Work, lunch, the usual routine
- Another walk or play session post-work
- Wind down with dinner and snuggles on the couch
- Off to bed
I also take care of watering plants, managing deliveries, collecting mail, and ensuring the house is kept secure and tidy. It’s a win-win—the hosts get their pets looked after, and their home remains occupied while they’re away, sometimes to comply with their home insurance terms.
Start House Sitting: 25% off
I find these sitting opportunities through Trusted House Sitters. It’s not a paid gig for me, nor do I shell out cash for the stay. Instead, both hosts and sitters pay an annual fee to Trusted House Sitters.
If this intrigues you, I’ve got a referral link for a sweet deal. If you use my link, you’ll snag a fantastic 25% off your first year’s membership, and I’ll score two months of free membership.
Why do I choose to live as a house sitting digital nomad?
It perfectly caters to my need for both variety and routine. I get the excitement of a new place to live, a fresh town to explore, and a new furry friend to bond with. Simultaneously, I maintain my cherished routine that keeps my possessions minimal and clutter-free.
And speaking of furry friends, I absolutely adore dogs and cats. While I’m not prepared to have my own pet right now, being a temporary “auntie” to others’ pets suits me just fine.
I do have a regular base in the UK to store my meagre belongings, which all fit neatly into a single transit van. I use that address as my home base and opt for a virtual PO box for my business address. UK Postbox (affiliate link) is my go-to for a virtual address. They offer a free option, but if you need more, there are paid choices available. I’ve been using them for years, and their customer support is top-notch.
This lifestyle might be attributed to my brain—I’m suspected to be on the autism spectrum—or perhaps it stems from my childhood experiences. My parents managed pubs, which meant we moved about every year or so within South London. Despite the frequent moves, I attended the same school, ensuring educational consistency. I found joy in exploring new homes, especially the large, sprawling pubs with their attics and cellars teeming with nooks and crannies, sparking my imagination.
Yes, I’m fully aware this life is a little off the beaten path, but it fits me like a glove. And it’s all made possible because of the internet.
I didn’t grow up in the internet era, but I was aware of its existence during my teens. Back then, it was a realm reserved for uber geeks. I knew about ARPANET and Usenet, though they weren’t accessible to the general public. I tinkered with a computer, writing BASIC programs, but the capabilities were quite limited. Flashing a line from pink to green on a screen didn’t particularly excite me. I stored it away as something to keep an eye on and continued with the usual teenage/young adult pursuits. In my twenties, I lived and worked overseas.
During my thirties, I worked in Corporate IT Support. I dealt with centralized networks and early remote working technologies. It was evident to me how work and travel could be harmonized. Before that, working abroad tended to be either poorly paid job hopping or being dispatched by a company (which often required a high-level position). The chance to work from multiple locations of your own choice was extremely rare.
Thanks to the internet, now anyone can work from anywhere they choose. There’s a plethora of tools available, and being confined to a single location is no longer a necessity.
This is the life I always dreamt of, but I thought it was reserved for big shot company bosses or supermodels (both way out of my league). So, I decided to take the reins. You only live once, and life is meant to be experienced to the fullest.
Are you considering this lifestyle for yourself?
It might just be your cup of tea. If your business operates online, you too can embrace the digital nomad lifestyle. It doesn’t have to be full-time; some folks do it only a few times a year, while others follow seasonal patterns, and then there are people like me who are in it full-time.
Please don’t be misled into thinking it’s only for the young, the wealthy, or the trendsetters. There’s a diverse array of individuals living nomadically who aren’t showcasing glamorous lives on Instagram.
And let me clear this up—it’s definitely not a form of homelessness (although it can significantly trim down your bills). Those who scoff at the idea, labelling it as reckless or unsafe, lack a bit of imagination and problem-solving skills.
If you’ve got any questions about how I navigate this lifestyle, feel free to shoot me a message. I’m also always thrilled to chat about earning a living while revelling in life’s adventures. If you’d like to talk, here’s my scheduling link: https://calendly.com/hellyeahtech/chat