Looking for People to House sit in Spain!
by Jane Kirk
(Costs dl Sol, Spain)
Now….. how to get House Sitters in Spain…..?
That was our key question when we decided to take a long holiday in the USA.
Family and friends were not available to do the favour.
Our property in Spain is not accessible by public transport.
We have extensive gardens that needed irrigating according to our rolling programme.
We have pets – 3 dogs, 2 cats, a large pond full of fish and a couple of canaries. In addition there were the wild birds to feed daily.
Very few local people speak English.
Finally, the cost of the holiday meant that we could not afford to pay people to come.
So, how would we find a couple of people brave (or - daft) enough to volunteer ?
There were so many House Sitting Internet sites to wade through. None provided the answer.
Out of the midst of befuddlement came the elusive answer….. previous visitors who came via the Couch Surfing website.
We linked up with a couple who had contacted us 3 years previously and stayed with us.
We knew our dogs loved them and that we were happy with them.
Flexibility & Preparation were the keywords for this –as they are for Life!
Dates were agreed. Then the frenzy of booking ensued….. airplanes, hotels, various tickets and on it went. The glory of Skype and email made our preparations not only easier but meant that both couples could keep the other apprised of progress.
I began work on a list of tasks to perform, from getting up to going to bed, e.g. what food to give to each pet at what time; emergency contact numbers for friends & family nearby; how each domestic appliance worked and so on……
It was agreed that they would time their arrival here in Spain so that we could spend 4 days together. During this time our pets could get used to them; I could judge that they were O.K. with my pets and my husband could be content that they understood how to maintain the swimming pool and activate the irrigation system. We also invited friends and family to meet them.
They got used to our car and drove us to the airport for our American Adventure.
We had a ball in the States; they had a ball in Spain – especially as our friends included them in their activities and dining out experiences.
Their friends and family were able to come over from the UK and visit them to enjoy the sun and the pool!
We arranged that they would be with us for a further 4 days after our return. This was not long enough as we found their company captivating!
What a positive experience it was for both couples. ESPECIALLY because it was organised through Couch Surfing and we were able to check all the references available – as they were able to check us out through the same website.
All that remained was to email Ruth and thank her for creating the webpage that made all this possible.
The world needs more Ruths & more websites like Couch Surfing.!