VICE has a beauty article today showing you how to hopscotch the planet staying mansions and castles for free! Yes, you’ll have to water some plants and pet some cats. But hey, that ain’t building fences.
The author talks about using websites like Mind My House, Nomador, Trusted House Sitters, and House Carers to find opportunities to make sure extensive estate lawns get watered and poi get their fish food.
You do need to know what you’re doing a bit before you’re having monarchs inviting to look after their kingdoms. The advice is to start small and build up your reputation on the house sitter websites.
The author Michaela found an old house in a post-Soviet village in Latvia. She stayed 3 weeks and spent about $30 on food from the village’s only grocer.
“Janis was a 27-year-old hipster architect, and the house turned out to be dust-filled former Soviet store. By “winter conditions,” Janis had been referring to the lack of electrical heat. We had to use a wood stove to keep our room warmer than freezing, which meant hauling wood from the shed and feeding the fire every hour or so. It took a few days to figure out how to work; sometimes we’d fuck up and either be engulfed in smoke or wake up in below-freezing temperatures. There were strange blood-like stains on the couch, and when a friend came to visit, he was chased up a tree by wolves.
It was fucking fantastic. The house was brimming with books on art and architecture, and at night we’d blast music from the Soviet sound system as loud as we could. We spent New Years with Janis’ family, drinking so much moonshine that Latvian started to sound like English. We had snowball fights in the perfect, powdery snow. The heart-shaped cutout in the outhouse provided an outlook of the glittering snow-covered forest, far more majestic than my usual view from the toilet. We nicknamed it “The Bone House” for its white color, and after three weeks we were sorry to leave.”
You know what…that sounds pretty fun. I wish I was 21 again…or maybe I can get after the adventure when I’m 51?