How to Break Free in 2013: Our book launch!

Posted on 19. Dec, 2012 by in Accommodation, Housesitting, Travel Tips

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We did it!

As of today, our first ever ebook is available for purchase on Amazon.com! Writing Break Free was most definitely a labor of love, and to some it might seem like a big risk publishing a book about something that not many people know about.

But that is exactly why we wanted to write it.

break free the ultimate guide to housesitting book

Why we wrote Break Free

Our long-term readers will know that we are super passionate about housesitting. Whenever we are asked how we manage to live as nomads, we explain about working online, being savvy travelers, keeping our budgets in order…but it is when we mention housesitting that we suddenly have a captive audience asking us question after question about how ‘the whole housesitting thing works’.

The idea to write this book came on a train feeling inspired after our great housesit in Italy and we started taking it more seriously in Thailand last winter. As we traveled and housesat our way through South East Asia, India and then the U.S. this year, we became more determined to write it, to put the answers to all the questions people were asking us in one place and spread the word about the housesitting movement.

That’s why it seemed so fitting that we ended up outlining the book during a housesit in Mexico, writing the bulk of it during our Costa Rican housesit and now publishing it while housesitting here in Santiago, Chile.

editing break free

One of the adorable Scottie dogs we are looking after helping us edit Break Free

Our goal was simple: inspire and inform others how to get involved with housesitting. Our second goal was to create an ultimate guide, a one-stop shop where anyone can go to get all the information they need about housesitting. To do this we broke housesitting down step by step based on our own knowledge gained from over a dozen housesits across four continents, plus interviewed owners of three of the world’s leading housesitting websites (there are over 20 in total) and spoke with other experts, like a couple that has been running a housesitting business for seven years straight.

The real reason we love housesitting

On the most basic level, it works like this: a homeowner wants to go away for a few weeks or a few months and needs someone to care for their house and likely a pet or two. A housesitter is anyone who agrees to come in and keep that house safe and the pets happy and healthy until the homeowner returns.

But housesitting is so much more than that, for everyone involved.

It solves so many problems that people see as barriers to travelling for longer and ultimately to living a more fulfilling live. Let’s say you’ve been thinking about a career break, but don’t know how to afford accommodation – housesitting in your own city is a perfect way to eliminate rent payments before you set off and even better way to cut accommodation costs as you travel.

With the money we save by housesitting, we are able to eat in better restaurants and opt for organic food, pay for nicer transportation, rent cars more often and sleep in higher quality hotels during our travels.

Our passion for the housesitting movement, however, has to do with the incredible experiences you can have and the fascinating people you meet through housesitting.

In Italy, we lived in a gorgeous old stone farmhouse, converted into a bed and breakfast by the owner, a former British Royal Air Force pilot and leader in the worldwide Esperanto organization. He enveloped us immediately into the Dolce Vita lifestyle, with white wine and pasta lunches, afternoon cheese plates and walks along rows of the tall, thin Cypress trees lining the centuries’ old countryside paths on the outskirts of his tiny Tuscan village.

borgo a mozzano viewDuring our two-month housesit on Mexico’s Caribbean coast, we worked every day from hammocks, and when we wanted to take a break, we could literally put our flippers on and walk right into the water to snorkel the reef area that started not 100 feet from the shore.

In Germany, we housesat for a former model whose house in the foothills of the Alps was incredibly refreshing – our drinking water literally came straight down from the snow caps above, and we went on hikes in the fresh spring air almost every day.

It’s not just about the beautiful locations, however. Housesitting also offers (long-term) travelers the creature comforts so often missed on the road. In Chiang Mai, Thailand, instead of a small hotel room or vacation apartment, we had a two-story house with our own kitchen and a master bedroom with a huge TV and sound system. You have access to little things that even luxury hotels don’t have, like blenders, maybe waffle-makers, comfy couches, washing machines and dryers, and often even Jacuzzis, infinity pools and home theaters.

