Fifty nine year old Julie Wade, from Dartford in Kent is one of them. Although she retired from her retail career, she isn’t one to rest on her laurels. She wasn’t comfortable doing nothing and decided to become a home and pet sitting through Homesitters Ltd to fill her time.
Taking on a job like this meant Julie could still to do all things she loved which included having the freedom to travel, looking after her five Grandchildren and spending quality time with her elderly parents.
Previously Julie enjoyed a fast-paced career. For 20 years she worked as a senior manager at John Lewis in several different roles and did what she describes as a ‘dream job’ as a Manager of a Garden Centre.
Finally, she felt it was time to enjoy a slower pace of life and retire.
However, retirement didn’t completely suit Julie. She felt guilty relaxing and that she had lost her purpose in life. After reading an article in a magazine about home sitting and all the benefits it offered, she decided to apply for a position with Homesitters Ltd. She felt the role would not only keep her busy but combine her two passions of animals and travelling.
Julie says: “I’ve always loved to travel and when I turned 40, I made a promise to myself to visit a new country every year. As a homesitter, I will still get to travel around the UK visiting lots of new places and different counties rather than different countries, having adventures and meeting new people and their pets.”
Julie recently completed her first pet sitting job in December 2022 at a beautiful country manor house for two friendly and obedient black Labradors and loved it so much she is going back again in two weeks’ time.
She says, “This stunning manor house was set in acres of grounds, and I was blown away when I saw the long drive up to the house. The handover was simple as the couple were very well organised and had typed notes on everything from the house security, how the appliances worked and how to look after the dogs, so I felt totally comfortable with it all.
However, it was a bit of a baptism of fire. Just one day there and I was snowed in. There was also no electricity for a few hours. It didn’t bother me at all as the dogs were wonderful company. We had the most stunning walks in the snow enjoying the fresh air and grounds and spent the rest of the day in the warm watching films, reading and doing crosswords.
The dogs were so well trained, so much so they didn’t need collars or leads, they just listened to my commands. It was a dream home and pet sit and I can’t wait to go back again in 10 days’ time!”
Julie says the beauty of home sitting is that it really offers the opportunity to truly switch off from the usual routines. She says, ‘When you are at home, you can never really relax, as there’s always things going on and jobs to do. Whereas when you are home and pet sitting, there lots of time outside of the duties of caring for the home and pets, if present. I’ve time to catch up on reading, enjoy lovely walks and wandering around a new area.”
Home and pet sitting offers a modest remuneration, however, Julie is very much focused on doing it for the experiences of staying new places and the opportunities to be around animals. She says: “It feels good to be out of the rat race and finally have time to do all the things that life gets too busy for.”
Julie has new placements booked in London and by the coast. She is looking forward to having some time in the countryside, in the city and by the seaside. Julie describes home and pet sitting as ‘the perfect job’ and says: ‘I’m so pleased I’ve finally found a job which allows me to have it all; time with my family, free time to go to new places and have adventures and a great way to stay active and fit.”