(CNN) — Traveling around the world while staying in other people’s homes for free might sound too good to be true. But a semi-retired couple from Norfolk, England have managed to do just that.
Jonathan and Julie Ashworth, who are both in their 50s, sold their home back in 2017 and now spend their days globetrotting while looking after other people’s houses, and pets, in exchange for free accommodation.
The couple’s house sitting adventures have taken them to destinations such as France, Thailand, Australia, Spain and California, as well as around much of the UK.
They’ve stayed in an array of homes, including villas and country houses, and have cared for numerous cats and dogs, as well as horses, chickens, hamsters, rabbits, a kunekune pig and even a tortoise.
The Ashworths, who are currently house sitting in Australia, booked their first house sit back in 2018 while looking for ways they could travel more while on a budget, and say they’ve never looked back.
Pet loving travelers
UK couple Jonathan and Julie Ashworth began house sitting in 2018 and say they’ve never looked back.
The Global Petsitters
While they were initially skeptical about the idea of receiving free accommodation in exchange for looking after homes and pets, they decided to give it a try, and signed up to popular platform Trusted House Sitters, which connects owners with sitters.
The site works in a similar way to Airbnb, with both the owner and the house sitter leaving reviews for each other. All members are required to pay an annual fee to join.
As they were new to the practice, the couple opted to house sit locally in order to build up their profiles, and often went to visit owners in person before securing their stay.
“We didn’t have the reviews to start with, so we wanted to have face to face contact with them [the owners] to reassure them that we were good sitters,” explains Jonathan.
Both are huge animal lovers, which is an important factor, as the vast majority of house sits involve looking after a pet of some sort.
“There are a few houses that are pet-free,” says Julie. “But most do come with pets. You have to be a pet loving traveler.”
Once they’d clocked up a significant amount of positive reviews, they began to apply for house sits slightly further afield.
The couple then traveled to America, where they spent around three months house sitting …….