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We are writing today from the shores of Mexico’s Caribbean coast, just three days in to a two-month house-sit. These are views from just about everywhere on the property:

mexico our beachThe sun has burned away most of the morning cloud cover, and the wind rustling loudly through the palm leaves makes for a perfectly cooling sea breeze despite hot and humid temperatures. I alternate between typing and gazing out at the shallow water just barely covering the barrier reef that stretches 200m out to sea. I watch the waves crash way out there where the shelf drops off starkly and the deep blue of the ocean begins. We can snorkel right in our own backyard among the shades of azure, cobalt, sapphire, teal and navy blue water. The house-sitter staying a few doors down says she tries to go everyday. I imagine we will too, but the homeowner is still here and we have a lot to learn before he leaves us to our own devices for eight weeks.

mexico our coconut tree and oceanLiving out here in some of the most remote reaches of Mexico isn’t exactly just a day at the beach, and the level of responsibility is higher than other housesits we have had (this is our 11th housesit in two years). But the pristine beauty of the area is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and once the wheels were in motion, we could not turn the opportunity down. We applied for this through housecarers.com, with the application process beginning as they always do – on a whim; just a glimmer of possibility.

“Hey, wanna go down to Mexico for two months for a housesit after Tracey’s wedding (my best friend got married in Denver in June)?” Dani asked one day a few months back. She was going through the Housecarers notification emails – as she does every day – and out of the 30 or so choices that day, this one understandably caught her eye. She explained that it was a beach house, it was very remote, the ad mentioned snorkeling right off the private beach and that the house was almost entirely off the grid.

“Well, we have experience with solar power from our Bavarian housesit last year,” I answered, “and we do need some peace and quiet to get a bunch of work done…” As we looked back and forth between the ad and each other, there was no flooding of excuses, no ideas why we shouldn’t at least apply… Cut to two weeks later when we received an email and it turned out, of all the potential housesitters who applied (and this time, like all other times, there were dozens if not hundreds who had) Dani and I were chosen. Emails went back and forth, references were checked and plane tickets were purchased. We were committed to spending the summer months in Mexico.

mexico our patioNormally, a two day handover is required before the owners leave, but this case is different. Here, we’re learning how to maintain a house that runs almost entirey with solar energy in a very remote location. Though we didn’t step into this blindly, the word ‘remote’ can be a relative term. Someone from Manhattan might consider Iowa City remote, while a cowboy from Montana would apply the word to a 10 hour ride into the mountains reachable only by horseback. We are somewhere in between, but much more to the side of the cowboy. Several times on the ride down here, the owner would turn onto another perfectly straight road, flanked on either side with miles of sprawling green trees and mangroves and we would mutter another exasperated ‘Wow’, mesmerized by just how much wide open space laid behind, in front and on the sides of us.

“Didn’t Angela* tell you how remote it was?” Tom* asked each time. “Yes of course,” we would reassure him in unison. Truth be told, however, there was no way to know just what we had gotten ourselves into until we finally pulled in to the drive and brought our bags in to our temporary abode.

mexico shell and our beachLuckily, it is better than we dared to imagine. The beach house has hot water (even a rain shower head, my favorite bathroom accessory), a full kitchen with a stove, fridge and freezer, a double bed, plenty of closet space, a couch and two tables inside, and a set of beach chairs on a patio outside, all with a clear view of the ocean, obscured only by palm trees. The property is kept clean and neat and seems much newer than its nine years. There is an outdoor palapa off to the side with a table, chairs and even electricity sockets to plug in and work, plus another gorgeous table and chairs fashioned out of driftwood down at the water’s edge.

“The hardest part of your morning,” Tom jokes, “will be deciding where to have your coffee…”

So far, we couldn’t be happier with the prospects of spending two months here alone with our guard dog and the three or four fellow housesitters in neighboring houses along this strip of beach. We will post about the highs and lows of housesitting and all our beach house adventures over the next few weeks, so stay tuned and please feel free to ask us any questions you have about housesitting in the comments below.

mexico our ocean viewFor anyone who is interesting in housesitting – we found this housesitting gig through housecarers.com.

*Names of homeowners and certain details of our location will be changed to respect their privacy and maintain anonymity during our stay.

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Tags : HousesittingMexiconotes from the beach house

43 Comments

  1. Oh you lucky lucky lucky lucky lucky gals! You are near my second home (the one in my heart at this point) and are going to fall in love with this part of Mexico. I am dying to know where you are: closer to Tulum, or Belize? Hmmmm…

    Did I mention how lucky you are? I have tears in my eyes…that’s how much I love this place.

    1. Haha Laura 🙂 we shall reveal our roundabout location later on in the summer- but don’t cry! We were in the area two years ago and are back now, and you know what? It hasn’t changed one bit. It’ll all still be here when you get back down here! 🙂

    1. These are harder to come by, but honestly we’ve had housesits everywhere – rural, urban, suburban and beach – and they all have their own amazing aspects as well as their challenges! Just be ready to apply for five or more most likely before you get your first one, after that, it’s easier. You know where there are loads of housesits? Australia and sometimes New Zealand…

    1. The internet is there, but it’s patchy. It’s hard to think and work on a restricted daily limit. It’s not slow like dial up, but when you exceed your limit, it’s done. It’s like an internet diet…and we’re not sure how we feel about that yet 🙂

    1. Oh Alex, you should definitely do it! Being young and single is definitely a harder angle than, say, a retired couple, but the most important thing is being able to show experience. Do some housesits for friends or friends of friends first so that you have good references and then when you apply, just be really thorough – you’re bound to get some. There are really tons out there for the taking!

