At 41, Stephanie Perry quit her job as a pharmacy tech to travel for a year in Asia on her savings – and then never looked back.
The entrepreneur, housesitter, and creator is now inspiring Black women to take a career break to travel the world (and live their best lives) by house-sitting in exchange for travel accommodations.
Through Trusted Housesitters – the world’s largest pet sitting network – Perry has embraced her new nomadic career by way of over 30 pet-sits, from cats in Boston to dogs in Chapala, Mexico. Stephanie sees house-sitting as a win-win: owners are able to rest confidently knowing that their four-legged friends are well-cared for, and she gets a little bit of companionship along with a new town to explore.
Since 2015, she has ventured to Hawaii, the Netherlands, and more, providing resources along the way. Stephanie has co-founded the Exodus Summit, started the blog Vaycarious, and posts tips and tricks to her YouTube Channel.
By becoming a Trusted Housesitters member, pet owners have access to unlimited pet-sitting starting at $129 per year, provided by a network of pet-loving sitters who offer their services for free, in exchange for a welcoming place to stay to accommodate their unique travel lifestyles. Pet owners can avoid expensive and anxiety-inducing kennels, while their sitter finds a warm, fuzzy companion wherever their adventures take them.
We caught up with Perry to learn more.
Why was it so important for you to have your business cater to Black women?
Black women often get the messaging that we exist to help other people live their best lives to the exclusion of our own joy. Black women in America rarely get the opportunity to live our lives on our own terms without worrying about other people’s reactions or how they’ll be affected. We’re constantly striving for the next level of excellence while getting further and further from our own peace of mind. This is a problem. And house sitting can be a solution. If Black women can take time away from work to do what we want to do, it can open up a new world for us.
Do you have a favorite house that you have stayed in while sitting?
One of my favorites was on the west coast of Florida on an exclusive island with a golf cart to get around, a private pool and an amazing backyard. I’ve also sat for a family in Amsterdam during Easter, and I was able to visit beautiful tulip farms in the Netherlands. The homes were lovely getaways for me that came with the cutest furry friends to keep me company. Both of these families were also very welcoming and kind to me, which makes me even more glad that I get to help them live their own family travel dream while I take care of things for them back home.
What do you say to those who don’t think this lifestyle is feasible?
If you can work from a computer, you already have the opportunity to be a great pet and house sitter. While many pet and house sitters are retirees, they tell me that they would not have waited this long to start prioritizing travel now that they’ve experienced it through Trusted Housesitters.
Has the pandemic affected your travels/business?
The big change is that I stay put in places longer, and of course I build in the necessary quarantine time in between sits. This is also a time where people are reordering and reprioritizing rest. Trusted Housesitters allows time for rest that you can’t get elsewhere.
What kind of pets do you like to sit?
Before joining Trusted Housesitters, I would have said I was a dog person. But house sitting turned me into a cat person. Cats are wonderful, they are normally fairly low maintenance. I am also looking for chicken sits – it’s something I’d love to check off my list!
Read More Black Enterprise