And then there are the animals! For many people, keeping their pets happy and at home is the main motivation to having housesitters. This works out great for us, as we are huge animal lovers but as long-term travelers can’t have pets of our own. We shower the pets with love and often get a little emotional when leaving our furry friends at the end of a housesit.

pet loveAll of these things combine to make housesitting an amazing way to see the world. Housesitting allows us to:

• Stick to a tighter budget by reducing the cost of accommodation and restaurants.
• Get more work done thanks to a comfortable, private atmosphere.
• Experience each place in a more authentic way, not just zipping through.
• Keep fit with our own kitchen and ample space for our workouts.
• Meet more people by getting involved in local events.

Housesitting is not the only way we travel, instead it is something we only do when it fits into our travel itinerary. For example, we didn’t expect to housesit at all in South America, but when we spotted an ad in our TrustedHousesitters.com email alerts for one in Santiago de Chile over the holidays, we jumped at the chance and we were accepted. As I write this I am looking out a wall of windows of the fourth floor condo in one of the most exclusive areas of Santiago. Dani and I are in charge of two awesome Scottish terriers while their owners spend time with family back in Europe.

The way we see it, there is absolutely no reason why you can’t do this, too!

If you own a home, finding a housesitter allows you the freedom to travel longer as well, without having to deal with arranging friends and family to check on the house and care for your pets – or worse, having to pay someone to do it, instead. The entire process is on your terms. You just say how long you need a housesitter for and what the responsibilities are, and you will get plenty of responses – in fact homeowners are often overwhelmed with the number of applications they get!

Costa Rica pool

A dream housesit: Our infinity pool in Costa Rica

So, what is Break Free all about?

Break Free: The Ultimate Guide to Housesitting has over 100 pages packed with everything you will ever need to know about housesitting, such as:

• How to find housesitting opportunities
• How to write a stellar profile
• How to get a housesit, even with no experience
• How to find the right housesitter
• How to get your housesitter up to speed and in charge before leaving for your trip
• How to deal with issues of homeowner’s insurance, contracts and emergencies

We include an entire section of samples for you to model your own profiles, applications and housesit ads after, plus provide full checklists that both housesitters and homeowners can use to make sure everything is covered before, during and after the housesit. We also share more of our own experiences so you can get an inside look at what housesitting is really like, too.

The last section is an in-depth analysis of over 20 housesitting websites including membership rates and pros and cons of each site so you know which ones you want to sign up for to get started.

What’s more, we have partnered up with TrustedHousesitters.com, who are offering a membership discount to everyone who purchases Break Free, which means that the book could practically pay for itself.  Keep your eyes peeled for the special Break Free promo code in the book, which entitles you to:

  • 25% off a housesitter membership
  • 25% off a 6-month homeowner premium membership
  • $40 off the combined premium membership

The ebook will be available exclusively for Kindle at Amazon.com for the special launch price of $9.99. You can pick up a copy here for anyone looking into how to afford their trip of a lifetime, as early as in 2013! (Please note that you can also read Break Free if you don’t have a Kindle, using the free Kindle reading app by Amazon.com)

Break Free: The Ultimate Guide To Housesitting

What readers of Break Free say on Amazon:

Break Free is a comprehensive guide that will tell you everything you could want to know about house-sitting. – Tina

The book is full of practical information like what questions homeowners and housesitters should ask each other before committing and during the “handover.” – Kate

Break Free was exactly what I wanted in the housesitting guide–and then it went beyond and offered information and samples beyond what I expected. When I read Break Free, I loved how the book took me patiently through every step of the process (steps that were more painless than I had been imagining), and detailed the how and why of each part of the process. Then, they added in personal anecdotes, stories and photos throughout the book in just the right dose to keep the material engaging and interesting alongside all of the information they manage to pack into the guide. – Shannon

Break Free really deserves its subtitle as the ultimate guide to housesitting. It answers every question or concern you could possibly have about housesitting–both from a sitters and a homeowner’s perspective. - Erin

Check out our book trailer for more inspiration…

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31 Responses to “How to Break Free in 2013: Our book launch!”

