Savusavu, Fiji. One of the most gorgeous places on earth.
Nicosia, Cyprus. The Middle East meets Europe on this charming island.
Granada, Nicaragua. Colours galore, fabulous food and I even fought a rough looking toothless dude for my flip flops there.
But each of these once in a lifetime experiences pales in comparison to my 4 wildest house sitting adventures.
My wife Kelli and I have landed house sits all around the globe over the past 3 years. From Fiji to Bali to Thailand to Qatar, we have seen brilliant spots and have treasured – and colourful – experiences to recall.
Let’s dive into my really wild house sits.
4 Wild House Sitting Adventures
Rumble in the Jungle of Costa Rica
I noted a chunk of wood missing from the wall.
I asked the homeowner what happened there.
He casually noted how it was no big deal; a fer de lanz stalked a frog in the kitchen sink and tried to climb inside the hut/house.
Google ”fer de lanz”.
Perhaps the most aggressive snake on earth, these pit vipers are one of the few species of snake which not only stands their ground but attacks people, chasing down and biting any humanoid unfortunate enough to cross their path.
I whipped bullet ants from the kitchen sink with a filthy dish cloth. Bullet ants, the inch long guys with the most painful insect stings on earth. Poison dart frogs were a dime a dozen on this property too.
Oh yeah; this 6 week house sit was a 3-hour trek deep into the remote Costa Rican jungle, on the little explored Caribbean side of the country.
Indiana Jones would have crapped his pants if he saw our journey from Bribri into the jungle once a week. 3 miles. A 1 mile high mountain with a 30% grade in some spots. Sinking to my knees in mud. 3 days of downpours creating roaring rapids that reached my thighs, almost pulling me downstream as I pulled Kelli, our groceries for the week and our laptops in and out of the jungle.
No electricity. No bathroom. An outhouse. A tube funnelling water from a stream to the house, 24-7.
Toss in an insanely athletic, hunting machine masquerading as a Rhodesian Ridgeback named Thunder and we had perhaps the ultimate house sitting experience of all time during 6 weeks in a Costa Rican jungle.
Note; the 80 pound dog sprinted 20 feet up a vertical cliff one time. Looked like something out of The Matrix.
5,000 army ants marched through the house. Twice. 7 scorpions scurried from their hiding spots in the hut, scampering for their lives from this murderous hoard. 7 bats lived in the house. Centipedes live in the crib, as did hornets that carried tarantulas into the house, for butchering.
We earned our house sit in dem der parts.
Bow Wows and Cobra Fighting in Bali
Sinister eyes locked onto me.
His head bobbed to and fro, lining me up in his sights.
A spitting cobra broke into the chicken pen. The tally; 2 dead chicks and a dead mama hen. After sprinting to the coop with a shovel, our house sitting partners – yes the property was bigger than a football field and required 4 sitters – were trying to figure out how to dispatch the spitting cobra.
Eventually, the cobra met the shovel, and its maker, and I wound up burying a spitting cobra and 3 chickens the following day. But I had to dig a 3 foot deep pit because the monitor lizards would have dug those corpses out and grubbed on ‘em if the grave was too shallow.
This all went down while Kelli and I did a 6 month house sit at a huge villa in Bali, in Jimbaran farm country.
- 4 dogs
- 3 cats
Plus we helped tend to 36 chickens on weekends.
All 3 cats had to be located and coaxed inside before sundown, or would become python food.
I walked the dogs in the surrounding neighborhood and wilderness. These pooches took off like bats out of hell and disappeared as soon as I opened the gates for our 2 jaunts daily. I soon learned the power of detachment, even though I cried when I left the doggies; we went through alot together, involving the death of one of the dogs.
One morning I walked out to the gorgeous villa pool to see a monitor lizard doing laps.
2 large pythons raided neighbor’s chicken coops during the stay, killing a handful of chooks.
I evicted small scorpions and centipedes from the house. Small ones. Very unlike the beasts I encountered in Thailand (See below).
Every corner of the compound was Instagram worthy material; stunning views on this landscaped property in the poshest neighborhood of Bali.
We *definitely* earned our rent-free accommodation there.
Tony Stark Meets Bruce Wayne in Qatar
Imagine if Tony Stark and Bruce Wayne got into a prosperity pissing contest.
You’d have the city of Doha, Qatar.
We did a month long sit in the wealthiest nation on earth, at a mansion.
The average Qatari household income is over $400,000 but it is a welfare state. Sick natural gas and oil money is shared with the only 250,000 citizens of the nation.
One Uber driver who’d lived in Qatar for a decade noted how some Qatari households had 20 to 25 cars.
I regularly spotted the most expensive supercars on earth racing through Doha, from Lambo Murcielagos, to Porsche GT3’s to Ferrari Enzo’s.
The house sit itself was fun; mansion-sized villa, 3 cats, pretty easy.
But the journeys around Doha were eye-popping, including a trip to Il Villaggio, a Venice-themed mall with:
- A canal with gondolas
- A full-sized ice hockey rink
- A theme park, with ferris wheels, a go-kart track and a wide range of rides
- The biggest grocery store I have ever seen in my life
The amount of wealth and showiness of dough in Doha was staggering, as if JD Rockefeller, Scrooge McDuck and Larry Ellison got together to brainstorm how to create the most opulent country on earth.
Weirdly enough, Ubering was incredibly cheap in Qatar. Which seemed strange in a country where the royal palaces were almost literally big enough to have their own ZIP code.
Critter Sitter in Thailand
The Jaws of Death opened and closed, beckoning me to move a little bit closer.
The 8 inch long, monstrously thick, heavily armored centipede barreled into the home late at night.
I chased him down and batted him out of the house, baseball bat style, but not before I bashed him with a shovel and he looked at me with a “Is that all ya got?” type of stare.
I also saw – and evicted – a bird eating Thai tarantula, huge scorpion and 2 massive Tokay geckos in the crib.
During a 2 month long house sit outside of Chiang Mai, Thailand, we lived in a home bordering Doi Suthep National Park during a particularly rainy stretch right near the end of high season. This is code for “A crap load of insects will invade your house” in such conditions.
I also helped smoke out a swarm of bees which had nested in a neighbor’s table and spied hundreds of winged termites being predated by toads, cockroaches and scorpions in this location.
We should have known it’d be a wild sit; on the day we arrived, the local village shaman noted how the snakeskin the home owners found on the property was a cobra skin. And thus it began…
Have you completed some wild house sits recently?
Interested in house sitting? Check out Trusted House Sitters to get you started!
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If you want to land rocking house sits buy my eBook: