What is this program called Workaway?

   While researching travel ideas prior to taking flight I heard about a program called, Workaway. A few clicks and I landed on their website. The site contains lists of people and places from all around the world. If you are a traveler looking for new experiences there is a wealth of "hosts" who are happy to have you stay and work with them for a period of time - anywhere from one or two weeks to many months. If you are looking for help with your business, project, home maintenance, childcare, language learning and a slew of other jobs then you can peruse the site to view profiles of eager travelers looking to volunteer in exchange for room and board.

   The kind of help depends on the host and on the type of skills, talents and interests a volunteer might have. Maybe you'll be doing some sort of office work? Perhaps you could try working on a farm? There are situations where you might stay in a private home helping around the house or with childcare (this is called a "homestay"). Some places are looking for language exchange. I saw a place that was looking for a guitar teacher! The possibilities are endless.

   Once you join the site you are encouraged to put up a profile page. This is what my profile page looks like (oops - I think I need to make a few updates~). This serves as an introduction to who you are, your skills, talents, interests... this is important for the host. A profile page is also important for the traveler to know something about the host before applying. It's also important to accrue  and read the reviews and references as a means of vetting who is trustworthy.

   WOW. The first thing I learned is that as a Workaway volunteer one is essentially jumping right in to someone else's life and lifestyle. We come to help them and in the process we learn and gain much from immersing in their lives. They are first and foremost. You will have to wait until your work is done before you tend to your own!

   Workaway encourages you to choose according to your interests, not according to your budget!  In other words, if you're just looking for free accommodations don't bother applying! View this as a job interview and opportunity. Or as lifelong learning - the school of life. After all, you are going there to work. You'll become part of a family. Don't expect to lounge around on a couch for free~

  To know more about it you can watch this video.

   Workaway gives you a more personal travel experience. I would suggest a few words to the wise. It is inevitable when living with others that you will not agree on everything all the time. This is especially true if you are an activist or hold very firm views and opinions on certain topics. Once upon a time people with differing views were able to sit down and enjoy a comfortable conversation exchanging ideas. That is not always the case anymore. I would advise doing some vetting on whether you will be walking into a fiery pit of extreme activism before embarking on your journey. In some cases it might be wise to check your views at the door before walking in! Especially if they involve religion and politics! Just sayin'!

   You can read all about my first Workaway experience at the Eco-Bayit in Ein Kerem, Jerusalem.
I'm looking forward to doing more!


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