2 hours of research.
4 hours of follow-up.
$1,200 saved in accommodation costs.
I don’t know about you but for me it’s not everyday that I make $1,200 from 6 hours of work!
While this won’t happen every time, I am the living proof that you can save a lot of money from researching and applying to house sitting opportunities. Not only will it save you money, it will also give you the opportunity to live like a local for a longer period of time!
Here’s the story of how 2 hours of research led to 2 months of free accommodation on a cinnamon plantation in Sri Lanka, and how you can secure just as awesome opportunities with a bit of research and luck.
How 2 hours of research led to 2 months of free accommodation in Sri Lanka
As I was travelling through Vietnam, I learned that a friend of mine was getting married in Sri Lanka. It wasn’t part of the plan – or of the budget – so my girlfriend and I had to find a creative way to incorporate this into the itinerary.
At first, we looked into volunteering opportunities like Helpx and Workaway, but did not find anything that fit our needs. We both work as digital nomads, so we can only offer 2-3 hours of work 4 days a week in exchange for free accommodation.
Since this didn’t work, we turned to Couchsurfing. Unfortunately we didn’t find anyone who was willing to house us for more than a few days, so we decided against this option as well.
I was starting to think that maybe going to Sri Lanka wasn’t the best idea after all. But instead of losing hope, I continued to look for other ways to get cheap or even free accommodation in Sri Lanka.
Learning about House Sitting
A few weeks later, still nothing. Now I was really beginning to lose hope. But as per usual, a gift from the gods descended upon us. As we were out drinking with new friends one night, I explained my dire situation and she asked me if I had looked into house sitting. I had heard about the concept before but never considered using it, as I don’t even own a house. She told me she house-sat in Europe before, and that it was one of the coolest experiences she had ever lived.
I was excited. Like super duper excited!
So I immediately started researching for house sitting opportunities in Sri Lanka. There are plenty of websites out there, and after browsing through all of them I decided I would create a list of my favourite house sitting websites.
On two of the websites, I found one house sitting opportunity that looked really interesting. “Amuura, Live on a permaculture garden in Sri Lanka”. I was hooked.
Instead of signing up for the website membership to gain access to the contact information of the host, I decided to look up the website that was mentioned in the description. Not only was all the information there, it also had a contact form! So I applied via their website to avoid paying the membership fee. (Note: I am now a paying member on the website as the experience was so great I believe they fully deserve the $25 USD per year)
Reaching Out To The Owners
Reaching out to the owners was a piece of cake. I explained our situation, and offered to help with their website and analytics if need be. We set up a Skype call, and after playing a game of tag for a few weeks; we finally got a hold of each other. Emie and I introduced ourselves, and next thing you know we were officially offered to come stay for the months of November and December 2016. Little did we know that this would be the most beautiful house sit one could ask for.
Our House Sitting Experience in Sri Lanka
Rather than trying to explain the experience, allow me to show you in pictures.
Clea, Carlotta, and Paulina are three lovely ladies that run AMUURA, a homestay on the side of the beach in Beruwala, and the AMUURA permaculture garden, about 20km inland from Aluthgama. They sell the organic cinnamon they harvest, which I whole-heartedly recommend.
Both locations are beautiful and worth a visit if you ever make it to Sri Lanka so don’t hesitate to reach out to them!
The Crazy Thing is You Can Do This Too
The beauty of this experience is that it taught me anyone can apply to do a house sitting and get free accommodation in Sri Lanka. All you need is a bit of perseverance and luck. To help you increase your chances of getting selected, I wrote a full guide on major publication explaining a detailed process that will increase your chances of getting picked as a house sitter, which I genuinely recommend if you plan on becoming a house sitter.
If you have also house sat somewhere in the world, I invite you to leave a comment about your house sitting experience, so more readers can benefit and be inspired to go out and do the same!
Until Next Time,
The Alternative Ways