Whenever we meet new people, the questions we get asked mostly are always related to money. Recently via Workaway we spent two months living in a luxurious camping and resort in a picturesque valley in Northern India. Our total expenses were close to zero.
How? We traded our time for food and lodging. Hence, while we were not earning any money, we were also not spending from our savings. This helps us to balance out our budget and prolong our travels.
Nowadays it is so easy to find such opportunities thanks to websites such as Workaway and others. We use Workaway, a website with over 29,000 placements around the world. Their aim is to connect travelers with hosts worldwide. The advantage of using such websites is that you can see feedback from fellow travelers and you can also build your own profile.
For two months, we lived and worked at this beautiful property that otherwise we would have not afforded or even knew about. Our job was mainly to accompany guests on treks as their guides and interact with them during meal times and evenings.
While our budget is a prominent motivation for us to do such experiences it is definitely not the only reason why we do. Here are 5 reasons of what we feel are the advantages of doing such experiences.
Benefits of Workaway
Introduction to the country
We found that such experiences are a great introduction to any new country. You learn about the country’s history and customs from locals. You start picking up words and phrases from the local language. After two months in this resort, whose main clientele is Indian families, we learned a lot about current affairs, Bollywood and anything related to India. I can confidently say that we are much more prepared to travel India now than we were before. We know why certain things are the way they are and many of our questions are now answered.
Connect with locals
What better way to build connections and lasting relationships if not through working and living everyday normal life. Throughout all our Workaway experiences we built relationships with people that we would have never met otherwise. We lived with a Muslim family in a small village in Morocco, helped build a mud house alongside Berbers in the Sahara Desert, learned meditation from Buddhist monks in Thailand and learned a thing or two about hospitality from an Indian family who run one of the most successful travel and adventure companies in India.
When you have been on the road for so long, you might find yourself craving the feeling only family and friends can give you. You might want to build some roots in a place. Take out your few possessions from your backpack and feel at home. This is what some of the experiences will give you … a home away from home.
By now we have realised that we prefer to spend more time in one place as oppose to visiting a different destination every few days. We prefer to see fewer places but have a deeper connection with the places we visit. Hence, through Workaway we get the opportunity to spend more time in one place and really get to know the area and the people.
Step out of your comfort zone
What better way to challenge yourself if not by a new experience in a new country with new people. Through Workaway you will get the opportunity to learn new skills or try out something you always wanted to but never got the opportunity to. I never in my wildest dreams imagined that for two months of my life, I will work as a trekking guide in the Himalayas.
Such experiences are great as a cost cutting measure when you are traveling on a budget. However, approach them with an open mind and heart and you will get so much more than that. You will have experiences and memories to treasure for a lifetime.