Feeling At Home As A Full-time Solo Global Traveler How to Be an International Petsitter Barbara Farfan

Feeling At Home As A Full-time Solo Global Traveler

I have lived in more than 40 places in the past nine years.  If that makes you immediately wonder why anyone would have moved so many times to so many different places, I’ll tell you right off that it’s not because I’m on the run from the law.  I’m also not in a witness protection program, I’m not in the military, nor am I an undercover CIA agent 

I am an International Petsitter.

I travel around the world to new homes and new hometowns every one to three months.  I am a full-time solo global traveler – both by choice. People often ask me if I have a lonely lifestyle and how I handle not ever being “at home.” My glib, superficial answer is always, “Home is where the pets are.”

But it’s a fair and frequent question when I’m asked about being lonely and feeling at home, especially for people who can’t imagine going to a brand new place and leaving behind everyone and everything that is familiar even for a day. So here’s my deeper, more thoughtful response to questions about being lonely and feeling “at home” while traveling.

What I have learned from relocating 40 times in 9 years is that feeling at home in a new hometown is truly that – a feeling.

It’s a feeling of belonging, a feeling of being settled, a feeling of connection – all of which creates an overall feeling of security. Moving to a new location at an average of every couple of months, I have discovered that my “at home” feeling is not dependent on my creature comforts, my activities, my relationships, my history, or even my familiarity with a place.

I feel “at home” when I am engaged in activities that I have consciously crafted for myself, based on what is most important to me. When my day includes health, creativity, productivity, discovery, care and gratitude, it is a day when I have been “at home” with my world and with my own purpose for being. (And for me, being consciously in no activity at all is an essential part of connecting to my at-home feelings.)

For example, I want to be healthy. But it’s not really about whether I know anybody in the Wellington, New Zealand Bikram yoga studio, or whether I am infinitely familiar with every trail when I try out the Towoomba, Australia Friday Hiking Club. It has to do with connecting to the feeling I get when I’m participating in any healthy activity. That’s what gives me a feeling of being at home in my body and at home in my life as I’m living in alignment with my values.

Solo Travel Feeling At Home Loneliness Quote International Petsitting Barbara Farfan

I have discovered that the feeling of “at-homeness” comes from a sense of well-being that is not dependent on conditions or circumstances outside of myself. When I am connected to who I am and who I want to be, no matter where I am on planet Earth and no matter how new it is to me, I am “at home.”

Wherever I go, there I am.

If I don’t like who I am, I’ll never feel at home no matter where I travel.

Feeling at home while doing serial solo travel is a challenge that I have constantly faced for almost a decade, and I believe that learning-by-doing has made me a bit of an expert at it. Not every home or hometown is one that I would want to stay in forever, but luckily I have come to realize that my geography doesn’t prevent me from living a life that I love, happy to be alive and grateful to be me.

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If you’re curious about how to get started doing Intenational Petsitting, you can get a free download preview of the upcoming book, “How to Be An International Petsitter.”

If you’re already a petsitter and you’re looking for petsitting gigs, you can click here to view the latest Petsitters Wanted gigs and job postings.

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June 16, 2021 at 8:26 am

So cool how many countries you’ve travelled to as a pet sitter! It must be so much fun! I’d love to do the same as I can imagine so much easier than being an au pair/babysitter haha.

    June 17, 2021 at 3:01 am

    I’ve never been a traveling au pair, but I agree that I imagine it is a jillion times more intense than petsitting… most of the time… 🙂 Thanks for reading!

Margarida Vasconcelos
June 21, 2021 at 7:38 am

This is such an incredible way to see the world.

June 21, 2021 at 1:03 pm

love that quote, “i am at home when i am me.” so true… if you can find home within yourself, you can be at home anywhere you are!

    June 21, 2021 at 3:00 pm

    Travelers seem to have discovered that Truth (with a capital “T”), and what a valuable discovery it is, eh? To me, when you are not dependent on anything outside of yourself to make you feel “at home,” you are truly “free.” Thanks for reading and thanks for your comment!

June 25, 2021 at 2:13 pm

I appreciate each and every component of what makes every day a gift for you. The elements of health, creativity, productivity, discovery, care, and gratitude are simple and attainable. It’s a compass worth pursuing. Thank you for your insights.

    June 28, 2021 at 12:06 am

    Wow! You described it much better than I did. Thank you for sharing your thoughts… they gave me chill bumps, which is a sure sign that they are True, with a capital “T.”

June 27, 2021 at 6:00 pm

So interesting to hear about your adventures as a petsitter and how many places you’ve visited. I guess many people don’t travel because they think they can’t afford it, but if you love pets this could be the perfect way to travel and save money!

    July 9, 2021 at 6:20 pm

    YES! By far, the biggest expense in any kind of travel is the accommodations. However, being an International Petsitter is not just about saving money on accommodations. Because being responsible for someone else’s home and pets is a big responsibility, so if you don’t love pets, it wouldn’t be a really fabulous experience – for anyone! Thanks for reading! – Barbara

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