WorkAway is a programme set up to bring together people hoping to volunteer their time, skills and experience in exchange for food and accommodation, with those needing help with a large project or business that would otherwise be difficult to make happen. Or it could be a simple wish to meet people from different backgrounds and hear their story over dinner. A symbiotic relationship for mutual benefit.
We, as WorkAwayers, volunteer our time and occasionally our professional expertise, to assist hosts with projects they are attempting to deliver. The projects could range from constructing an Eco-hut to teaching languages to gardening to child-care. They could be based in the mountains of Spain, the vineyards of France or the fjords of Norway. The key to success is finding a host that can utilise your skills, or learn new ones, in a place or setting where you want to spend time learning about the local culture or seeing the sights, so that the experience is mutually beneficial.
We registered with Workway and now occasionally browse the multitude of options available to find a suitable place or activity where we feel we could offer some valuable assistance. We are happy to give up a few hours each day for the satisfactions of a job well done, for the communal chat with other WorkAwayers or hosts, the possibility for cultural exchange and the welcome opportunities to sample home-made local cuisine.
Inserted at intervals into our regular motorhome lifestyle, not only do we benefit from the cultural exposure but it offers us a short break from the norm. Sometimes that means a larger living space (if we’re not still staying in Benny) and, as food is provided, it negates the need for shopping and preparing meals. We get a break from the more mundane ‘life on the road’ tasks, such as laundry, grocery shopping, emptying our WC cassette, procuring drinking water, and the often daily planning of ‘where to next?’.
A Workaway stop for a week or two allows us the opportunity to stay still for an extended period, free of the daily living tasks of motorhoming, whilst using our skills and experience to help others. We have so far volunteered to help at a private home, painting and gardening to create a calm artsy space for passing cyclists to enjoy, at a vineyard tending vines, at a hotel and campsite setting up a beach and the kayaking side of their business, and at a busy hotelier that ran a restaurant, fishing boat hire and kayaking trips. Each were unique and special places, and we feel richer, our travels enhanced, for the opportunity to have spent time at them. We’ll stop again, soon.