Presenting: Teresa Roberts, International House Sitter Who Found The Gypsy In Herself
7. Selling virtually all one’s worldly possessions and embarking on an international adventure without a permanent home base also entails a psychological adjustment. How was your transition into this phase of new found freedom?
Bliss! Utter bliss! I have never been terribly materialistic. I have craved, instead, experiences over material objects. There is something quite freeing about living a life that is without material responsibilities. All material wealth, no matter how wonderful, comes with a lot of responsibility. We have to acquire it, care for it, keep it clean, repair it, store it , and eventually replace it. Whew! In the end, who owns who?
8. How do you actually find house sitting assignments?
Now that I have done a lot of house sitting, I usually get my assignments by doing recycled houses. These houses belong to people who I have become friends with and so they give me the opportunity to revisit some of my favorite places in the world. Sometimes, I get a referral from a previous job. For instance, when I once took care of a house in England, the owners referred me to their relatives in France. Originally, I found my first assignments with online agencies.
9. What do you do in between the house sitting assignments?
Sometimes we have a desire to visit a region in a neighboring country. I usually arrange a self catering rental via the Internet. When we complete the house-sitting job, we then squeeze in a trip to the nearby location. For example, after we had finished an assignment in England, we decided to return to Ireland for two months. On other occasions, we have gone back to the states to visit family.
10. Please tell us about the places that you have lived in as an international house sitter. Do you have any favorites and why?
I have lived in Spain many times. I love Spain! I will always go back to Spain. I enjoy the mountains, high above the Mediterranean Sea. Those little whitewashed villages are enchanting. I have also spent a lot of time in Ireland, England, and Mexico. I lived on a tiny island in the Dutch Antilles called Saba. That was an amazing experience. I love the city of Prague. I adore Malta. I have even taken care of a 57-foot boat in a marina in Baja California. I have taken care of only one house in the United States, however. It was in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. I generally prefer taking care of houses abroad.
11. Please tell us about some of the interesting people and situations you have encountered in your international house sitting assignments. Does everything go smoothly all the time or have there been some dicey situations?
I have met Flamenco dancers! I have met artists. I get to hobnob with expatriates. I meet other travelers and adventurers. We tend to have instant camaraderie because we are outside our own countries. I have met people who have sold everything to live on their boats. I met a famous bullfighter in a bar. It seems like everywhere that I go, the elderly, those happily retired men and women who sit in the plazas drinking their coffee, have taken me under their wing and shared a wealth of great stories with me. I have met some fine animals. Those beloved pets that I have cared for have also become my furry friends. For the most part, everything has gone exceedingly well. I have never had a client who turned out to be a problem. Most have gone on to be my friends. I do have a particular method that helps me select good clients, however.
12. Recently you have both decided to live a more settled life for family reasons. What does your life look at the moment and how have you been re-adjusting to this more conventional lifestyle?
Yes, we were lured back to the United States when our granddaughter was born. She has charmed us! Because she is such a delight, we have agreed that whenever stateside, we must live close to her. However, I have managed to go away for several assignments abroad during this hiatus and will most definitely be doing so again, on a bigger scale, when she gets a bit older.
13. Please tell us about the electronic book you have written about your experience and your upcoming paperback edition.
After I had traveled for a while, I discovered something quite gratifying. People were dying to know how I was doing what I was doing. Whether I was in an airport, bar, street café, or even back home among my friends, whenever anyone asked what I did for a living and I told them that I was an international house sitter, I could count on two reactions. First, there would be utter awe followed by genuine curiosity. I would always be forced to tell my story to an admiring audience.
After telling my story over and over, all over the world, a little light went off in my head. This is a GREAT story. It has universal appeal. I have an enraptured listening audience. Why not see if I can capture a reading audience as well?
I had fancied myself a writer since I was a child, so attempting to record a written version of why and how I do what I do was a happy task for me. I wrote Finding the Gypsy in Me – Tales of an International House Sitter over the course of a year. It is a mixture of inspiration and practical advice. My little ebook has gone on, without much formal marketing, to produce a surprising number of sales within a three-month period. I soon realized that I needed to have the paperback version available as well. It is available as of December 2011 on Amazon.
14. What are some of the most important insights that you have gained as an international house sitter? What has international house sitting taught you about time, money and travel?
Living such an unconventional life has certainly convinced me that “less is more”. Traveling light in life has specific benefits that I can now truly appreciate. I like to apply that knowledge to other things in life. Getting rid of stuff that weighs me down has become a focus. Attitudes, belief systems, even certain people, I have learned to let go of most things that get in my way of being happy.
I have also developed an eclectic group of worldwide friends. I feel at home in so many places. It is encouraging to know that there are kind people in every corner of this planet.
15.What advice would you give someone who is considering to become a house sitter themselves?
Buy my book! I have become an expert after six years of traveling in this manner. There are many variations to what I do. I discuss those variations and the details of how to go about building a network of great people who can benefit from your house-sitting services.
Stay out of debt! If you are not yet debt free, start moving in that direction. It will make it possible for you to take advantage of a lot more options in life whether you are a house sitter or not.
Start figuring out what you want and then focus your attention on it. We all have our dreams! Dare to give your dreams your undivided attention. That’s how I did it! We never get what we want in life by thinking about what we don’t want.
If you would like to find out more about Teresa Roberts and how she travels the world as an international house sitter, visit www.findingthegypsyinme.com
Teresa’s Book “Finding the Gypsy in Me – Tales of an International House Sitter” is available on Amazon in paperback or electronically as the Kindle version.