Kata Rocks
BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET Kata Rocks
The Phuket News Novosti Phuket Khao Phuket

Login | Create Account | Search


Pet-sitting: travel for animal lovers with a sense of adventure

Pet-sitting: travel for animal lovers with a sense of adventure

There are plenty of established ways to travel the world. Backpacking, couchsurfing, volunteering, sailing, road-tripping, taking a cruise… But pet-sitting? That’s a new one on me. (And one I wish I was familiar with before I, fresh off the boat, was met with a bill for five rabies injections after attempt­ing to befriend a street cat.)

Monday 15 April 2019, 03:00PM


I spoke to pet-sit­ting globetrotters Rosy and Geoff King on the Phuket leg of their travels. The couple, from Queensland, Australia, aren’t just signed up to care for cats and dogs, but reptiles, horses, fish, poultry, farm animals, birds and small pets too. Their experience is proof that caring for pets, and holding the fort while their owners are away, is a legiti­mate and surprisingly rewarding way to travel the world.

What did you do back in Australia?
Rosy: “I run a corporate training busi­ness. I’m a digital nomad and run every­thing online. We try to attend network­ing events in each country we go to.”
Geoff: “I’m retired, so chief cook and bottle washer at the moment! I was in construction before, working up and down the east coast of Australia.”

How did you find out that it was pos­sible to travel the world in this way?
Rosy: “I said to Geoff that when the last of our five children goes to uni­versity, I want to take a gap year. I started researching ways to travel the world and I stumbled upon the Trusted Housesitters website. We rented two properties on Airbnb in Australia for three or four years so we had good reviews from all over the world to put on our profile. On Sep 26 last year, I sold my office and got on a plane the same day. We had three trips booked before we left home and now we just book as we go.”
Geoff: “People don’t want to put their cats into catteries or their dogs into kennels. They’re much happier know­ing they’re in their home and not stressed, and there’s the security that there’s someone staying in their home while they’re away. It’s becoming a popular way to travel, although I think most people use it for shorter holidays as opposed to more long-term travel.”

Where have you travelled so far?
Rosy: “The UK, Malta, Egypt, Thailand, Malaysia and Cambodia then back to Thailand. Next we’re off to Singapore for 16 days then Canada for three months.”
Geoff: “We try to spend at least a month in each country so we can get to know the customs, the money and a bit of the language. Otherwise, three days here, five days there turns into a big blur.”

AXA Insurance PCL

Tell us about Malta.
Rosy: “We house-sat for a lady in Ghax­aq while she competed in the World Scrabble Championship. She’s rehomed over 500 dogs from Sicily and has eight of her own that she tried to rehome but they were too timid or untrainable.”
Geoff: “There was one dog we didn’t touch the whole time because he just wouldn’t let us get near. And I’ve man­aged, trained and looked after working dogs and livestock in outback Austral­ia for 20 years!”
Rosy: “It was a challenge looking after them all but they were lovely. When we were in Penang at a networking event, we got talking to some other house-sit­ters who clocked and said, “Oh you took that job!” It was on the site for a while.”

Hold on a second, World Scrabble Championship?
Rosy: “Yes! I said to her, ‘We have to have a game with you’. She beat the pants off us but it was cool to learn some tricks. We found out you can use a word from any language in the com­petition. Often the players won’t know the meaning of the word they put down, they just know it’s a word.”
Geoff: “We played on a Scrabble board that said ‘World Champion 2015’ on it. And we learnt that the man that won the competition last year and this year also won the French competition but doesn’t speak a word of French.”
Rosy: “You meet so many interesting people. World champion Scrabble play­ers, British Airways captains, country managers for NGOs, chemists with a brewery at the end of their garden…”

What’s the best part of pet-sitting?
Rosy: “When you’re in a hotel, you feel like a visitor to the country. When you house-sit, you feel like you’re part of the community. When we house-sat in Bur Safajah in Egypt, for example, the host picked us up from the airport and took us back to her place where she’d invited the locals over for a barbecue.”
Geoff: “She showed us the best places to eat and introduced us to the dive shop who let us borrow equipment to go snor­kelling on the reef instead of us paying to go out on a trip. What you save on accommodation is a big bonus too. Some of the house-sits have even given us their car to use.”

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

CAPTCHA

Be the first to comment.

 

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Phuket international school dodges charges for illegally hiring British teachers

The international school committed a crime. Col Sarawut stand is astonishing. If such a stand not gi...(Read More)


Prime Minister to weigh in on legalising gambling

Change Government thinking, like S'pore did in the past. Have Government casino's. Good sour...(Read More)


Phuket officials put illegal dumping on the agenda

Galong is correct. So many problems could be resolved if there was a a government agency that actua...(Read More)


Phuket Heroines Festival reduced to merit-making activities only

Merit doing from heart is fine. Regimental Merit doing just for continues repeating compulsive cont...(Read More)


Phuket international school dodges charges for illegally hiring British teachers

Well, just the bar scene only around the corner of Chalong police station is already a big legal que...(Read More)


Tourism fee to help insure foreigners visiting the kingdom

Will be interesting to know what that B34 medical insurance is covering. Guess Government didn't...(Read More)


Tourism fee to help insure foreigners visiting the kingdom

The foreign tourist pays already, 1: Airport tax ( in ticket) 2: Accommodation/hotel tax. 3: 14 Days...(Read More)


PHUKET XTRA: VIDEO: Coming soon: Tourism fee for international visitors! || January 15

This is just plain stupid. There are so many reasons, mostly obvious, that I’ll not even comment m...(Read More)


Tourism fee to help insure foreigners visiting the kingdom

Just goes to show how shallow and in competent the stocks are on the Thai government. The tourism mi...(Read More)