Former Hotelier gets a taste of luxury living through home and pet sitting in retirement

Posted on 16 April, 2019

John Charlick has been home and pet sitting through Homesitters Ltd for four years since retiring from the hospitality industry.

John ran a small country house hotel in Tintagel in Cornwall before selling it to run a boutique Bed & Breakfast in St Ives with his partner, Richard. As the B&B was too small to employ staff, the couple did everything themselves which was hard work and eventually, they decided it was time for a break. The couple now live in South West Wales.

Keen to stay active in retirement, John looked for a flexible part time role. He has friends who dog sit who suggested he might try something similar. After doing some research online, John decided to apply to Homesitters, a national home and pet sitting company. Following an interview at Homesitters’ head office in Buckinghamshire he was employed by the company.

John’s favourite part of the role is the travel across the UK to different homes and meeting different people. John says, “I’m still working in the hospitality industry in a way. I’m a real people person and love the social side of the job but my favourite thing is staying in gorgeous homes and visiting places I haven’t been to before.

“It can be like going on a mini break. I often stay are in great locations and very glamorous homes, with swimming pools and tennis courts. I took up playing the piano again a few years ago so if there’s a piano I enjoy playing in the evenings.

“I also enjoy spending time with the animals, particularly dogs. I’ve owned dogs in the past, but now that I live in a flat it isn’t practical to have one and they are rather a tie. Homesitting gives me the opportunity to look after dogs and take them for walks, but I can then hand them back to their owners – rather like having grandchildren!”

One of John’s most memorable home sits was an assignment in Guernsey. He explains, “I’d never been to the island before, so it was interesting to visit for a week. I stayed in a charming house looking after a cat, it was almost like a holiday with free travel and accommodation.

“I also enjoy taking on assignments in London. I lived there for a time and still have lots of friends I can meet for lunch. My favourite assignment is for a regular client who has a Whippet puppy. I stay there four times a year and usually arrive the night before the client goes away so that we can all have supper together – I almost feel like one of the family.”

As his partner Richard has only recently retired, John usually home sits alone and finds that spending time apart means the couple spends more quality time together back at home. But Richard is planning to accompany John on some of his home sits.

John would recommend Homesitters Ltd to anyone else considering becoming a home and pet sitter.

He explains, “The company is very professional, and I particularly appreciate the way they stay in touch while I’m on assignment. Because I home sit on my own I have to check in with the company every morning. The procedure is very efficient, I once forgot to check in and they called me straight away to check I was alright. I also find the preliminary meetings with new clients useful and reassuring.

“My advice to anyone considering the role is to be as open to new things as you possibly can and really make the most of it.”


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