    1. Hi Bethany – it is pretty incredible, but you’re right. There is an element of bravery in this housesit in particular. We have alarms and mace just in case, but even the tiny bit of crime they get over here is petty theft, nothing more. Let’s just hope we don’t have any scary posts in our future!

  2. Have I mentioned how much I hate yall for this? Ahh it sounded amazing when yall told me and now… looking at these photos OH MY!!! I hope the two months yall spend there will allow you to catch up on everything and then you can hit the floor running when you leave. So where after this???
    Jaime recently posted..Oh India I hate you… I hate you not!

    1. Ah, dear Jaime, you ask the $1 million dollar question! We have no idea where, but we are loving speaking Spanish again, so…ay, quien sabe!

  3. 3 thoughts immediately sprang to mind:

    1) Wow, that looks like the perfect sort of place for a Green Global Travel story (pssst… maybe you’d like to do a guest post about the benefit/challenges of such green accommodations?)

    2) We need to look into this housecarers.com business.

    3) Where the heck do you get your groceries???
    Bret @ Green Global Travel recently posted..DESTINATIONS: Hiking The Annapurna Circuit– Why It May Be Now Or Never

    1. Hey there Bret, so 1. We will definitely take you up on the guest post – we have learned an incredible amount already re: green accommodation. 2. We can refer you to other sites we use as well, but this is a fantastic way to really immerse yourself in a place without any of those pesky nightly hotel rates 🙂 3. Groceries can be purchased at bigger ‘tiendas’ 80 minutes’ drive from here, or a three-hour drive to bigger grocery stores. We bought a load of groceries this week and hope they will last roughly three weeks!!

  4. A.M.A-zing!
    It looks like an absolute paradise! I’ve never considered doing housesits before because I’m never organised enough to plan anything more than a day or two in advance but your photos are starting to make me rethink things!
    One question – when it comes to you being chosen, what do you think helps set you apart from the hundreds of other people who apply?
    Turtle recently posted..How to visit Tuscany cheaply

    1. Hey there! We get daily updates from various housesitting websites and apply. That’s all the effort we give until someone actually comes back and says yes. Then all we have to do is buy the plane tickets for what is usually one or two months in advance. It’s not all that much planning to be honest, and once you’re there, it’s a great way to slooooooow down – which is right up your alley. Housesitting allows you to immerse yourself in a place and meet locals in the most private/personal way possible – as their neighbors. What sets us apart? Well…We have a lot of experience at this point. This is our 11th housesit in two years. But in the beginning what we did was give as much detailed information as possible in terms of our experiences housesitting as well as owning and caring for pets. We make clear that we are truly animal people, and also that we work full time. That way people realize that we are completely responsible and not just freeloaders, if you know what I mean. Let us know if you want to actually apply and we can help you out more if you’d like!

    1. It’s pretty great Scott. We’re not entirely dependent on the sun for access. The solar power doesn’t quite work so directly. There are batteries that the solar power feeds into, and there is a generator to use when the batteries lose a certain amount of charge. The internet does eat a lot of power, actually, but so far the only issue is the limited data plan 🙂 apparently people who live on the beach don’t need to slave away on their computers for 14 hours a day. Understandable 🙂

    1. Definitely let us know how TrustedHousesitters works out for Central America. We had one request to housesit in Guatemala but are fairly certain we won’t take it. If not, we’ll pass your names on if you’re interested. We just recently signed up with TrustedHousesitters and really like their whole ethos and the way they run the site. We’ve still gotten most housesits through housecarers.com and mindmyhouse.com though!

    1. I don’t like that aspect of it. It’s like being on a diet, which is probably good, but it’s also like kicking an addiction AND not being able to do your job at the same time. We’re getting through it 🙂

    1. Totally Lawrence. The great thing about housesitting is that we didn’t even really ‘search’ this place out, the opp just popped into our inbox one day a few months back.

    1. It is pure bliss indeed, Diana! We were looking for something truly remote, and this is exactly what we got. I don’t think we’ll leave our little beach often while we’re here… 😉

    1. Izy – that’s exactly why we accepted this housesit – we just wanted to hang out on the beach 😉 A great time to visit Portugal though and you will love the beaches there!! Enjoy 🙂

  5. Hi Dani and Jess, what a great time you have. I have done quite a bit of house sitting myself, one of my favourites was in Nashville (but I know that would not suit everyone)!.

    Currently I am in Boston and travelling around sitting wherever I can find a good place. I come from Australia originally and the beaches there are pretty special although I think the Mexican Caribbean is now on my list.

    Great blog you have, I loved housesitting so much I started doing my own thing – [url=http:/mindahome.com]House Sitting[/url] I will be following your travels from now on!!

    1. Hi Sue, thanks so much for your comment! I’ve always wanted to see Nashville, so I think that would be a housesit that we’d enjoy! Boston is also a great place – we only spent a day there and we’re both itching to go back. Did I understand it right that you are the owner of mindahome? Because if so, we’d love to chat with you about it in more detail. Best, Dani & Jess

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