  1. Steve C

    19. Dec, 2012

    Guys, you failed to mention that this is not a “book” (paper back or hard copy) but only available on the Kindle format!
    Bate and Switch?
    Now I’ve got to go buy a Kindle?

    Reply to this comment
    • Jess

      19. Dec, 2012

      Great point Steve. Duly noted and all changes have been made accordingly. ps, you can always download a Kindle reader onto most of your devices, including laptops and smartphones.

      Reply to this comment
  2. Erin

    19. Dec, 2012

    Congratulations guys! We’ve loved our housesitting experiences but you guys really are the masters—those housesits in Mexico and Costa Rica made us drool, and finding a housesit in South America isn’t easy.

    I love your book—it really does answer every possible question anyone could have about housesitting, and the personal stories you’ve included make it an interesting read too.

    Good luck with it and I’m sure you’ll help many more people enjoy the world of housesitting.
    Erin recently posted..How We Fund Our Permanent Travels

    Reply to this comment
    • Dani

      20. Dec, 2012

      Thanks, Erin! Our housesits this year definitely helped to make the book better and we are glad that we waited to put it out :) We truly hope that the book helps to convince more people to try this wonderful way to travel! :)

      Reply to this comment
  3. This is so f*cking amazing!!!!! I am so proud of you both! CONGRATS!!!!!!
    Andi of My Beautiful Adventures recently posted..San Francisco & Napa Valley: Day 1

    Reply to this comment
    • Dani

      20. Dec, 2012

      Thanks, Andi! We have been working so hard on this book for the last few months and we are excited to finally share it with the world :)

      Reply to this comment
  4. Bessie

    19. Dec, 2012

    Congratulations, ladies!! I’m so excited you’ve launched it – you’re so well-suited to write the book on this! (The cover looks amazing by the way!)
    Bessie recently posted..A Changing Myanmar: Obama & the Empowered Change Makers

    Reply to this comment
    • Dani

      20. Dec, 2012

      Thanks so much, Bessie, and thanks for the compliments on the cover – it was done by a very talented young designer from Germany :)

      Reply to this comment
  5. Alexa Hart

    19. Dec, 2012

    What a fantastic way to travel! Love what you ladies are doing… Helping people find affordable ways to live abroad = awesomeness!
    Alexa Hart recently posted..EPISODE SLICE #32: The Power of Connections As a Serial Expat

    Reply to this comment
    • Dani

      20. Dec, 2012

      Thanks, Alexa! It truly is a fantastic way to travel and experience places in a much more authentic way than just ‘passing through’. Can’t recommend it highly enough!

      Reply to this comment
  6. Kim

    20. Dec, 2012

    Congrats for finishing the book ladies. I can’t wait to read it :)
    Kim recently posted..Oh yeah, so, in TWO WEEKS I’m driving a rickshaw through India

    Reply to this comment
    • Jess

      24. Dec, 2012

      Hi Kim, can’t wait to hear what you think – and to hear if you get any housesits through it ;)

      Reply to this comment
  7. 2 Digital Nomads

    23. Dec, 2012

    You have our support, congratulations of your publishing.
    Safe travel
    2 Digital Nomads recently posted..On the road expenses and statistics, month 4

    Reply to this comment
  8. Mary Mondoux

    24. Dec, 2012

    Will you have it ever in paper? I don’t have a kindle or any type of e-book reader.

    Reply to this comment
    • Jess

      24. Dec, 2012

      Hi Mary, for now we are keeping it in ebook format. You can easily download a Kindle reader onto your laptop or computer http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html?ie=UTF8&docId=1000426311. Also, if you have a smartphone, there is a kindle app as well. We will keep a gauge of how many people are interested in print and decide in the future, but if you would like it in 2013, we’d say go with this kindle reader – not just for our book, but you can read any Kindle book on it without getting a Kindle, which is pretty cool :)

      Reply to this comment
  9. Mary Mondoux

    24. Dec, 2012

    Thanks! I downloaded it, now to buy myself my own Christmas gift!!!

