Good morning readers. I feel it necessary to mention that I wake early for no man unless I’m getting paid, so you should feel very important. If you don’t, well, jump out a window.
Today I decided to let you in on a dream: both Justin and I wish to spend an entire month traveling over Europe in 2015. He went to London in 2012 with YWAM (Youth With A Mission) but I’ll let him tell you more about that later. Personally, I’ve never been, but my heart aches to get there. I’ve read, studied, watched documentaries and tv shows on Europe, and my current favorite is House Hunters International. I mostly skip over all the coastal episodes and stick to the scenes of London and the inner UK. There are even some episodes on Greenland and Austria and stuff! Anyway, I’m sure you’re like “oh my goodness woman, get to the bloody point already,” so I will.
1. The first way is through a program called Help Exchange. (www.helpx.net)
Here is a blurb from the website:
HelpX is an online listing of host organic farms, non-organic farms, farmstays, homestays, ranches, lodges, B&Bs, backpackers hostels and even sailing boats who invite volunteer helpers to stay with them short-term in exchange for food and accommodation.
I’ve spent a lot of time on there looking around at farms in New Zealand, London (area), and Australia, and one of the primary focuses seems to be similar to that of WWOOF’s focus: organic lifestyle and service to others.
Basically, you choose a farm/household/business from the list, contact them (which may require a few dollars up front), get “hired” (though they don’t pay!) and buy a ticket. Badabing. You have “free” access to wherever you want to go. They will house you and feed you, if you choose wisely. Keep in mind that you should not overstay your visit there, even if you’re helping out — make sure to be above-board about when they want you gone. You don’t want to be THAT person.
Let’s move on.
2. Our second option leads us to the aforementioned WWOOF, which stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. (http://www.wwoof.net/) Here is a blurb from their website:
Usually you live with your host and are expected to join in and cooperate with the day to day activities. In most countries the exchange is based on 4-6 hours help-fair exchange for a full day’s food and accommodation.
They go on to talk about the type of work you’d be doing and why WWOOFing is for you, but I’ll let you do the private eyeing on that aspect. I’ve never done much research here, but if you’re truly considering traveling, this is a GREAT opportunity.
3. IF you love horses, like myself, and have grown up around them and are comfortable enough to work with them daily, this is a great option.
It’s called Yard And Groom. (http://www.yardandgroom.com/) This is another site where I’ve done extensive research because of my ridiculous love for all things four-legged. (Except dogs.) It’ll start you out on a portal page, and you can choose whether you’re looking for a job, looking for help, or wanting to sell your horse. Go ahead and register yourself and start looking around. It’s worth it. You can even post an ad, kind of like Craigslist, that lists all of your amazeballs talents and how well you work with others even if you’ve spent the past four years in a basement playing video games, so that potential employers can take a look themselves. Anyway, YandG listings are all over the world. Go nuts.
4. Workaway. (http://www.workaway.info/)
Sound appealing? My first thought was, “nah, there’s ‘work’ in the title. I’m good.” But actually, you should consider this an option! Unlike the other sites, this one separates itself by giving you the option to specify which kind of work you’d like to do. To get there, click on View Host List. Then you can choose WHERE you want to go, and WHAT FOR. It’s pretty nifty. This is another site that I haven’t spent much time on, so whack away at it yourself.
5. If we’re being honest, I ran out of websites that I knew of to post here.
So I googled it. And you know what? Now I’m smarter! Because I found Barefoot Atlas. “Meaningful journeys for extraordinary people.” (http://barefootatlas.com/)
I’ve never heard of it. (sigh.) Here’s the blurb!
Barefoot Atlas profiles volunteer opportunities for extraordinary people in search of both adventure and meaning. Our guides give independent travelers all the tools they need to embark on meaningful volunteer adventures around the world.
And there you have it. Five ways to live/eat/sleep/travel for free once you’ve bought a ticket. You’re welcome. They call me genius.