Long-Term Travel Series: Volunteering with Workaway Part 2


This series features different travelers we've met who are traveling for an extended period of time and have found a reliable method to fund their travels as they go! Our hope is that this series will show that it is possible to travel long-term and conquer some of your bucket list without needing a savings account to afford it.

This series will be featuring people who are working online, volunteering for their stay through sites such as Workaway, getting free stays through house sitting, are self-employed, etc! We hope their stories inspire you to create and share your own! If you have found a way to fund your long-term travel and would like to be featured in this series, please email marketing@travelwc.com.

Hi everyone, and welcome to the part two post for our Workaway experience! If you missed part one, start here.

So, your hosts have just replied to your mail and told you to come to their place: what are the best things to do right now? First thing first, not take it for granted. Your experience will start only when you will buy the tickets for the flight, the train, or whatever you will need to take to reach the place you have chosen — or, even better, when you arrive to your hosts' property.

Thousands of unexpected events could still happen, even after lots of emails, messages, calls, and reassurances: At this very moment being happy is totally fine, but keep it real.

Some hosts may require your flight ticket as proof you're really committed to go to their place, while someone else could just trust your word.

If something out of the blue prevents you from going to the hosts' house, try to tell them everything as soon as possible: Honesty is always appreciated!

But, if everything is going smoothly, it's time to pack up your stuff.

We suggest you bring a backpack rather than a suitcase, since lots of hosts often live in remote places, and you may have to relay on public transport to reach them. A backpack is always handier.

We're not going to make you a list of what to carry, but just some suggestions: We found it really useful to bring hiking clothes with us, which are easy to dry. In some places you could have problems doing regular laundry, or the weather could be rainy or damp. Moreover, packing some cheap and sturdy workwears could be a nice idea, depending on your tasks. You don't want your expensive equipment to be ripped or stained, do you?

Another useful pro tip is always bringing organic soaps. Your host could be totally off the grid, and you don't want chemicals to end up in the sewage where they could pollute the water and soil.

But you can't pack the most important things you will need, since they are only a matter of attitude. Patience and attention are the most valuable virtues during a trip like this. No host wants to repeat the same stuff over and over, so try to listen and understand your tasks pretty quickly.

If you show that what was written on your description was just a lie, you could even be sent home. We directly saw something similar happen: A guy, after only five days, had to go because he totally exaggerated his own skills while he was writing his resume. He also had problems interacting with most of the volunteers, since he was a bit selfish and avoided pretty much all of the chores we had to do daily to keep our space clean.

Being kind with the other volunteers, if they are present, is just as important as being polite with the hosts, and we're pretty sure that a positive mindset will make your experience unforgettable, like ours.

We have been traveling for seven months in the Canary Islands, since after 2017, when we first went there on holiday. We fell in love with their wild nature — and with their tasty food, too!

Tenerife was our first choice. We're really happy to have chosen it, because it was there where we met Gavin and Jess, the lovely owners of this website! We spent two and a half months there in a "finca", the Spanish word for "farm", amongst mountains and pine tree forests.

While I spent my mornings sewing, and Giacomo making short movies, our afternoons were filled with long chats, trekking in the mountains, saunas lighted by the stars, and s'mores under the moonlight. But what we loved the most about this experience was the people we met: Everyone had a story to tell, advice to share, a recipe to cook, or simply a smile to brighten the day. With the right pals, every ordinary day could become an epic adventure and a must-tell episode to entertain your old friends when you return to your home.