It was in April 2014, when we tried volunteering for the first time. We were in India, our money was running out, but we wanted to travel more. Searching for ideas, how to travel with less money, we found a site Workaway.info.
On this site you can find volunteering opportunities all over the world. The principle, how it works, is very easy – you find a place you like, you contact these people and offer your help. Then you talk with them online, ask questions, answer their questions about yourself. And then you buy a ticket and travel there. That’s it! In exchange for 4-5 hours of work 5 days a week, you usually get food and place where to live. No any paperwork. Nothing. Think about it like you are going to help your friend. As that’s how it should be.
And that’s exactly how we have experienced it in 4 out of 5 volunteering places, where we have been so far.
We have been volunteers for almost a year in total, both in Asia and Europe. Our volunteering experience includes living on a tropical island and working on yachts, living and working in a castle, spending winter months in beautiful Fuerteventura (Canary Islands).
1. Registration is necessary to apply for a job
You can search for volunteering gigs on Workaway for free, but when you want to contact these people, you need to pay a registration fee. Now, in April 2017, it’s 29 USD for 1 year if you are registering as a single, and 38 USD – couple.
To avoid the situation, that you have paid, but there is nothing that interests you, first do check offers available.
2. There are All Kind of Jobs
You can apply to work in a large farm in France, but you can also help teaching English basics for children of some Malaysian family living far from the benefits of civilization in the jungles of Borneo. Most popular are hotel, hostel and farm jobs.
3. Minimal term usually is 2 weeks
If you have only that much time or you are not sure how it will fit for you, apply for a minimum term and in the process you will see how it turns out. Sometimes, though, only volunteers ready to commit for at least 2-3 months are accepted.
Otherwise, as already mentioned, everything is simple as this – you find a job, write a message to the employer, discuss, receive a confirmation and head there when it’s the right time. No any other formalities. It does mean also an additional risk for you, of course. For more safety I recommend, that you find also some replacement option, just in case. And look only for places with good references.
Why Volunteering is Good for You
It’s your opportunity to experience local cultures more closely. Because you will be living together with a local family.
It’s your chance to meet with interesting people. While volunteering abroad we have met many like-minded and interesting people from around the world, whom now we can call our friends.
We have learned new skills and experienced so many beautiful moments, while spending very, very little, too.
Do you need some more reasons to try it out? Check out this article, where we talk more about why to volunteer!
Do You Need an Inspiration?
Read our interview with our friend Clive NOW! Clive is one of those interesting and inspiring people whom we have met while volunteering. We met with Clive in France and later in Malaysia. He is experienced Workaway’er, who has been volunteering to explore the world for more than 3 years.
Right now he is based in Malaysia, where he has his own art studio and most of the time now he spends doing what he loves most – painting.
First Volunteering Gig: Getting Ready
You have read an interview with Clive and now you are ready to go? You are ready for your first time volunteering experience. But how to prepare for it, you will ask. So, here is the answer.
- At first, you need to be a dreamer. You need to think of all the places where you would love to live. And you need to think of all the things you would love to do.
- When it’s decided, comes a research. How to get to this country? How much does it cost? What kind of volunteering opportunities are available there? When is the best time to go?
- Then you apply for jobs there.
- And then… then you GO!
Read more about how to prepare for your first time workaway’ing experience!
Our Workaway Volunteering Experience (2014 – 2017)
Volunteering on a charter yacht – Langkawi island, Malaysia.
Volunteering in a castle – Burgundy, France.
Volunteering in holiday houses – Fuerteventura, Canary Islands.
Volunteering in the jungle – Langkawi island, Malaysia.
helpx.net – site similar to Workaway, where you will find a lot of the same volunteer positions. People and companies using volunteer work a lot, often are on both sites. We choose Workaway because of better design and functionality.
wwoofinternational.org – organisation focusing on volunteer work in organic farms. All of their offers are divided by countries and regions. When registering and making a payment, be sure to choose the right region, the one where you are planning to go.
trustedhousesitters.com – site, where to look for house sitting gigs. It’s something a little bit different, because mostly you will not need to work for more than an hour or two a day on average. Basically house sitting means looking after someone’s else house or apartament, while the owners are away. Often it also means, that you need to look after their cat or dog. So if you are good with animals, possible loneliness doesn’t scare you, then this might be a very good chance to save money on accommodation, while living abroad in some interesting for you country or city.
hippohelp.com – a free alternative to Workaway, Helpx and WWOOF, founded in 2017.
Do you still have questions about volunteering? Contact us!
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