James O’ Rourke

James house sits and travels full-time with his girlfriend Jemma. To date they’ve house sat in France, Spain, Portugal and the UK looking after everything from cats and dogs to turtles and even a farm of alpacas. Prior to setting off travelling he lived in Edinburgh for several years and before that Ireland.

You can work pretty much where you want to – on the road, do you find it hard to work or do you just have fun and work when you come back home?

I work much better 'on the road' than anywhere else. I should clarify what I mean by 'on the road' as we, (my girlfriend and me), tend to slow travel; we like to spend five or six months in a place. I find working remotely means a lot less distractions and so a lot more work gets done.

Remote working was something we were both keen to do before we set off travelling (as opposed to travelling for a bit, working for a bit). We had looked at a couple of different ways of doing this such as travelling in a minivan like Armando and Melony but in the end stumbled across the idea of house sitting (looking after other people's homes).

Credit for introducing us probably goes to either Hecktic Travels or Never Ending Journey for introducing us to the concept. I think we read everything they had written about house sitting in the months before setting off. They also introduced us to Trusted Housesitters where we've been able to build up a good profile and which has been responsible for the majority of our house sits so far.

In the early days we took on a lot of house sits and it meant we were moving about a lot more. These days we tend to just focus on long term house sits (minimum three months). Anything less than that can be a little unsettling.

So yes, we prefer to work on the road but it's a very slow road for us!

Do you feel many people are envious of your lifestyle?

I don't know for certain but I was certainly envious of other people who had a travel lifestyle before we went travelling ourselves.

Which three items would you never travel without?

Kindle, laptop (unfortunately tied to for working on the road) & running shoes.

Are there any specific souvenirs or other things you collect from the places you go to?

We try to pick up a cookbook of the local cuisine from each place we live in.

Tagged as: Portugal

JamesO' Rourke
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