What is Workaway?
What if you could travel locally and experience a culture through the eyes of a native, rather than just blindly meandering through a pigeon infested city?
Is that harsh? Haha. Not that there’s anything wrong with city hopping, I mean it happens to be one of my favorite things. Some of my favorite places on earth happen to be the bustling streets of Florence, New York City, Annecy, and New Orleans.
But I wanted to let you know there’s something more out there. There’s a slower way to travel, and a more impactful way to trot the globe.
Workaway is a program that allows individuals, couples, groups, and families to explore a new country through the eyes of a local. And it’s FREE. In exchange for volunteer hours, your host will almost always provide you with:
- a place to stay
- authentic cuisine
- some transportation
- language practice
- expertise of the area (like which restaurants are the best, which museums are interesting, where the good hikes are, etc.)
- a lifelong friendship!
The cool thing about Workaway is that it’s so diverse. Maybe you’ve been following my adventures here and you’re thinking that working at a Bed & Breakfast in the French countryside sounds like a magical experience- which it is!
And then again, maybe you’re thinking, “what a hellish way to spend my time” Rest assured, there are so many different options available to you.
I searched the hashtag #workaway on instagram and found over 92,000 posts from volunteers all over the world. I found a girl clearing land for a vineyard in Slovenia, an older woman working at a hostel in Mexico, a couple gathering chicken eggs in Scotland, another couple gardening on Prince Edward Island, a couple guys herding sheep in Germany, a girl working on a ranch in Spain, and so much more. I bet you could at least find a handful of projects that sound rewarding to you.
How It Works
- Pay the annual membership fee on workaway.info (it’s very cheap!)
- Search for hosts by country and region, keyword, or both!
- Read through the host profiles and message those who interest you
- Arrange a time to work together!
It’s very simple, and completely safe. I love it because not only is it affordable, but it allows me to travel longer. Plus, it’s a very fulfilling way to travel.
It’s very satisfying to work outdoors (which is usually the case!) and work with my hands, two things I don’t normally do unless you count taking out the trash or typing on my laptop! Haha. And then I get to spend the evenings and weekends doing normal travel activities like museums, hikes, monuments, and whatnot. Workaway gives me the opportunity to see parts of a country that I wouldn’t have been able to see otherwise! And the best part is the friendships that are made and the new skills that are learned. This program truly is the golden nugget of traveling!
If you have any questions about Workaway, you can drop them here in the comments below, send me an email, or you can read about my experiences here. And of course I’d love to hear about your experiences doing Workaway!