Maybe you have heard of it, maybe you haven’t?
The basic idea is: guests offer help to hosts who offer accomodation.
Often the hosts also provide meals. Some hosts state this specifically. Currently we are on a workaway
where we have access to the kitchen, many of the ingredients and we shop once a week for anything else we need. Also the house we stay in has a large vegetable garden, including a poly tunnel, that we can help ourselves to.
The website acts as a meeting place, beyond a certain point it is up to the workawayer’s and the host to negotiate an agreement.
My profile has gained a lot of interest because I offer a particular skill, carpentry. Many workaway hosts set up profiles when they are doing their own home renovations. A host may seek a plumber, carpenter or electrician when they are unsure how to do certain jobs.
In return I get to stay in a place for free while I travel. I have never been to Devon and I am currently staying here for free! All I have to do is 25 hours worth of work a week.
The work weeks are flexible. I work maybe 3 hours in the morning, have a big lunch, take the dog for an hour walk, come back, work a couple more hours and then do whatever after that. I haven’t got to the weekend yet but today we decided to take a weekend day and visit Lyme Regis because the opportunity presented itself.
As long as I work at least 25 hours in the week and get results work-wise, everybody will be happy. The work is pretty unofficial too, The owners have sketched up a list of things to do and made it clear that they don’t expect me to do everything. As long as you can establish a clear understanding it can work great. Like most things in life communication is key!
I did a workaway in Nepal a couple of years ago, providing carpentry skills again, in a village near Pokhara. The host of this workaway, Shamser was also the principal of the small school in the village. Shamser had hosted many workawayer’s, from electrical engineers to school teachers and people who had no particular skill set, but offered help where it was needed. Everybody was welcome and it made for a great atmosphere.
If you are into volunteering it is a great way to do so without the often expensive companies that organise volunteer projects. If you are genuinely interested in helping it can be a real win/win.
Workaway is a great option if you are interested in a more immersive way of traveling. Getting to spend quality time in communities that you may otherwise never see.