    Reply to this comment
  10. Pete

    26. Dec, 2012

    Congrats on the book release, looking forward to having a read. The secret world of housesitting is definitely out of the bag and we get so many people intrigued about doing it. I have a feeling competition for sweet gigs is going to heat up. Best of luck with the book sales and everything in 2013. Hopefully we can meet up someday and have a glass of wine and swap tales and adventures.
    Pete recently posted..In the Rearview – Our Favourite Days of 2012

    Reply to this comment
    • Dani

      26. Dec, 2012

      Thanks, Pete! You are right about the growing competition for the best housesitting assignments, which is why we wanted to open up the wonderful world of housesitting to homeowners as well, hoping to attract more people to hire a housesitter instead of kenneling their pets. And even though more and more people are joining the ‘housesitting movement’, we still get more requests to housesit than we could ever fulfill. It would be great if our paths finally crossed in 2013 and we had the chance to exchange some housesitting and travel tales :)

      Reply to this comment
  11. Natalie

    27. Dec, 2012

    House sitting does not appeal to me but congratulations on your book. You have done in 2012 what I said I was going to do. Alas my book is still in thin air!!
    Natalie recently posted..28 Stupid Questions That People Asked Google

    Reply to this comment
    • Dani

      28. Dec, 2012

      Thanks so much, Natalie! Finishing and publishing your book might be a good New Year’s resolution, no? ;-)

      Reply to this comment
  12. Deb

    28. Dec, 2012

    Congratulations on the new book! What an amazing year 2013 is going to be. We haven’t thought of house sitting before, but I think with the help from your book, it may be in our future. Best of luck!

    Reply to this comment
    • Dani

      28. Dec, 2012

      Thanks so much, Deb! You should definitely try housesitting – I think it would be a great way for you two to travel: It gives you the privacy of your ‘own’ home, and you can spend longer periods in each place without having to worry about accommodation costs, allowing you to really get a feel for the town /country you’re visiting.

      Reply to this comment
  13. House Sitters

    31. Dec, 2012

    I don’t know how to say thank for the magic book, it makes me read again and again. thank you so much beautiful ladies.

    Reply to this comment
  14. jmayel & sacha

    02. Jan, 2013

    this is something im going to have to read. we want to go to japan after Thailand and housesitting is probably the way to go in that country!
    jmayel & sacha recently posted..‘The Cinematic Documentary of when Irma El-haj returned to…

    Reply to this comment
    • Dani

      02. Jan, 2013

      We actually just saw a housesitting ad for a 3-week housesit in Kyoto in our email alert this morning! We wanted to apply right away, but it’s for February/March, when we’ll still be in South America :( If that’s when you’re planning to travel to Japan though, we’d be happy to forward you the ad :)

      Reply to this comment
  15. Abby

    13. Jan, 2013

    Yay!! I am also passionate about housesitting… It saved my life while I was living abroad. SO happy to see you ladies spreading the word!!!!
    Abby recently posted..The Farmers Market “Trumpet Kid”

    Reply to this comment
    • Dani

      13. Jan, 2013

      Thanks, Abby! It is a genius concept and we love the win-win for everyone involved! We had so many great experiences and we hope we’ll have many, many more! :)

      Reply to this comment

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The Ultimate Guide to Housesitting - December 21, 2012

    [...] I met Dani and Jess (the Globetrottergirls) in Chiang Mai earlier this year and could instantly tell they were full of life and energy to explore the world, and as genuine as you get. Since they departed in March (I think?), they have pretty much traveled around the entire world by housesitting, and now they’ve written a book so others can learn how to do the same. [...]

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