52 house sits in 52 weeks

October 2018

  • Do you ever set goals for yourself?
  • Do you enjoy new challenges?
  • Do you welcome changes to your routine?

I think as house sitters, most of us probably do welcome changes and challenges. After all, settling for a period of time in a new house, with new pets, is an intrinsic part of our lifestyle choice.

Vanessa and I discuss this from time to time, and when looking at our past choices, we see that we are very similar. Before we met, Vanessa travelled extensively, and has lived in England, Wales, Spain and France. I too have travelled a lot, and have lived in England, Australia, Canada and Panama.

Ten years ago I had my “15 minutes of fame”, when, after a difficult divorce, I decided to list my “whole life” for sale on eBay. I made international headlines, and appeared on TV shows in the UK, USA, Australia and beyond.

In many of these interviews about why I was doing this, I was often asked what I would do once I sold my life.

My answer was that I could do anything I liked, as I would be completely free of all ties. I made a bucket list of 100 goals – things I had always wanted to do, people I wanted to meet, places I wanted to see. And on 3rd August 2008 I set off on a two year journey in an effort to achieve as many of these goals as I could.

I called my adventure “100 goals in 100 weeks”, and I blogged almost every day for those two years, and made lots of videos.

I ultimately achieved 94 of the 100 goals I had on my list, although by the end of the 100 weeks the journey had become much more about the people I was meeting, rather than ticking goals off a list.

You can see more about this adventure on my website here:

https://IanUsher.com/stories/100goals

or for a more personal telling of the story you can read my book, A Life Sold. There are links to the book on the 100goals webpage.

A couple of months ago, as the ten year anniversary of the start of this big adventure approached, Vanessa suggested we should come up with another adventure to challenge ourselves.

And so the idea for “52 house sits in 52 weeks” was born.

Could it be done? It would certainly be a logistical challenge, and would involve a lot of changes, but we were both enthusiastic about the idea.

So we planned and organised, and on 1st September 2018 our adventure began. As I write this it is 12th October, and we’re already on Sit # 6, looking after Springer Spaniel Sammy, aging cats Maximillian and Clementine, and 2 rescued ponies Gecko and Mini.

We have quite a few sits booked ahead now, but also have some gaps in the schedule still to be filled.

In terms of challenge, adventure and FUN we have certainly found what we were looking for!

So why take on such a challenge?

Apart from our own desire for adventure, we feel that doing something unique will help spread the word about house sitting. One of our goals is to demonstrate that house sitting is a great way for pet and home owners to find freedom to travel, as well as for house sitting pet lovers to do so too.

Our stated goals for our 52sits challenge include, to:

  • inspire people to travel more and explore lifestyle option
  • raise awareness of house sitting and the positive benefits for all
  • encourage more home owners to be confident in allowing house sitters into their homes
  • explain the importance of using respected house sitting platforms
  • organize more meet-ups between house sitters on the road
  • promote the benefits of the sharing economy

UPDATE 2020: Our goal was achieved! In fact we managed to squeeze 53 sits into the year from 1st Sept 2018 to 31st Aug 2019.

We hope you enjoy this month’s magazine, and we look forward to hearing about your travel and house sitting adventures.

Best wishes,

Ian and Vanessa

(currently house sitting in the UK)

  • October 18, 2018

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