Living a life dictated by the ocean often means compromise. You need time and a flexible schedule so when those brief encounters with perfection occur on the East Coast, you can be on it. Otherwise, you’re just hearing stories about what you missed. You need money for gas, food, parts and maybe even plane tickets (not in that order). That often means that working numerous jobs, wearing a few hats and being a jack of a bunch of trades (hack) kinda shit. And that hard earned money seems to get swallowed in bills, namely the big one: a roof over your head. Any way you cut it, a mortgage or rent just cuts into the fun. So this year my girl and I decided to take matters into our own hands.
We put our heads together and decided to officially enter the world of professional (cough) house sitting and care taking. With a couple of well placed ads online and getting the word out amongst our cumulative contacts, we were off and running. We got some responses and landed our first gigs, then put our heart and soul into the roles. We’d both done this a bit in the past and have a pretty varied level of combined experience and skill sets, so we just did what we do. And it worked! We got more referrals and more gigs. People were actually paying us to live in their nice homes. So with surf season looming, we lined up a care taking position down near the coast.
We work up in Vermont in between swells, ride bikes, train, play (soon, snowboard) and then when the waves get good, we head down to our “second home” and surf until it’s gone.
And YOU can do it too. Rent or a mortgage aren’t for everyone, and sleeping in your van down by the river is not as socially acceptable as it once was (trust me). List out some of your skills and make an ad. Get references from past jobs. House sitting for friends counts! Many people want you to take care of animals so list any experience there. Place an ad online or even try the bulletin board route. There are also some great websites dedicated to the art of being nice to other people’s property, like The Caretaker’s Gazette and House Carers that you could try. Just remember – like surfing, don’t snake someone and steal their gig!