Kelly Hayes-Raitt

AMA Rank 1

Full-time traveler and housesitter at


Full-time traveler and housesitter at

KELLY HAYES-RAITT ADMITS that she sleeps around (usually with pets!) to finance the book she’s writing about her experiences working in the Middle East with refugees.

Ten years ago, after a 30-year career as a political activist promoting social and environmental justice, Kelly ran for public office and got her butt kicked.She decided to take a sabbatical from politics and visited the Middle East several times. She ended up working with refugees.

To finance her writing, she rents out her own home and lives elsewhere by housesitting. She’s been housesitting fulltime since 2009 in the U.S., Mexico, the U.K., Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, Gibraltar, Vietnam, Cambodia, China, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, Senegal, Malawi and Mozambique. She’s visited more than 60 countries, including pre- and post-U.S. invasion Iraq and has co-led delegations in Syria and India.

She’s an inspiring and engaging public speaker who loves to share her experiences. Her audiences have included Congresswomen in the U.S. Capitol who acted upon her observations in Iraq and activists in Poland, Mexico, the Philippines and the West Bank.

To hear Kelly read the award-winning essay about meeting an Iraqi beggar just days before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq – and finding her again three months after the occupation of Baghdad visit

Kelly is available for interviews and presentations live or taped via Skype to school classes, book clubs, podcasts and media programs anywhere in the world.She is also available to speak at conferences. And, of course, she’d love to talk with you about spoiling your pets!

Besides sleeping around with animals, Kelly is an avid scuba diver who tries to perfect her octopus-whispering.

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