Erin McKee is a former mental health nurse from the UK. She quit her job a year after the pandemic began. She now travels and lives for free as a house-sitter, looking after the owner's pets or plants.
This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Erin McKee, a former nurse turned house-sitter. It has been edited for length and clarity.
Our love of travel was something that my boyfriend Solomon and I bonded over when we first started dating. One rainy day when we were staying at a hotel in Ireland, we made a list of countries we'd like to live in. Costa Rica and Mexico were the top two. We booked a trip to Costa Rica, but in March 2020, the pandemic hit and all our travel plans were put on hold.
After living and working in London for 12 years, I was ready to make a change and embrace a slower pace of life. But as I worked as a mental health nurse in the UK, this wasn't a time for me to walk away.